top of page


This is a database summarising research into Dr.Edward de Bono's ideas and techniques.

If you are aware of other references then please contact us providing details.

Dr. de Bono once wrote that "Proof is a lack of imagination".

The purpose of sharing this academic research is not to prove that his techniques work but to show that his ideas are being tested and investigated by others.

Adaptation of Foreign Students to the Foreign Culture Learning
Environment Using the Six Thinking Hats Method

Stanislavovna & Leopoldovna (2015) The method assists foreign students in being involved in the university learning environment enabling them to use the most of interpersonal activity potential and basic motivation to perceive a foreign culture in the shortest possible time and with minimum losses.

Belski and the Random Word

Belski et. al. (2014) conducted an experiment which compared idea generation for a test group who were shown Random Words  versus a control group who were not. The Random Word group on average generated a greater number of ideas than the control group, and the difference was statistically significant.

Belski et. al. (2015) repeated the experiment and showed that Random Word was more effective than the control situation wtih students in Finland, Russia, Czech Republic and Germany.

Belski et. al. (2019) repeated the 2014 experiment with Italian students. Those students in the Random Word Test group generated statistically significantly more ideas then their counterparts from the Control group.

Coordinating role of six-hat thinking technique in design team
during idea-generation phase of service design

Hu * et al. (2021)  The first study, which is based on the “six thinking hats” model, codes the six hats, conducts naturalistic observation of eight expert designers in an interference-free environment, and analyzes their thinking through protocol analysis. The results indicate a certain degree of correlation between six-hat thinking that spontaneously mobilized by expert designers and designing activity in the idea-generation phase. The expert designers form thinking-hat sets during their team conversation that in a way coordinate the pace of design. A second study is conducted to further analyze the thinking-hat set’s coordinating role, and the results show that the effect of six-hat thinking is related with the timing of its engagement. It has a focusing and guiding effect when adopted in the early stage of design, and an effect on the updating, screening and iterating of the design plan when adopted in the middle stage of design. The conclusions of this study can be applied in service design education as it enriches the applications of six-hat thinking technique and can introduce it to the classroom in a more efficient and targeted manner in future design education, offering a new way to improve the students’ designing creativity.

Dingli literature review 2001

Professor Sandra Dingli compiled this literature review on the research into Dr. de Bono's work in 2001.

Edwards on CoRT

A list of research and conference papers from Professor John Edwards.

Göçmen, Coşkun and the Six Thinking Hats

Göçmen, O., Coşkun H., 2019 "The effects of the six thinking hats and speed on creativity in brainstorming".

This paper reports on two experiments using thinking hats. In one experiment the green hat enhanced the generation of more unique ideas than the yellow hat and red one. The speed instruction appeared to further enhance the number of unique and flexible ideas of participants with the highest number of unique ideas being generated by participants using the green hat. 

The Effect of Six Thinking Hats on Student Success in
Teaching Subjects Related to Sustainable Development
in Geography Classes

Kaya (2013) This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of six thinking hats technique in teaching subjects related to sustainable development in geography classes. The study was in both a quantitative and qualitative form. The quantitative part of the study was designed according to pre-test, post-test control group research model, and in the qualitative part, answers given by students to interview questions were analyzed according to descriptive analysis method. The population of the study consisted of 650 students studying in Gaziantep Araban High School and the sample consisted of 36 students studying at 11th grade in the same school. The results of the study revealed that teaching techniques based on six thinking hats resulted in more positive results compared to other teaching techniques proposed in the curriculum.

Thinking hats and good men: Structured techniques in a
problem construction task.

David Vernon∗, Ian Hocking (2014) - Results showed that both six hats and six men techniques produced greater fluency relative to controls, with a more robust effect for those using the six men. In terms of originality, both techniques proved beneficial relative to controls, with a more robust effect from those using the six hats.

Tidona and CoRT in Sicily

Tidona, G. (2001, 2002) reports on research in a school in Ragusa, Sicily making use of the de Bono CoRT Programme to assess the effects of teaching Thinking Skills to young people. The report describes the process which was used over one school year with 14-year old children and the effects on the experimental group and the control group. Pre- and post-tests were used. The experimental group showed a significant increase in the skills which were assessed by the assigned tests, while the performance of the control group did not improve, even worsened in some respects. The experiment was repeated in 2002 with similar results.

bottom of page