Harvard Professor Shares Brain Training Technique To Become Innovative


Innovation is one of the key factors to success. Human brains can be trained to become more innovative but it has a natural aversion to it because it involves uncertainty and risk.

A study by Cornell University found that people desire creative ideas but reject them because of the uncertainty that they bring. The results showed a negative bias toward creativity when the study participants faced uncertainty and this bias interfered with the ability to recognize a creative idea.

Dr. Srini Pillay, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, shared to Business Insider two tips on how people can train their brains to innovate. This can lead to success for students, employees and business owners alike.

Focus on probability

A lot of individuals opt to use known information and past experiences to confirm innovative ideas. This method is safe and logical. However, it does not drive innovation forward. Past experiences and known data points do not necessarily predict the future.

People should shift their mindset away from probability and focus on probability. According to Dr. Pillay, this turns on the brain's navigation capability. This mindset leads to action and test our hypotheses because it makes people believe that it they can find what they are looking for. This allows individuals to analyze each new finding and make minor adjustments as they go along.

#2: Motivate yourself

The mind is such a powerful tool. Individuals should believe that they can achieve success through innovation. Dr. Pillay described this as tinkering one's way to success.

One can converse with one's self in the second person, which works for reducing stress and eliminating creative blocks. This technique is called "self-distancing" and can help people move away from analysis paralysis and make that first step toward creativity.

Innovation should be incorporated into one's day. Making a conscious effort to turn one's attention inward, called positive constructive daydreaming, can help spur creativity.

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