The effects of the six thinking hats and speed on creativity in brainstorming
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Although De Bono's 'six thinking hats' have been suggested to be beneficial for developing creativity in learners, little is known about how these hats are effective in doing so. This paper reports on two experiments using thinking hats. In the first one, the participants were allocated one of the six colors of 'thinking hat's and read an explanation of what focus of frame that hat required. They then were asked, individually, to generate ideas for 12 min in a brainstorming session. Experiment 1 investigated the effectiveness of each hat separately and showed that the participants in the yellow hat outperformed those in the red one in terms of unique or creative ideas in brainstorming. Albeit being not significant, there was a trend for higher performance of participants using the green hat in terms of deep ideas. Experiment 2 was conducted to investigate the characteristics of creativity produced by the green and yellow hat as well that of the red one that produced the lowest performance in Experiment 1. In addition, the effect of speed on idea generation was investigated in Experiment 2. Findings suggested that the green hat enhanced the generation of more unique ideas than the yellow hat and red one. The speed instruction appeared to further enhance the number of unique and flexible ideas of participants with the highest number of unique ideas being generated by participants using the green hat. The implications for the creativity in education are discussed in the light of these new findings.