Problem solving and creativity

Marco Téorico

Problem solving consists on the ability to recognize the signals of the presence of an inconvenience in the normal development of a certain task. It involves applying the knowledge that one has previously acquired to new situations, recollecting the information that is needed to solve the problems that have been detected, and choosing and implementing the best solution strategies. These strategies can be pre-established or original. Original strategies demand creativity. Creativity is one of the most sophisticated cognitive processes of human beings. “[It] is usually defined as the production of an idea, action, or object that is new and valued (…)” (Csikzentmihalyi, 1999). It is influenced by a wide range of evolutionary, social and educative experiences. We all are creative to some extent; furthermore, we all have the chance to enhance our creativity. In the following tasks, you will be able to observe some of the phenomena that are involved in problem solving and creativity.


References: Csikzentmihalyi, M. (1999) Creativity. In R. A. Wilson & F. C. Keil (Eds.), The MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Sciences (pp. 438-441). Cambridge, USA: MIT Press.