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It sounds like you're talking about a classic example of Incubation. Incubation is defined as a process of unconscious recombination of thought elements that were stimulated through conscious work at one point in time, resulting in novel ideas at some later point in time. Here's a great article by John F. Kihlstrom: Intuition, Incubation, and Insight: ...


24

Check out the book The Psychology of Computer Programming by Gerald Weinberg. Originally published in 1971 it was recently produced in a Silver Anniversary version. I own an original copy and read it again about every five years. Weinberg and Glenford Myers both wrote amazing texts which will be useful forever. In Weinberg, the situation you are ...


21

The article The Threshold Theory Regarding Creativity and Intelligence: An Empirical Test with Gifted and Nongifted Children found results that do not support this "Threshold Theory" of creativity. Abstract: Results of divergent thinking tests (administered to 228 intermediate school students, of whom about 43 percent were gifted) and calculated ...


17

The phenomenon's called the incubation effect. Wikipedia operationally defines the incubation effect as any benefit of a break during problem solving. In Wallas’ (1926) four-stage model of innovative problem solving or creativity, the incubation stage is the stage in which one takes some time away from the problem (the stages are: preparation, incubation, ...


11

The first Google hit for "creativity training psychology" (Chamorro-Premuzic, 2013) seems to answer your question pretty thoroughly. Prof. Chamorro-Premuzic is a pretty formidable psychologist, so it's no surprise coming from him! To quote the post: In short, creativity is not 100% malleable, but it can be affected by deliberate interventions. People's ...


11

What you are describing is a mental bottleneck (or that is the term coined by David Rock Anyway - I actually wrote about it (in the context of Dual N Back training in this blog post - to quote myself A bottleneck happens when you can't solve a problem because you can't remove a bad thought from your brain. A bad thought is something you know doesn't ...


9

I'm afraid I have to disagree with Mozibur Ullah's answer. Instead of talking about Plato, Socrates and Picasso I'll mention one, incredibly creative and intelligent person: John Cleese. Telling people how to be creative is easy, it's only being it what's difficult. Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating. Creativity is not an ability ...


8

The Torrance Test of Creative Thinking is a good place to start. It scores for fluency (number of responses) as well as originality (statistical rarity of responses) and elaboration (level of detail) on a variety of different tasks. The validity of the TTCT has been examined with several long-term studies, so there is a fair amount of data on its ...


8

I believe that this excellent answer can shed some light on why you might be unable to figure out the problem. The answerer described it as mental exhaustion, mental fatigue or mental stress. This, though does not explain why you will suddenly see the solution, but I would guess that the tired part of the brain will continue working on the problem in some ...


8

The question you have asked is not a new one. In fact, from the times of classical antiquity, Plato considered artistic creativity as a result of god-given madness. When it comes to popular figures in the arts and sciences, however, it is important to note that the illness is not restricted to them by any means. Lord Byron and Beethoven are said to be manic-...


6

This is quite a well documented phenomenon - stereotypically these moments of creative insight occur in the shower. A google for 'psychology aha moment' or 'neuroscience creative aha' will give you some articles, in Psychology Today for instance, talking about this. One characterisation of thought is that links between neurons are created and by travelling ...


5

Takeuchi et al. (2011) had participants in an fMRI perform three tasks in order to measure creativity, working memory and intelligence. S-A creativity test as a measure of creativity (Society For Creative Minds, 1969). Verbal n-back as a measure of working memory (Calicott et al., 1999). Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrix as a measure of intelligence (...


5

Although this paper is not grounded in neurobiology "Up speeds you down. Awe-evoking monumental buildings trigger behavioral and perceived freezing" by Joey et al. should be a good starting point for further research into the domain of environmental psychology with a focus on human-made environments. In the paper, subjects are shown to have slower reaction ...


5

Short answer Ideaesthesia does not comprise a theory or even a hypothesis. It is merely a term meaning 'sensing concepts' or 'perceiving meaning'. Background As Steven Jeuris also comments, ideaesthesia is not a theory, it is simply a term. It is a combination of two Greek words, namely 'concept' or 'idea', and the other is 'sensation', or 'aisthesis'. In ...


4

Although the idea that IQ only enables creativity "up to IQ 120" is widespread (and repeated in pop-psych books such as those of Gladwell etc.), large scale studies of giftedness reliably find that the IQ and creativity are associated even at the very highest-extremes of ability. IQ is linearly related to creative achievement across the range (Wai et al., ...


4

Critical thinking is an ill-defined concept in the cognitive sciences, so this question most likely has as many answers as there are measures of IQ and critical thinking. An accessible introduction to the literature is available here, with the general cognitive conception of critical thinking given as follows: ... the mental activities that are typically ...


4

This is actually a perfect fit for the best kind of gamification that illuminates the progress you're already making (but weren't aware of) 1. Break the creative task into steps in a creative process 2. Measure that progress for the user. You don't even need to reward progress, just how them how it gets them closer to the goal. Success may not be ...


4

There are two sources of creativity, the within-domain analogies and the between-domain analogies. Within-domain analogies are less original but more easy to apply and use. Between-domain analogies are far more original but usually need a lot of work to apply them in the target domain. (see this book for more info) Within-domain analogies may be quite ...


3

The concept of creativity per se makes it hard to measure it in a standardized way, since creativity by definition opposes standardization. Even tests such as the one suggested by Krysta run into the problem that in order to rate answers with regard to their rarity will have to rely on some kind of standardization according to which one can rate the answers ...


3

There are some studies that seem to support your suggestion e.g.: Dream reports and creative tendencies in students of the arts, sciences, and engineering (paywalled, so I'm quoting the abstract): 105 students of arts, sciences, and engineering were asked to report a dream and to take a test which measures independence of judgment and relates to ...


3

This is actual a pretty old and often debated question. It is called "Lady Lovelace's Objection" and first appeared in Alan Turing's seminal paper "Computing Machinery and Intelligence". Below is my response to Lovelace's Objection, as well as Alan Turing's response which I wrote for a philosophy course in 2015. Perhaps it will be of interest to you? ...


3

I managed to find some newspaper articles and research that touch this topic, claiming that indeed more traditional architecture has positive influences on health and well-being, although these statements would likely require a more careful evaluation for the sake of rigor. Sources: Beautiful urban architecture boosts health as much as green spaces ...


3

I can't really answer your questions as they relate to your ability to be creative. Also I'm unsure as to how 'focus' is defined, however, I know of research linking both attention and working memory to creativity which you may be able to draw conclusions from. There is some mixed research to back the idea creativity and attention are linked; it has been ...


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