Lateral thinking overrated

Piers YoungAsidesLeave a Comment

a number of detailed reports of scientific discovery, artistic creativity, and invention are available, including Darwin’s notebooks on the development of his theory of evolution, Watson’s report of the discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule, Picassos preliminary sketches for several of his most famous paintings, and Edison’s notebooks on the invention of the kinetoscope. These examples are covered in detail in later chapters [of this book], and nothing like divergent thinking is evident in any of them. Thus, although it seems reasonable to Guilford that producing many and varied ideas through “divergent” or “lateral” thinking ought to be a cornerstone of creative thinking, this idea does not seem to be correct.

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