This exercise allows participants to analyze creative thinking through connecting ideas into a "mind map." The mind map was developed by Tony Buzan. It is used to develop solutions to a problem and to stimulate creativity. It can also point out when the problem solvers have fallen into a rut in their thinking.
Start with a large piece of paper. Choose some real life problem to work with. This does not have to be a huge problem, just realistic. It may be one for which you have previously been unable to find a lasting solution. In the center of the paper write the problem. If you have difficulty defining the problem, write a few key words or phrases that describe the problem.
Next, generate as many solutions as possible. Write these around the central problem. Draw a circle around each solution to separate it from the others. When you are done writing solutions, read each one and think about it. Then draw lines from the problem in the center of your page to each idea/solution. Your page should begin to resemble a wheel with spokes. This is an inductive search for solutions. Note any patterns among the solutions. Last, can you connect any of the solutions to form an improved solution to the problem? Write that improved solution if you found one.
Based on the mind mapping you did in this assignment, did you notice any "mental sets" among the ideas you generated to solve the problem? Yes or no? Briefly describe any mental sets you saw. (Examples: solutions borrowed from past problems, solutions that always use the same resource or actions to solve the problem, etc.) How do you think these affected your ability to solve this problem?
Post the results of your mind map exercise to this discussion and include the actual mind map you drew as an attachment to your post. You may wish to scan the piece of paper on which you drew, or you could also recreate your mind map using Microsoft Word or another application and upload that file as an attachment