Tag Archives: creativity

The Six Thinking Hats of Edward de Bono


I know what you’re thinking (and not necessarily because I’m wearing a colored hat): this is about six things and not four. But wait, notice how the six thinking styles form three pairs of opposites:

Creative (Green) pairs with Process (Blue)

Positive (Yellow) pairs with Negative (Black)

Facts (White) pairs with Emotion (Read)

Then the three pairs of opposites can be arranged into a tetrahedron, where the opposite edges are the three pairs. A tetrahedron has four vertices and four faces, where each vertex is the opposite of its opposite face.

The vertices are Creative + Positive + Emotion, Creative + Negative + Facts, Process + Positive + Facts, and Process + Negative + Emotion. The faces are Creative + Positive + Facts, Creative + Negative + Emotion, Process + Positive + Emotion, and Process + Negative + Facts.

The first link below lists the same opposites for the Six Hats as I found. And there are also a huge number of links out there devoted to the Six Thinking Hats, so I can’t list or summarize them all, or even a small portion.

Further Reading:




Edward de Bono / Six Thinking Hats

… and many more.



Graham Wallas: The Four Stages of Creativity

sq_creative_stagesGraham Wallas devised a fourfold for stages of creativity:

  • Preparation
  • Incubation
  • Illumination
  • Verification

From the “Art of Thought” description on Amazon:

“The first in time I shall call Preparation, the stage during which the problem was ‘investigated … in all directions’; the second is the stage during which he was not consciously thinking about the problem, which I shall call Incubation; the third, consisting of the appearance of the ‘happy idea’ together with the psychological events which immediately preceded and accompanied that appearance, I shall call Illumination. And I shall add a fourth stage, of Verification …”

Further Reading:

The Art of Thought: A Pioneering 1926 Model of the Four Stages of Creativity







Turning ideas into reality: the four stages of creativity

Graham Wallas / The Art of Thought

Albert Rothenberg, Carl R. Husman, eds. / The Creativity Question

[*9.198, *9.199]


The Four Hats of Creativity


These four livelihoods: artist, designer, scientist, and engineer, make a nice fourfold. They are called the “four hats of creativity” by Rich Gold. They are also called the “four winds of making” by computer scientist Richard P. Gabriel.

Some say the artist and scientist are “inward” looking, and the designer and engineer are “outward” looking. Some say the artist and the designer “move minds”, and the scientist and engineer “move matter”. One can observe that the artist sorts the important from the boring, the scientist separates the true from the false, the designer discerns the cool from the uncool, and the engineer divides the good from the bad.


Rich Gold / The Plenitude: creativity, innovation, and making stuff



Images of Artist Scientist Designer Engineer.