WOW Word-Of-the-Week #511: Brainstorming

May 22, 2014 by  

Brainstorming a group technique for solving problems, generating ideas, stimulating creative thinking, etc., by unrestrained spontaneous participation in discussion.

Does your job entail coming up with creative ideas? Do you like solving problems? Would you like to be more creative?

This week’s WOW comes from the LA Times article written by Deborah Netburn titled, “Need a fresh idea? Just take a walk.” She writes, “If you find yourself in a creative slump, scientists have a suggestion: Take a walk. People generate more creative ideas when they walk than when they sit, according to new research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition. a brain

“Everyone always says going on a walk gives you new ideas, but nobody ever proved it before,” says Marily Oppezzo, a professor of psychology at Santa Clara University and the lead author of the study. She goes on to say, “Walkers were more talkative than sitters. They had more thoughts, but they also had a higher density of creative thoughts than sitters.”

The researchers believe when we take a break from active perusal of solutions and go about our other daily activities, new ways of thinking about the solution may pop into our minds. But they were at a loss to explain why walking seemed to enhance creativity. Perhaps walking increases arousal in the brain. Perhaps walking interferes with the brain’s ability to filter thoughts.

They recommend that people take a walk before brainstorming, or it they are stumped on a creative problem. The study shows everybody’s creativity improved when they were walking compared to themselves when they were sitting.

This week’s focus is on brainstorming. I walk almost every day and can attest that it stimulates creativity. Many times I have come up with good ideas for my speeches or personal projects. What part of your job requires you to be creative? Do you ever remember being stumped and walking away only to come up with the solution later? How often do you take a walk?

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