Imagination is critical to innovation and learning–but what exactly is it?
Dr. Murray Hunter of the University of Malaysia Perlis discusses the 8 types of imagination we use on a daily basis, with explanations for each.
Dr. Hunter defines imagination as “the ability to form mental images, phonological passages, analogies, or narratives of something that is not perceived through our senses. Imagination is a manifestation of our memory and enables us to scrutinize our past and construct hypothetical future scenarios that do not yet, but could exist. Imagination also gives us the ability to see things from other points of view and empathize with others.”
8 Types of Imagination
1. “Effectuative Imagination combines information together to synergize new concepts and ideas.”
2. “Intellectual (or Constructive) Imagination is utilized when considering and developing hypotheses from different pieces of information or pondering over various issues of meaning say in the areas of philosophy, management, or politics, etc.”
3. “Imaginative Fantasy Imagination creates and develops stories, pictures, poems, stage-plays, and the building of the esoteric, etc.”
4. “Empathy Imagination helps a person know emotionally what others are experiencing from their frame and reference.”
5. “Strategic Imagination is concerned about vision of ‘what could be’, the ability to recognize and evaluate opportunities by turning them into mental scenarios…”
6. “Emotional Imagination is concerned with manifesting emotional dispositions and extending them into emotional scenarios.”
7. “Dreams are an unconscious form of imagination made up of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur during certain stages of sleep.”
8. “Memory Reconstruction is the process of retrieving our memory of people, objects, and events.”
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Requisite Carl Sagan
And no mention of imagination would be complete without Carl Sagan.