Encyclopedia of Creativity, Invention, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

2013 Edition
| Editors: Elias G. Carayannis

Ideas and Ideation

  • Mark A. RuncoEmail author
  • Garrett Jaeger
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3858-8_431



Ideas are meaningful units of thought. In fact, they represent the most useful unit of thought. There is no way to pinpoint some of the dimensions of ideas since they vary so much (e.g., your idea of “a good time” is probably more complex than your idea of “your favorite color”), but this is in fact part of their utility. They can be defined such that the variation and flexibility are retained. Ideas are smaller than concepts, which are also varied but cover entire categories of thought (e.g., “funny movies”). Ideas can be quite precise. They are the smallest meaningful unit of thought.

Ideas often make themselves known to the individual (in consciousness) in a verbal form, but it would be a huge mistake to see them as always verbal. Ideas occur in all modalities and perhaps in all domains (e.g., music, mathematics). It is typical to think about ideas in some verbal form, but that is just...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GeorgiaAthensUSA