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Creative and Supporting Cognitive Modes

[+] Author Affiliations
Douglass J. Wilde, Sohyeong Kim

Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Paper No. DETC2007-35764, pp. 587-591; 5 pages
  • ASME 2007 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2: 27th Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Parts A and B
  • Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, September 4–7, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4803-5 | eISBN: 0-7918-3806-4
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


The psychiatrist Carl G. Jung has asserted that the “creative impulse” — the drive to solve problems — is almost an instinct on a par with hunger, sex drive, aggression and flight from danger. Unlike the instincts, however, creativity can be extinguished or can atrophy from disuse. Jung’s personality theory identifies eight “cognitive modes” which channel the creative impulse in different directions for various people. A given person’s “creative mode” — the most conscious — can be identified by the four-letter code of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®). Of the remaining seven modes, as many as three “supporting” modes can be found by simple calculation using the four “clarity index” numbers associated with the MBTI® letters. Although these supporting modes are not the “creative” one, they back it up during problem-solving and at Stanford have been found useful for forming, organizing and analyzing student design teams.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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