What is it about?

Have you ever wondered how some people seem to effortlessly come up with unique solutions to challenges? Well, our recent research delves into this fascinating realm of creative problem-solving and introduces a valuable tool called the Metacognition in Creative Problem-Solving (MCPS) scale. But, let's break it down in simpler terms! Creative problem-solving is like solving puzzles, but with a twist—it involves tackling open-ended questions where the path to the answer isn't clear-cut. Think of it as navigating through uncharted territory, setting your own goals, and devising strategies to reach them. It's a skill crucial in both education and the workplace. Now, enter metacognition—your brain's ability to think about thinking. In our previous studies, we discovered that successful problem-solvers aren't just good at finding solutions; they're also adept at planning, monitoring, regulating, and evaluating their problem-solving process. Imagine you're cooking without a recipe: you plan what to cook, keep an eye on the ingredients, adjust if needed, and finally, taste and assess the dish. The MCPS scale is like a measuring tape for your metacognitive abilities in creative problem-solving. It helps you understand how well you plan, monitor, regulate, and evaluate your problem-solving journey. Picture it as a tool that lets you peek into your own problem-solving toolbox and see how effective your strategies are. Why does this matter? Well, being aware of your problem-solving strengths can boost your creativity. Imagine you're faced with a task at work—maybe a project with no clear solution. With the MCPS scale, you can identify your strengths and areas for improvement, making you a more effective problem-solver. So, in a nutshell, our study and the MCPS scale are all about helping you understand and enhance your creative problem-solving skills—whether you're a student tackling assignments or a professional facing real-world challenges. It's like having a secret weapon to unlock your inner creativity!

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Why is it important?

What sets our recent research apart is its focus on a crucial but overlooked aspect of complex problem-solving: metacognition. While many studies explore problem-solving skills, our work hones in on the thinking-about-thinking process—metacognition—specifically in creative scenarios. This is timely and essential because, in today's complex world, creative problem-solving is a sought-after skill in both education and the professional landscape. Our Metacognition in Creative Problem-Solving (MCPS) scale is a unique tool designed to measure these metacognitive skills. Unlike general assessments, the MCPS zooms in on the intricate dance between planning, monitoring, regulating, and evaluating that happens when individuals tackle open-ended, creative challenges. This specialized scale provides a deeper understanding of one's problem-solving approach, making it particularly relevant in the current educational and professional climate where creative thinking is highly valued.


Think about those moments when you're faced with a challenge, and the solution isn't handed to you on a silver platter—that's where the magic of creative problem-solving happens. It's like navigating a maze with no set path, relying on your instincts and ingenuity. What truly excites me about our recent studies is that we've uncovered the secret ingredient behind successful problem solvers—metacognition. It's like having a backstage pass to your own thought process. Imagine being not just good at finding solutions but also skilled at planning your approach, keeping a watchful eye on your progress, making adjustments on the fly, and critically evaluating the outcome. That's the essence of metacognition in creative problem-solving. Now, here comes the game-changer—the Metacognition in Creative Problem-Solving (MCPS) scale. It empowers you to understand your problem-solving strengths and areas where you can fine-tune your approach. In a world where creativity is a prized skill, our work isn't just academic—it's a practical guide for students, professionals, and anyone who loves a good mental challenge. It's about embracing the unknown, understanding how your mind works in those moments of creative brilliance, and elevating your problem-solving game. So, if you've ever felt the thrill of cracking a tough problem or yearned to enhance your creative thinking, our research and the MCPS scale are your go-to companions on this exciting journey of self-discovery and problem-solving mastery.

Dr. Marek Urban
Institute of Psychology, Czech Academy of Sciences

Being creative requires bravely venturing into the unknown with an open and flexible mindset. Our research reveals the metacognitive processes behind generating novel ideas and effectively evaluating them. Understanding these thought processes promises exciting potential for nurturing innovation more widely. Our tool opens insights applicable in diverse settings - be it school lessons, workplace training, or even shaping supportive public policies. Advancing human creativity comes from illuminating the metacognitive strategies that propel ideation.

Dr. Kamila Urban
Institute for Research in Social Communication, Slovak Academy of Sciences

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: How can we measure metacognition in creative problem-solving? Standardization of the MCPS scale, Thinking Skills and Creativity, September 2023, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.tsc.2023.101345.
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