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Is Intelligence Convergent and Creativity Divergent?


How do intelligent people think differently from creative people, and how could an intelligent person seem to be creative or a creative person being intelligent? Consider the variations in the thought process: convergent and divergent thinking.

Convergent vs divergent thinking
Convergent and divergent thinking
Without much ado, intelligence here would mean the traditional concept of IQ, which makes intelligence quantifiable usin
g an IQ test, though this is not sufficient in itself to semantically and intently conceptualize ‘intelligence’ in a wider scope.

Brief synopsis
☆ So what is intelligence?
Intelligence is a person’s ability to act purposefully, think rationally, and deal effectively with his/her environment (Weschler c. 20th century). Intelligence could be fluid or crystallized.
- Thought process: convergent thinking

☆ So what is creativity?
Creativity is a person’s ability to apply new solutions to solving a problem. This is somewhat related to fluid reasoning (what people call fluid intelligence).
- Thought process: divergent thinking

Got it?

How is intelligence convergent?
Convergent thinking is the thought process that gives only one approach to solving a problem which involves cognition. For example, the only approach to arrive at ‘the product of two integers that equals to 3’ is ‘1 x 3 or 3 x 1’.

Why the term ‘convergence’? This term was adopted by researchers because they probably thought that the solution is one, meeting at a point (no other technique) to solving the problem.

Critical examination: would intelligence always converge?
The short answer to this question is a ‘NO’. What? Intelligence is not as simply rigid as many folks were led to erroneously believe it to be. In fact, intelligence is more than a single approach to solving cognitive tasks. Guess what? This statement [intelligence is more than just a single approach to solving cognitive tasks] already contradicted the first paragraph of this article. Isn’t it?

Rethink this: it is noteworthy that the type of intelligence people want to talk about is the Kyle XY-like fictional IQ which would be something around 500+ IQ points to insanely paranormal – most likely unattainable [if not unattainable].

The one approach to drive you at a solution is associated with the culturally biased mainstream logical reasoning, abstract thinking, quantitative and verbal reasoning or generally, book smart, which does not necessarily translate to real life intelligence people need to lead a successful life. Clarified?

Now, you know the conceptual and semantic variations in intelligence: mainstream intelligence which was thought to be quantifiable is the only one type of intelligence that is convergent because it is IQ-based. Period!

How is creativity divergent?
Divergent thinking is the thought process of applying multiple solutions to solving a problem involving cognition. Unlike convergent thinking which has only one approach to finding the integer resulting from the product of two quantities like 3 x 1 or 1x 3, divergent thinking takes a more flexible approach. For example, a Ludo game and a word puzzle would have an end goal which is reachable by following different routes that players could reach their desired destination.

In practical terms, one might consider organizational leadership styles varying from autocratic to democratic, or the leader might even devise an entirely different means of leading their subordinates. In the last case especially, the approach to leadership would be more than just convergent thinking. What do you think?


Image credit: Bilingualism UCSD
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