The skills of problem solving
Problem solving requires two distinct types of mental skill, analytical and creative.
Analytical or logical thinking includes skills such as ordering, comparing, contrasting, evaluating and selecting. It provides a logical framework for problem solving and helps to select the best alternative from those available by narrowing down the range of possibilities (a convergent process).. Analytical thinking often predominates in solving closed problems, where the many possible causes have to be identified and analysed to find the real cause.
Some other terms which are often used in discussions of creativity include:
Intuition - the ability to draw conclusions based on impressions and feelings rather than hard facts. It is a characteristic of right-brain thinking and some people rely on it more than others.
Incubation - the period between stopping conscious work on a problem and the time when we become aware of a solution or part solution. People struggling with problems often suddenly become aware of a solution after a period of incubation, during which the mind is occupied by other things.
Invention - the creation of new, meaningful ideas or concepts.
Innovation - putting new ideas or concepts to a practical use, as in the development of a new product or service.
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