According to Adams, there are 4 general categories of blocks:
- The first are Perceptual Blocks. Perceptual blocks prevent us from properly perceiving the information needed to solve the problem, or in some cases, the problem itself. An example of a perceptual blockmight be an inability to see the problem from alternate viewpoints.
- Emotional blocks mainly stem from fears such as taking risks, failing, feeling lost and chaotic or being judged by others.
- Cultural or environmentalblocks are impediments to creative problem solving that are a result of the sociocultural environment we are in (e.g. taboos or cultural beliefs) or the types of environments we live and work in (e.g. distractions, lack of support and trust from others).
- The final category are Intellectual / Expressive blocks, which includes not having the right information or mental strategies on hand to solve the problem, or shortcomings in recording and expressing ideas for problem-solving.