Rational Vs. Intuitive Problem Solving

October 29, 2013

Did you know that thinking “off the beaten path” can stimulate creativity? Before attempting to take the road-less taken, what’s your primary problem-solving style anyway?  While we all employ both of these styles in problem solving, we might have a tenancy to use one style more frequently than the other.  Each style has it’s merits and neither is “better” than the other.
If you’re a rational problem solver, you’ll tend to learn and process information  deliberately and engage in analyses in an attentive manner (Bargh & Chartrand,1999; Kahneman, 2003; Stanovich & West, 2000). 
If you’re more of an intuitive problem solver, you’ll find that you seem to arrive at solutions automatically and relatively effortlessly (Bargh & Chartrand, 1999; Kahne-man, 2003; Stanovich & West, 2000). This effortlessness is possible because the cognitive operations (though not necessarily the products) of this system tend to be inaccessible to consciousness (Dane & Pratt, 2007).
Now that you’ve identified a problem-solving style, next time you’re stuck, try the other style out and see what happens.  When family members are stuck, see if you can guide them off their beaten path to reveal a solution.  Take your time though!   If you’ve been reading our Daily Calendar’s so far, you’ll already know that creativity is something to practice and it requires time and nurturing.

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