This topic will definitely be interesting to you, regardless of whether you are going to write such a college paper or just want to learn something new.
Imagination is the last of the three psychic processes that form the axis of our psychological time. And if memory connects us with the past, attention – with the present, then imagination, in fact, – with the future or possible things. Therefore, it can be determined approximately as follows: imagination is the construction of previously not existing images of objective reality that are necessary for us to organize our future behavior and future activities in uncertain situations. And the circle of imagination phenomena is also quite wide.
Conditionally, all these phenomena can be divided into two groups: recreating and creative imagination. As for the first one, the most explored example is a so-called perceptual imagination, most studied on the material of mental rotation. In the 1980s, Roger Shepard and his colleagues conducted famous experiments in which people were shown two three-dimensional figures, turned towards each other, and the person had to determine whether they were the same figures or mirror ones.
It was found that the time for solving this problem was directly proportional to the angle of rotation of the figure. There was an impression that the person actually rotated the figures in order to answer the set tasks, that is, he or she transformed the image in the mind. More complex forms of the recreating imagination are, for example, the construction of an image from its projections or the construction of an image by description, as happens when we read a work of art or get acquainted with instructions on how to go somewhere.
This one is fundamentally distinguished by the absence of a kind of support, that is, the creation of fundamentally new images in a special function. What is important here is that there are actually several functions in the image.
Let us take a simple example: suppose I draw a circle. What is it? I can say whether it is the sun or a plate. In this case, the image appears in its simplest function – the image one. Or I can say that this means a road sign – we often see such a circle on the roads. Here, this meaning has no connection with the specific content of the image. It could be a square or a triangle, but it is agreed that this is a circle. This is a function of the sign.
Or, finally, I can say: this is unity, or it is perfection, or it is integrity, or it is equality that the circle meant for the Knights of the Round Table. And you will either understand, or you will not, and I will have to explain it to you. What is this function? This is an image-symbol. And, in fact, neither an image, nor a sign has relation to the creative imagination, but only an image-symbol. And we can define it as the construction of symbols as ways of representing reality.
Therefore, when we begin to talk about the development of the creative imagination, about the stimulation of creativity, we see that all methods that are developed in modern psychology, and not only in psychology, are the methods of changing, moving away from those meanings that people agreed upon earlier, from those values ââthat we learned during the whole studying, an attempt to see the unsolved problem or situation from some other unexpected side.
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Stimulation of Creativity
Among the methods of stimulation of creativity, these two are, perhaps, the most known: on the one hand, it is the domestic theory of solving inventive problems, on the other hand, the method called synectics.
What are the similarities between them? It is just in that they try to escape from the meanings and come closer to the main function of the creative imagination – to symbolization. How is this done in the theory of solving inventive problems? For example, there is such a very popular method of little men. The inventors who solve the seemingly unsolvable task are invited to imagine many small little men are engaged in this task, who run there and do what they need: they can join hands, they can let go of their hands, they can line up in any way. And it turns out that this allows us to understand the mechanism that, in fact, it is necessary to invent. This proves to be a very good impulse to the solution to the problem.
Synectics – the combination of heterogeneous objects – uses very different analogies with the same purpose. For example, direct analogy (the most common way): we compare what we need to find with something, for example, from the field of nature or from the field of technology. In due time, the way of packing Pringles chips was thought up this way. It was necessary to put chips down as densely as possible. This was compared with the cleaning of wet leaves after the rain – moist foliage is packed much denser than the dry one. Or, supposedly this way, Harvey discovered the principle of the heart, comparing it with a pump.
Finally, the last kind of analogy, very similar to the goldfish from the theory of solving inventive problems, is a fantastic analogy. We imagine that the task has already been solved. For example, we need to attract customers to the store so that they go there. We imagine that the store itself comes to the buyers, and we begin to develop this idea. We come up with, for example, online-shopping or something like that.
However, the most important is that we, firstly, rely on a figurative sphere, and secondly, we try to maximize the ability to build new images. How are they built? This question, it is believed, was most fully answered by the most famous French psychologist Theodule Ribot at the end of the nineteenth century. Later developments somehow repeated it.
He identified two main factors in imagination. The first factor is mental, or intellectual. What do you need to build a fundamentally new image? On the one hand, we need to work with the images we have, to identify a variety of aspects in them. Ribot calls this mechanism ‘dissociation’. The psychology of thinking involves such operations as an area of ââanalysis. We can single out one aspect or another in the image. And what is next? And then we connect them with each other. Just like you put thoughts together when looking for an essay writing service.
The next mechanism is association. For example, we can look at a cloud and say that it looks like an elephant. This is just the connection of the parts never joined previously, that is, the act of creative imagination. But, according to Ribot, this mental factor with its operations of dissociation and association costs nothing without the second factor – the emotional one. In fact, emotions, starting with inspiration that is still not really studied, and ending with experiences, maybe anxiety or joy, is, on the one hand, a necessary condition for imagination, on the other hand – an enzyme for generation of new creative images.
Yes, and the will to creativity, or motivation, is an important condition for the creative act to take place. And in fact, in modern psychology, the main problem, the main area of ââresearch of creative imagination is the study of the motivation of creativity. What moves the artist? What moves the film director? What moves the writer and what stirs his or her imagination? Because everything else, as practice shows, in general, is paperwork. And the very desire for creativity, the desire to build characters that will solve, perhaps, not yet existing future problems – this is the most interesting question.