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Building the Intentional UniversityMinerva and the Future of Higher Education$
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Stephen M. Kosslyn and Ben Nelson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262037150

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262037150.001.0001

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Empirical Analyses and Creative Thinking

Empirical Analyses and Creative Thinking

(p.97) 7 Empirical Analyses and Creative Thinking
Building the Intentional University

Megan Gahl

Vicki Chandler

The MIT Press

Our world is facing unprecedented challenges that will require novel approaches and creative solutions. In our general education course on Empirical Analyses we introduce skills and concepts that cultivate a systematic and creative approach to evidence-based analyses and problem solving. The overarching goal is to instill in students a deep understanding of how evidence is used creatively to generate hypotheses, test hypotheses, draw conclusions, and recognize biases. We lead students to develop creative solutions and designs; we also stress the ability to critically evaluate empirical research. Effective thinkers must think both creatively and critically, generating ideas and options and evaluating them rigorously. Although we draw on examples and questions from the physical, life, and social sciences, the skills and concepts we introduce apply well beyond science to the problems, decisions and challenges of our daily lives.

Keywords:   creative thinking, scientific method, research design, evidence-based decision making, problem solving

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