Psychological Techniques For Boosting Creativity

Looking for ways to increase creativity, methods grounded in actual research?  Take a look at this two part series on psychological techniques to boost creativity.  One of my favorites:

People often jump to answers too quickly before they've really thought about the question. Research suggests that spending time re-conceptualising the problem is beneficial.

Mumford et al. (1994) found that experimental participants produced higher quality ideas when forced to re-conceive the problem in different ways before trying to solve it. Similarly a classic study of artists found that those focused on discovery at the problem-formulation stage produced better art (Csikszentmihalyi & Getzels, 1971).

◊ For insight: forget the solution for now, concentrate on the problem. Are you asking the right question?

So many knowledge workers -- lawyers in particular  -- rush to solve problems, because that's what they're good at. But stopping to thoroughly examine the problem not only serves to identify the real issues at stake.  According to these studies, it also helps apparently stimulates creative thinking.

(via Kotte)