In this post, GrubStreet instructor Ben Berman discusses how learning to think flexibly can help us be more creative.
Flexible thinking refers to our ability to shift or reframe how we are thinking about an idea.
When psychologists measure one’s aptitude for creativity, they often focus on this aspect of thinking. How many uses can you find for a brick? they ask, before grading the responses based on fluency, originality, flexibility and elaboration.
Take a sharpie away from my three-year-old and she will invoke Whitman, will begin sounding her barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.
But plop her on the toilet and the scene is much more reminiscent of the Romantics – as she ponders philosophical questions, her imagination wandering wildly and her intonations somewhere between speech and song.