Use Counterfactual Thinking For A Creativity Boost

Use Counterfactual Thinking For A Creativity Boost
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You always want creativity to come naturally, but you need to give it a push sometimes. Thoughts and ideas blog 99U suggests that counterfactual thinking can help give you a boost when you need it.

Counterfactual thinking, also known as asking, “What might have been?” has been shown to increase creativity for short periods of time. To experiment with this technique, take events that have already happened and re-imagine different outcomes, alternating between the subtractive mindset (taking elements out of the event) and the additive mindset (adding elements into the event).

A silly example of counterfactual thinking in action can be seen on The Big Bang Theory, when one of the main characters makes a game of the phenomenon, asking his roommate: “In a world where Rhinoceroses are domesticated pets, who wins the Second World War?” You, however, can apply it to more realistic scenarios, such as mapping out outcomes whenever you are doing creative problem solving, subtracting or adding “what if” elements that would have affected the outcome.

When you get stuck with a creative block, try asking yourself what might be. When you’re forced to think of an answer, the uninhibited outcome may produce the creative ideas you need. For six more tips, check out the full post over the at 99u.

7 Ways to Boost Your Creativity [The 99u]


  • …otherwise known as possimism. Remaining positive and optimistic while retaining a sensible hold on what also could/’ve gone wrong.

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