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Pivot-Thinking – The Neuroscience of Design

by Michael Stal on Mar 06, 2012 |

The Center of Professional Development at the Stanford University offers a free live seminar on 8th March (9.00 am / PST) addressing the thinking behind design thinking.

According to the invitation,

Mark Schar will explore the latest findings in cognitive science and neuroscience that helps explain the thinking behind design thinking. This includes a concept called "pivot thinking" which is the cognitive ability to reframe a problem or move in a new direction. These concepts, as well as exercises that encourage this behavior, will also be featured part of the Design Masters program in June 2012.

At the website pivotthinking.com more details on pivot thinking is provided. While many investigate the collaborative nature of the design process, only little attention is paid to the “design thinking style” of individual team members. In their recent scientific work, scientists from Stanford University revealed an interesting pattern.

Some respondents called “divergers” prefer questions over facts and have a tendency to shift problem definitions and generate multiple answers. In contrast, “convergers” prefer facts over questions and have a strong desire to solve problems to a single point “best answer”.

While divergers start the design process quickly and solve the problem by

first identifying the least preferred option and late in the process, make their final selection,

convergers start the process

more cautiously and quickly make a final decision.

If there is a difference between “divergers” and “convergers” a mediating behavior would be appropriate which is what the scientists are calling pivot thinking.

More details will be available in the webinar. Interested designers can register at the registration site.

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