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How Divergent Thinking Shapes Exploration?

Creativity is the heart of novelty. But how divergent thinking shapes exploration? Let’s find out.

A contemplative man wondering how divergent thinking shapes exploration
Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels

Today, while scrolling through my desktop, I read some of the articles on the different ways of thinking. It emphasized the way we approach the reality of solving complex problems.

As a full-time writer, it is very rewarding to find something of my taste that can stimulate the contemplative thinker inside me. The article mentioned a lot about multiple ways thinking influences exploration or exploratory tendencies.

But after a few moments, I read about this term divergent thinking. Now obviously, the name says it all. It is inclined towards possibilities and patterns. However, my doubt was its similarities with exploration and how it affects our observation.

It made me wonder about the different ways divergent thinking utilizes our creative and scatterbrained nature.

So, “Is divergent thinking related to creativity?”

Yes, it is.

Divergent thinking stimulates creativity and its tendency to extrapolate a multitude of ideas and theories. Besides, it also helps in utilizing opportunities to discover the hidden patterns behind many concepts that exist as a part of the system.

But here is our question, “How divergent thinking shapes exploration?”

That is what we are going to find out in the next section.


What is divergent thinking and how does it work?

We have briefly discussed divergent thinking and its effects on creativity. The unlimited source of possibilities and patterns exist in our tendency to think over a large spectrum of information.

However, it is not the same as creativity and adopts a different area of the human mind.

So, “What is divergent thinking?”

It is a broad analysis of various ideas and possibilities to explore the multiple solutions to a problem.

In other words, it is the contemplation of wild and scatterbrained ideas and exploring the various possibilities towards solving a problem.

Well, to be honest, it is a great thinking ability that doesn’t categorize or systemizes things into a structure. 

In fact, a creative mind that doesn’t dwell on a narrow-minded approach is the best example of divergent thinking. It is the powerhouse of open-mindedness without limiting ourselves to one-dimensional thinking.

Now that we have discussed what it means, let us discuss how it works.


How divergent thinking works:

When we speak about creativity, one thing comes into mind, and that is its correlation with intellectual capabilities or intelligence. However, unlike the other traits, creative intelligence is far more abstract than concrete and doesn’t base its judgment without using critical thinking.

I have explained this briefly in one of my articles, where cleverness is more relevant than intelligence. Besides, the amount of thinking it requires is far more idiosyncratic and unconventional.

A mysterious and enigmatic girl
Photo by Min An from Pexels

However, the way divergent thinking works is more spontaneous, perceptive, and explorative in nature. Unlike creativity, it may or may not have eccentric ideas towards solving a problem.

The truth is it absorbs information to contemplate and understand the possible reasons behind its structure. Then, it quickly filters or dissects the root of the information to manage its complexity and analyze the best possible solutions.

So, to be precise, divergent thinking is like a system or method of analyzing information from multiple perspectives and coming up with novel solutions.


What is the relation between divergent thinking and exploration?

Until now we have come a long way after understanding the concept of divergent thinking and its processes. We have also seen how divergent thinking is different from creativity.

Now, it is time to discuss the relationship between divergent thinking and exploration. So, we know that creativity is related to exploration. In fact, it is more like fuel to a creative mind that seeks new ways to apply information.

But, “Is it related to divergent thinking?”

“How divergent thinking shapes exploration?”

Yes, it does.

To clarify it, the explorations are highly influenced by our curiosity. It helps us to dive and understand things that most people ignore or unacknowledge. Besides, it also drives the significance of the unknown.

But, we explore things we want to understand or analyze deeply. This is where divergent thinking comes into the picture. It gives us a brief idea of how things that have been explored can be analyzed to find out a possible solution or derive a certain understanding behind it.

So, divergent thinking affects our tendency to explore things that are hidden or ignored. Therefore, it indirectly affects our exploration.

Now, we know the relation between divergent thinking and exploration.

But, “What are the ways through which divergent thinking shapes exploration?”

Let’s find out.


What are the ways through which divergent thinking shapes exploration?

The previous section was all about divergent thinking and its relation to exploration. The role of curiosity in influencing the exploratory tendencies gives us an insight into how things are related to each other in the long run.

A woman representing the explorative tendencies
Photo by Spela Jambrisko from Pexels

However, we are still unaware of the ways through which divergent thinking affects exploratory tendencies.

In fact, the question is whether we employ these ways in our day to day lives.

So, here are 5 ways divergent thinking shapes exploration.


Divergent thinking

1. Enhances the need to discover hidden relationships:

Many pieces of information are connected through the hierarchy. The more we know about particular information, the more it is likely to be complex. In other words, the complexity of information increases as we try to unfold the reasons behind it.

Likewise, divergent thinking enhances or increases the need to discover hidden or unknown relationships that exist between systems or theories. Besides, it also helps our exploratory tendencies to dissect the root of the system.

Hence, it helps in shaping exploratory tendencies.


2. Identifies patterns to spread broader into its source:

One of the best parts of divergent thinking is that it identifies the patterns or connects dots to understand the implications of a system. Moreover, it also refines these patterns to provide a direction through exploration.

However, instead of getting an outline or a vague idea about it, it engages in the deep analysis of many ways to link those patterns and find the source behind them.

As a result, it refines our exploratory tendencies to a whole new level.


3. Approaches the information from a fluid perspective:

Divergent thinking is very spontaneous and fluid. It is highly adaptable and doesn’t consider a tunnel-minded approach. The way it approaches the information is highly non-linear and doesn’t fit well with the general process of making judgments.

However, the fluidity in its conclusions helps change from time to time, as a rigid one would hamper its process of considering multiple possibilities. The fluid perspective gives space for the explorative tendencies to perform their function.

Hence, the fluid perspective of divergent thinking shapes the exploration.


4. Makes a person second guess himself frequently:

Due to its non-linear nature, divergent thinking is indecisive and doesn’t jump to conclusions without discovering every possible solution. This manifests in the form of suspicion, skepticism, and doubt.

As a result, the person employing divergent thinking continuously second-guesses himself over the tendency to explore various ideas. It makes he is highly skeptical of the best solutions to a problem.


5. Doesn’t look for superficial reasons:

When a person employs divergent thinking, he is seldom satisfied by the superficial reasons behind a piece of information. The insatiable thirst of a person to look for reasons that are ignored drives him to explore the information beyond the surface level.

As a result, it can understand things that others might not be able to comprehend, thereby, shaping his exploration.

5 ways divergent thinking shapes exploration

Final Words:

To sum up, divergent thinking is a lot more mysterious and enigmatic in its approach. It also shapes the explorative tendencies to discover unknown facts or fantasies about ideas.

Nevertheless, the study of the above-mentioned ways helps us comprehend the working or application of divergent thinking into enhancing human experiences.

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