Friday, June 24, 2011

Creative thinking is slow thinking - 2

Almost a year ago I wrote about brain research evidence showing that, contrary to a popular belief in "the light bulb in your head" moment, creative thinking is a slow, rather than fast process.
In a recent paper about the relationship between national IQ and national productivity, economist Garett Jones of Mason University, cites extensive studies linking intelligence and patience.

Shamosh and Gray (2008), two Yale psychologists, summed up 2 dozen studies and found that in almost every study, high IQ is associated with patience, as measured in a variety of methods. The classic example is Walter Mischel’s experiment of a child waiting for marshmallows. In this experiment an experimenter puts a child in a room, puts a marshmallow in front of the child, and tells her that if she leaves the marshmallow untouched until the experimenter returns, she will get a second marshmallow. The experimenter then leaves the room, not returning until the child finally eats the marshmallow.
“Minutes until marshmallow” has been shown to be a reliable predictor of many life outcomes—but it is also highly correlated with IQ.

The systematic invention and innovation methods I teach and practice almost force you into a process of deliberate creativity, requiring patient application of your intelligence. As Genrikh Altshuller always said, "Inventive thinking is slow thinking."

What's also interesting is the "Hive" effect, which shows that the society as a whole benefits from an individual's IQ more than the individual him/herself. To me this makes perfect sense because in an innovation economy existence of a high-performance creative crowd is essential to turning ideas into breakthrough technologies.

For the article link, hat tip to
See also my earlier post From Creative to Mundane.

tags: creativity, innovation, scale, intelligence, system, invention, economics, psychology

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