lateral thinking

  

Definition

Idea generation and problem solving technique in which new concepts are created by looking at things in novel ways. Whereas the logical ('vertical') thinking carries a chosen idea forward, the sideways ('lateral') thinking provokes fresh ideas or changes the frame of reference. And, while vertical thinking tries to overcome problems by meeting them head-on, lateral thinking tries to bypass them through a radically different approach. The term was coined by the Maltese-born UK psychologist Dr. Edward de Bono in his 1970 book 'Lateral Thinking.' See also heuristics.

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