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Ask Naive Questions To Spark Creativity

Nobody really wants to ask naive or stupid questions, but there may be an upside to it. Creative Something points out that these kinds of questions are often the best way to spark a creative insight into solving problems.

Picture: Alexander Henning Drachmann/Flickr

When you’re stuck on a big problem, it’s easy to pound your head against the wall trying to solve it. However, it might be best to step away for a little while and look at the problem from a different perspective. One way to force this mindset is to ask yourself naive questions. Creative Something offers one example from physicist Paul Davies:

By simply asking questions that he, himself, had about cancer science, Paul was able to invoke creative thinking in countless cancer researchers, doctors, and scientists… Paul’s questions were exactly what the audience needed to hear in order to use their imaginations, look at their work from a different perspective, and start exploring options they hadn’t envisioned before… Asking seemingly naive questions, it turns out, is a remarkable way to spur creative thinking.

The idea is to approach problems from a new angle, and one way to do that is to think like a kid. The same basic idea exists here. Instead of thinking like a kid, ask the same questions a kid might ask. You might just find your answer.

The power of naive questions [Creative Something]