Convergent thinking is a problem solving technique involving the bringing together different ideas from different participants or fields to determine a single best solution to a lucidly defined problem. In other words, this is a kind of thinking that concentrates on finding out the single best or frequently, correct solution to a problem or answer to a question. The credit for coining the term “convergent thinking” goes to Joy Paul Guilford. He came up with the term as an opposite term to “divergent thinking.” The focus for this thinking strategy is speed, logic and accuracy and on identifying the known, reapplying techniques, and amassing stored information. This strategy is best suited for situations characterized by a readily available answer that just has to be worked out or recalled by way of decision-making strategies. A vital facet of convergent thinking is that it culminates in one best answer, meaning there is no chance for ambiguity. You either have a right answer or a wrong one. This type of thinking is also associated with knowledge (one of the key facets of creativity) as it entails using existing knowledge by way of standard procedures.


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Standard IQ tests measure convergent thinking. Logic thought flow, pattern recognition, the capacity to solve problems and testing knowledge can all be evaluated and graded in these tests. Standardized multiple choice questions are also an example of testing convergent thinking. One example of such a question would be:

Who proposed the Theory of Relativity?

a. Rutherford     c. Kepling

b. Einstein          d. Max Planck

The majority of school tasks also call for convergent thinking.


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