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Bisociation

 

Principles of creativity > Bisociation

Forced Association | The lever of Cognitive Dissonance | See also

 

A very simple principle that is at the heart of much creativity is  Bisociation can be used both as an understanding and even as a stand-alone creativity tool.

Forced association

The simple principle of forced association is of 'banging things together' that have not previously been brought together, or at least not recently. This

Bisociation

'Bisociation', a term coined by Arthur Koestler in his book, 'The Act of Creation', where he discusses the principle of forced association, amongst others. It is a quite a nice term, combining 'bi' for two ideas and 'association'.

A + B = C

A simple 'calculus' of forced association is the equation A + B = C, where A and B are two things being brought together that result in the idea, C.

The lever of Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is the term used by social psychologist Leon Festinger to describe the state of discomfort created when we hold two opposing thoughts in the mind at the same time. In social psychology, this classically happens in such situations when a person who thinks of them as being kind and thoughtful does something like walk past a beggar on the street without giving them anything. They typically react by trying to get away from this discomfort, for example by walking faster or pretending the beggar is not there.

In creative forced association, the act of verbal vandalism in bringing together two words or thoughts that do not go together is enough to shock the subconscious brain into giving you whatever you want, including good ideas, just to get away from the discomfort of holding together words that it does not think should go together.

See also

PSI

 

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