Academic journal article Creative Nursing

Thinking Styles and Creativity Preferences in Nursing

Academic journal article Creative Nursing

Thinking Styles and Creativity Preferences in Nursing

Article excerpt

This article describes a study using a descriptive approach of cross-sectional correlation to explore the association between thinking styles and creativity in a group of nursing professionals and students. A thinking style is a characteristic way of thinking. The hypothesis was that the most creative subjects would present thinking styles that enhance and express their creativity. De la Torre and Violant (2006) argue that creativity is not only a personal value, insofar as it recognizes and stimulates the transforming potential of the individual, but is also an educational value because it generates abilities and attitudes toward improvement. The study results show that a legislative thinking style encourages innovation and creativity and should be encouraged both during education and training and in the professional domain.

Creativity is frequently thought of as a quality exclusive to some individuals rather than something that is inherent in every human being and that can be developed. As Sternberg and Lubart (1997) points out, this belief is probably rooted in the fact that, for many years, research on creativity focused on exceptionally talented people rather than ordinary people. They argue argues that creativity, like intelligence, is something that everyone has to a greater or lesser extent and thus is not a fixed characteristic but rather a talent that people can develop to different degrees.

Most experts share Sternberg and Lubart's view of creativity. Menchén (2002), Rodríguez (2001), and Amabile (1996) share similar views that creativity is not exclusive to exceptionally gifted people but a universal trait. From this perspective, it is important to study how creativity affects professional activity. This present work wonders about the way in which creativity takes place in professional nursing practice.

This study analyzed thinking styles using Sternberg's (1988) mental self-government theory. A thinking style is a characteristic way of thinking; it is not an ability or aptitude but rather the way a person prefers or tends to use such ability (Sternberg, 1994). Such preferences guide our approach to dealing with problems. They are alternative systems to organize our thinking, and as such, they are a reflection of our minds. Like intelligence, thinking styles are in part socially constructed; there is continuous feedback between the use of a given style and how well it works for a specific task. People whose thinking styles match what is expected of them in specific situations have superior abilities-the key is not the ability itself but rather the suitability of the style to the task at hand. The principles underlying this theory are summarized in Table 1.

The basis of the theory of mental self-government is that people, like societies, have to organize or govern themselves. Thus, the theory addresses the question of how people govern and manage their everyday cognitive activities (Grigorenko & Sternberg, 1997). This approach assumes that different styles of governments are a reflection of the way the human mind works and that these different patterns are used by people to organize their own behavior (Khasawneh, 2011; Richmond, Krank, & Cummings, 2006; Zhang, 2008). Whereas some kinds of governments actively promote creative thinking, others repress it. Similarly, thinking styles can encourage or discourage creativity (López Martínez & Martín Brufau, 2010). The theory of mental self-government describes 13 thinking styles that fall along five dimensions of mental self-government: functions, forms, levels, scopes, and leanings of government as applied to individuals (Sternberg & Zhang, 2009; Zhang, Sternberg, & Rayner, 2012). Sternberg's thinking styles are synthesized in Table 2.

A study was conducted to explore the associations between thinking styles and creativity in a group of nursing professionals and students. The hypothesis was that the more creative subjects would present thinking styles that allowed them to enhance and express their creativity (Almansa, 2007; Almansa & López Martínez, 2010). …

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