Tuesday, June 03, 2014

The Mechanics of Creativity



The Creativity theory

  Hi friends.
This is your friendly neghbourhood blogger again and this time we will tackle the mechanics of creativity. In this post we will start from where we left off.

Last time,we discussed creativity in general  and concluded that creativity is nothing but looking at things from a different perspective.Now, so many different things happen in our range of vision that the brain employs a filtering system so that we see only what will interest us. The other things also happen but those files go to the recycle bin of our mind and are then eliminated altogether. Maybe, some are retained as temporary cookies which will explan subconscious and conscious vision,but that is besides the subject of discussion.

The Gorilla in the basketball court

 I read about this a long time back and I may not be 100% accurate but its good enough for the purpose. In a study of cognition, a group of volunteers are taken to a basketball court where the opposing teams are in white and black. The volunteers are told to count the number of passes the team in white make. The whistle blows and soon a high intensity passing game starts and lasts for about 1 to 2 minutes. In the middle a man in a gorilla suit comes up, beats his chest, and then walks away. When the time runs out, the volunteers are asked about the number of passes and they give the answers. They are then asked about the gorilla and nobody recalls seeing a gorilla.

 If you want to check it out for yourself, there are plenty of videos posted on youtube.com by colleges and educators.You can easily get a lot of links from google. However, most people find that it doesn't work as well as described, because they are already watching out for the gorilla,which is not supposed to be the way its done. You already know about the gorilla which you are not supposed to know. Therefore, I am linking another video which shows us the same thing, allbeit, in a different scenario alltogether.Check it out by clicking HERE.

How does creativity work

We have become so accustomed to thinking in the same old way like “Event A will lead to B and B will lead to C”, i.e. in a cause and effect way that starting to look from a different perspective is difficult. Let us now bring Edward De Bono, into the picture the man who first coined the term “Lateral Thinking”  and who is considered as the leading intellectual authority on the subject of creative thinking. Dr. De Bono has written a long list of books on the subject of creative thinking starting from 1969 and has more than 35 years of experience in this field.   

Creativity and a Sense of Humor

In his book “Serious Creativity” Dr. De Bono, describes the humor model of lateral or creative thinking. Dr. Bono argues that in normal cases, our thinking process moves in the conventional straight line of cause and effect, as shown in the figure below. Going along this main route of thought, one  comes across various sidetracks, following some of which and then reversing direction, we can come back to the originating point i.e. we can think creatively and maybe, find new answers to existing problem, or in other words, exercise innovation. However, like the gorilla, we never see them, as we mentally block these sidetracks and go straight and straight on, in the usual and common way. We therefore need a way to make these blocks appear. Dr.Bono calls these ‘provocations’ i.e. events which provokes us to leave the main track and enter the sidetrack, naming them 'po'.