Colorful Toothed Wheels

Divergent Thinking Hobbies

Divergent thinking and hobbies

Divergent thinking, a cornerstone of creativity and problem-solving, is innate in children but often suppressed in adults due to societal emphasis on convergent thinking. Engaging in hobbies provides a valuable avenue for adults to rekindle and enjoy this form of thinking.

What is divergent thinking and why is it important?

Divergent thinking is cognition that leads in various directions. Some of these are conventional, and some original. Because some of the resulting ideas are original, divergent thinking represents the potential for creative thinking and problem solving.

Divergent Thinking – ScienceDirect

Divergent thinking, a process that generates unique ideas by exploring various possibilities, promotes original thinking by challenging conventional patterns.

Divergent thinking involves thinking out of the box, challenging the status quo, and seeing the world from multiple perspectives.

content placeholder image
Convergent vs. Divergent Thinking | Harvard Professional Development

George Land’s creativity test

In 1968, George Land conducted a research study to test the creativity of 1,600 children. This was the same creativity test he devised for NASA to help select innovative engineers and scientists.

George Land’s Divergent Thinking Experiment found that among 5-year-olds, 98% scored at the “Genius Level” in a divergent thinking test. However, by the time they reached age 10, only 30% scored at the same level, and by age 15, it dropped to 12%. When the test was given to 280,000 adults with an average age of 31, only 2% scored at the “Genius Level” in divergent thinking.

George Land’s findings suggest a decline in divergent thinking abilities as individuals progress through childhood and into adulthood.

content placeholder image
TEDxTucson George Land The Failure Of Success

Considering adulthood often suppresses creative thinking and favors convergent thinking, which seeks a single solution, these findings may not be surprising.

The decline in divergent thinking curbs creativity and limits our capacity for innovative problem-solving. Thinking only convergtnly, it is hard to come up with fresh insights.

Hobbies are a great opportunity to practice divergent thinking

Our adult life is mostly structured and encourages linear, analytical, conventional, and conformal thinking. While, for example, playfulness is a key ingredient in divergent thinking, as adults, we don’t get many opportunities to play. Subliminally, we might even be discouraged from doing so.

In this framework, hobbies can present a rare gateway and a precious opportunity for us to set our divergent thinking free, practice, and enjoy it.

Hobbies can help us rejuvenate our creative minds and develop a richer cognitive landscape. Hobbies serve as a playground for our imagination, encouraging us to generate unique ideas, explore different perspectives, and unleash our full creative potential.

Divergent Thinking Hobbies List

Each hobby page is designed to inspire and help you get started.

Explore all hobbies →