Time and creativity – friend or foe?

Does the pressure caused by time constraints help or hamper the creative process?

Write about what?

burbn timeWhen working with Odyssey of the Mind teams practicing their problem-solving skills, I discovered an interesting aspect of creativity.  Students had to come up with a large of number of  creative ideas to solve a problem on the spot. However, not all students in a large group could participate in this competition, so we set up a way of scoring ideas as a fair way to choose the competitors. Each student was given the same problem scenario. Within a set time, they listed as many possible solutions as they could. I mistakenly thought that coming up with original ideas would require more time. Therefore, students were judged on two scores: the number of ideas and the originality of ideas. Actually there was a positive correlation between number of ideas and originality. Those students that still clung to the tried and true practical ideas came up with noticeably fewer solutions. These…

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