Analogy and Creativity

From: Beck, Alexandra (
Date: Wed May 22 1996 - 22:12:35 BST

What role does analogy play in creative thinking?

Firstly, analogy describes the degree of similarity between one thing
or process and another, which makes it possible to explain something by
compairing it to something else. For example an author draws an analogy
between the way water moves in waves and the way light travels. Thus,
gaining an explanation by comparison.

Secondly, a creation is to bring something into being or form out of
nothing. Ideas which are creative ( novel ) not only DID NOT happen
before, but which COULD NOT happen before hence, not only being new and
valuable, but also unexpected.

Dreams are one example of the role that analogy plays in creative
thinking. In this example iconic representations are often super -
imposed on meaningful aspects of information. Einstein dreamt the
answer to relativity in terms of symbols in dreams. The structure of
Benzine was discovered by a dream, where a coiled, twisted snake was
biting its tail. Also Lorenzo's oil was an analogy creation when a
dream about two identical chains linking at one end created an enzyme
that saved lives of those who needed this special enzyme to servive. A
non scientific example of an analogy is where Geroge Orwell in Animal
Farm compaires human beings to animals and these animals to famous
Russian leaders and in doing so draws comparisoms which explaines the

So analogy does play a big role in creative thinking in drawing
comparisons, which link together to produce new creative ideas.

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