Creativity

Creativity

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Encyclopedia
Creativity refers to the phenomenon whereby a person creates something new (a product, a solution, a work of art, a novel, a joke, etc.) that has some kind of value. What counts as "new" may be in reference to the individual creator, or to the society or domain within which the novelty occurs. What counts as "valuable" is similarly defined in a variety of ways.

Scholarly interest in creativity ranges widely: Topics to which it is relevant include the relationship between creativity and general intelligence; the mental and neurological processes associated with creative activity; the relationship between personality type and creative ability; the relationship between creativity and mental health; the potential for fostering creativity through education and training, especially as augmented by technology; and the application of an individual's existing creative resources to improve the effectiveness of learning processes and of the teaching processes tailored to them.

Creativity and creative acts are therefore studied across several disciplines - psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

, cognitive science
Cognitive science
Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary scientific study of mind and its processes. It examines what cognition is, what it does and how it works. It includes research on how information is processed , represented, and transformed in behaviour, nervous system or machine...

, education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

, philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 (particularly philosophy of science
Philosophy of science
The philosophy of science is concerned with the assumptions, foundations, methods and implications of science. It is also concerned with the use and merit of science and sometimes overlaps metaphysics and epistemology by exploring whether scientific results are actually a study of truth...

), technology
Technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

, theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

, sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

, linguistics
Linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

, business studies
Business studies
Business studies is an academic subject taught at higher level in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom, as well as at university level in many countries...

, and economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

. As a result, there are a multitude of definitions and approaches.

Etymology


The lexeme
Lexeme
A lexeme is an abstract unit of morphological analysis in linguistics, that roughly corresponds to a set of forms taken by a single word. For example, in the English language, run, runs, ran and running are forms of the same lexeme, conventionally written as RUN...

 in the English word creativity comes from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 term creō "to create, make" and its derivational suffix
Derivation (linguistics)
In linguistics, derivation is the process of forming a new word on the basis of an existing word, e.g. happi-ness and un-happy from happy, or determination from determine...

es also come from Latin. The word "create" appears in English as early as the 14th century, notably in Chaucer (in The Parson's Tale). However, its modern meaning as an act of human creation did not emerge until after the Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

.

Definition


In a summary of scientific research into creativity Michael Mumford suggested: "“Over the course of the last decade, however, we seem to have reached a general agreement that creativity involves the production of novel, useful products” (Mumford, 2003, p. 110). Beyond this general commonality, authors have diverged dramatically in their precise definitions, with Peter Meusburger claiming that over a hundred different versions can be found in the literature.

Aspects of creativity


Theories of creativity (in particular investigating why some people are more creative than others) have focused on a variety of aspects. The most dominant are usually identified as the four "Ps" - process, product, person and place. A focus on process is shown in cognitive approaches that try to describe thought mechanisms and techniques for creative thinking. Theories invoking divergent rather than convergent thinking (such as Guilford), or those describing the staging of the creative process (such as Wallas
Graham Wallas
Graham Wallas was an English socialist, social psychologist, educationalist, a leader of the Fabian Society and a co-founder of the London School of Economics....

) are primarily theories of creative process. A focus on creative product usually appears in attempts to measure creativity in people (psychometrics, see below), or in creative ideas framed as successful memes
Memetics
Memetics is a theory of mental content based on an analogy with Darwinian evolution, originating from Richard Dawkins' 1976 book The Selfish Gene. It purports to be an approach to evolutionary models of cultural information transfer. A meme, analogous to a gene, is essentially a "unit of...

. A focus on the nature of the creative person considers more general intellectual habits, such as openness, levels of ideation, autonomy, expertise, exploratory behaviour and so on. A focus on place considers the best circumstances in which creativity flourishes, including degrees of autonomy, access to resources and the nature of gatekeepers.

Historical and personal creativity


The product of "creativity" has typically been defined in one of two ways: either as something historically new (and relatively rare), such as scientific discoveries or great works of art; or as producing something new in a personal sense - an apparent innovation for the creator, regardless of whether others have made similar innovations, or whether others value the particular act of creation. In the former sense there are writers such as Mihály Csíkszentmihályi
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is a Hungarian psychology professor, who emigrated to the United States at the age of 22. Now at Claremont Graduate University, he is the former head of the department of psychology at the University of Chicago and of the department of sociology and anthropology at Lake...

 have defined creativity in terms of rare individuals who have been judged by others to have made significant creative, often domain-changing contributions (and as such, the level of creativity of an individual can vary over historical time as perceptions change), and Simonton, who has analysed the career trajectories of the creatively eminent in order to map patterns and predictors of creative productivity. In the latter sense, writers such as Ken Robinson, and Anna Craft have focussed on creativity in a general population, particularly with respect to education.

There are a variety of labels for the two sides of this dichotomy. Margaret Boden
Margaret Boden
Dr Margaret A. Boden, OBE, is a combinative researcher in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Psychology, Philosophy, Cognitive and Computer Science...

 distinguishes between h-creativity (historical) and p-creativity (personal). Craft makes a similar distinction between "high" and "little c" creativity. while Craft cites Robinson referring to "high" and "democratic" creativity. Common also is the pairing of terms "Big C" and "Little C".

Kozbelt, Beghetto and Runco, use a little-c/Big-C model to review major theories of creativity This approach was first introduced by James C. Kaufman
James C. Kaufman
James C. Kaufman is a psychologist known for his research on creativity. He is a Professor of Psychology at the California State University, San Bernardino, where he is the director of the Learning Research Institute. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in Cognitive Psychology, where he...

 and Beghetto into a four C model: mini-c (transformative learning), which are "personally meaningful interpretations of experiences, actions and insights"; little-c (everyday problem solving and creative expression); Pro-C, exhibited by people who are professionally or vocationally creative but not eminent, and Big-C, reserved for those who are considered truly great in their field. This was to help distinguish more clearly between the amateur unapprenticed in the particular creative domain (e.g. the visual arts, astrophysics etc.), the professional who was domain-competent, and creative genius. The four-c model was also intended to help accommodate models and theories of creativity that stressed domain-competence as an essential component, and domain transformation as the highest mark of creativity; it also, they argued, made a useful framework for analysing creative processes in individuals.

History of the term and the concept




Ancient views


Most ancient cultures, including thinkers of Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

, Ancient China, and Ancient India
Ancient India
Ancient India may refer to:* The ancient history of India, which generally includes the ancient history of the Asian Subcontinent, including:*Science and technology in ancient India**Indian mathematics**Astronomy**List of Indian inventions...

, lacked the concept of creativity, seeing art as a form of discovery and not creation. The ancient Greeks had no terms corresponding to "to create" or "creator" except for the expression "poiein" ("to make"), which only applied to poiesis (poetry) and to the poietes (poet, or "maker") who made it. Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 did not believe in art as a form of creation. Asked in The Republic, "Will we say, of a painter, that he makes something?", he answers, "Certainly not, he merely imitates
Mimesis
Mimesis , from μιμεῖσθαι , "to imitate," from μῖμος , "imitator, actor") is a critical and philosophical term that carries a wide range of meanings, which include imitation, representation, mimicry, imitatio, receptivity, nonsensuous similarity, the act of resembling, the act of expression, and the...

."

It is commonly argued that the notion of "creativity" originated in Western culture through Christianity, as a matter of divine inspiration
Revelation
In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing, through active or passive communication with a supernatural or a divine entity...

. According to the historian Daniel J. Boorstin
Daniel J. Boorstin
Daniel Joseph Boorstin was an American historian, professor, attorney, and writer. He was appointed twelfth Librarian of the United States Congress from 1975 until 1987.- Biography:...

, "the early Western conception of creativity was the Biblical story of creation given in the Genesis." However, this is not creativity in the modern sense, which did not arise until the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

. In the Judaeo-Christian tradition, creativity was the sole province of God; humans were not considered to have the ability to create something new except as an expression of God's work. A concept similar to that of Christianity existed in Greek culture, for instance, Muses were seen as mediating inspiration from the Gods. Romans and Greeks invoked the concept of an external creative "daemon" (Greek) or "genius
Genius
Genius is something or someone embodying exceptional intellectual ability, creativity, or originality, typically to a degree that is associated with the achievement of unprecedented insight....

" (Latin), linked to the sacred or the divine. However, none of these views are similar to the modern concept of creativity, and the individual was not seen as the cause of creation until the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

. It was during the Renaissance that creativity was first seen, not as a conduit for the divine, but from the abilities of "great men
Great man theory
The Great Man Theory was a popular 19th century idea according to which history can be largely explained by the impact of "great men", or heroes: highly influential individuals who, due to either their personal charisma, intelligence, wisdom, or Machiavellianism utilized their power in a way that...

".

The Enlightenment and after


The rejection of creativity in favor of discovery and the belief that individual creation was a conduit of the divine would dominate the West probably until the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 and even later. The development of the modern concept of creativity begins in the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, when creation began to be perceived as having originated from the abilities of the individual, and not God. However, this shift was gradual and would not become immediately apparent until the Enlightenment. By the 18th century and the Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

, mention of creativity (notably in art theory), linked with the concept of imagination
Imagination
Imagination, also called the faculty of imagining, is the ability of forming mental images, sensations and concepts, in a moment when they are not perceived through sight, hearing or other senses...

, became more frequent. In the writing of Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury , in some older texts Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury, was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy...

, imagination became a key element of human cognition; William Duff
William Duff (writer)
William Duff was a Scottish Presbyterian minister and one of the first writers to analyse the nature of genius as a property of human psychology...

 was one of the first to identify imagination as a quality of genius
Genius
Genius is something or someone embodying exceptional intellectual ability, creativity, or originality, typically to a degree that is associated with the achievement of unprecedented insight....

, typifying the separation being made between talent (productive, but breaking no new ground) and genius.

As a direct and independent topic of study, creativity effectively received no attention until the 19th century. Runco and Albert argue that creativity as the subject of proper study began seriously to emerge in the late 19th century with the increased interest in individual differences inspired by the arrival of Darwinism
Darwinism
Darwinism is a set of movements and concepts related to ideas of transmutation of species or of evolution, including some ideas with no connection to the work of Charles Darwin....

. In particular they refer to the work of Francis Galton
Francis Galton
Sir Francis Galton /ˈfrɑːnsɪs ˈgɔːltn̩/ FRS , cousin of Douglas Strutt Galton, half-cousin of Charles Darwin, was an English Victorian polymath: anthropologist, eugenicist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, psychometrician, and statistician...

, who through his eugenicist
Eugenics
Eugenics is the "applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually referring to human populations. The origins of the concept of eugenics began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance,...

 outlook took a keen interest in the heritability of intelligence,with creativity taken as an aspect of genius.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, leading mathematicians and scientists such as Hermann von Helmholtz
Hermann von Helmholtz
Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz was a German physician and physicist who made significant contributions to several widely varied areas of modern science...

 (1896) and Henri Poincaré
Henri Poincaré
Jules Henri Poincaré was a French mathematician, theoretical physicist, engineer, and a philosopher of science...

 (1908) began to reflect on and publicly discuss their creative processes.

Twentieth century to the present day


The insights of Poincaré and von Helmholtz were built on in early accounts of the creative process by pioneering theorists such as Graham Wallas
Graham Wallas
Graham Wallas was an English socialist, social psychologist, educationalist, a leader of the Fabian Society and a co-founder of the London School of Economics....

 and Max Wertheimer
Max Wertheimer
- External links :* * * * *...

. In his work Art of Thought, published in 1926, Wallas presented one of the first models of the creative process. In the Wallas stage model, creative insights and illuminations may be explained by a process consisting of 5 stages: preparation (preparatory work on a problem that focuses the individual's mind on the problem and explores the problem's dimensions), incubation (where the problem is internalized into the unconscious mind and nothing appears externally to be happening), intimation (the creative person gets a "feeling" that a solution is on its way), illumination or insight (where the creative idea bursts forth from its preconscious
Preconscious
In Freudian psychoanalysis, the word preconscious is applied to thoughts which are unconscious at the particular moment in question, but which are not repressed and are therefore available for recall and easily capable of becoming conscious....

 processing into conscious awareness); and verification (where the idea is consciously verified, elaborated, and then applied).
Wallas' model is often treated as four stages, with "intimation" seen as a sub-stage.

Wallas considered creativity to be a legacy of the evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

ary process, which allowed humans to quickly adapt to rapidly changing environments. Simonton provides an updated perspective on this view in his book, Origins of genius: Darwinian perspectives on creativity.

In 1927, Alfred North Whitehead
Alfred North Whitehead
Alfred North Whitehead, OM FRS was an English mathematician who became a philosopher. He wrote on algebra, logic, foundations of mathematics, philosophy of science, physics, metaphysics, and education...

 gave the Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh, later published as Process and Reality. He is credited with having coined the term "creativity" to serve as the ultimate category of his metaphysical scheme: "Whitehead actually coined the term – our term, still the preferred currency of exchange among literature, science, and the arts. . . a term that quickly became so popular, so omnipresent, that its invention within living memory, and by Alfred North Whitehead of all people, quickly became occluded”.

The formal psychometric measurement of creativity, from the standpoint of orthodox psychological literature, is usually considered to have begun with J. P. Guilford
J. P. Guilford
Joy Paul Guilford was a US psychologist, best remembered for his psychometric study of human intelligence, including the important distinction between convergent and divergent production....

's 1950 address to the American Psychological Association
American Psychological Association
The American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional organization of psychologists in the United States. It is the world's largest association of psychologists with around 154,000 members including scientists, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. The APA...

, which helped popularize the topic and focus attention on a scientific approach to conceptualizing creativity. (It should be noted that the London School of Psychology had instigated psychometric studies of creativity as early as 1927 with the work of H. L. Hargreaves into the Faculty of Imagination, but it did not have the same impact.) Statistical analysis led to the recognition of creativity(as measured) as a separate aspect of human cognition to IQ-type intelligence, into which it had previously been subsumed. Guilford's work suggested that above a threshold level of IQ, the relationship between creativity and classically measured intelligence broke down.

Creative Process


There has been much empirical study in psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

 and cognitive science
Cognitive science
Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary scientific study of mind and its processes. It examines what cognition is, what it does and how it works. It includes research on how information is processed , represented, and transformed in behaviour, nervous system or machine...

 of the processes through which creativity occurs.

Incubation


Incubation is a temprorary break from creative problem solving that can result in insight. There has been some empirical research looking at whether, as the concept of "incubation" in Wallas' model implies, a period of interruption or rest from a problem may aid creative problem-solving. Ward lists various hypotheses that have been advanced to explain why incubation may aid creative problem-solving, and notes how some empirical evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that incubation aids creative problem-solving in that it enables "forgetting" of misleading clues. Absence of incubation may lead the problem solver to become fixated
Fixation (psychology)
Fixation: 'concept originated by Sigmund Freud to denote the persistence of anachronistic sexual traits'. Subsequently '"Fixation" acquired a broader connotation...

 on inappropriate strategies of solving the problem. This work disputes the earlier hypothesis that creative solutions to problems arise mysteriously from the unconscious mind while the conscious mind is occupied on other tasks.

Convergent and Divergent thinking


J. P. Guilford
J. P. Guilford
Joy Paul Guilford was a US psychologist, best remembered for his psychometric study of human intelligence, including the important distinction between convergent and divergent production....

 performed important work in the field of creativity, drawing a distinction between convergent and divergent production
Convergent and divergent production
Convergent and divergent production are the two types of human response to a set problem that were identified by J.P. Guilford .Guilford observed that most individuals display a preference for either convergent or divergent thinking. Others observe that most people prefer a convergent closure...

 (commonly renamed convergent and divergent thinking). Convergent thinking involves aiming for a single, correct solution to a problem, whereas divergent thinking involves creative generation of multiple answers to a set problem. Divergent thinking is sometimes used as a synonym for creativity in psychology literature. Other researchers have occasionally used the terms flexible thinking or fluid intelligence
Fluid and crystallized intelligence
In psychology, fluid and crystallized intelligence are factors of general intelligence originally identified by Raymond Cattell...

, which are roughly similar to (but not synonymous with) creativity.

Creative Cognition Approach


In 1992, Finke et al. proposed the "Geneplore" model, in which creativity takes place in two phases: a generative phase, where an individual constructs mental representations called preinventive structures, and an exploratory phase where those structures are used to come up with creative ideas. Some evidence shows that when people use their imagination to develop new ideas, those ideas are heavily structured in predictable ways by the properties of existing categories and concepts. Weisberg argued, by contrast, that creativity only involves ordinary cognitive processes yielding extraordinary results.

The Explicit-Implicit Interaction (EII) theory


Helie and Sun recently proposed a unified framework for understanding creativity in problem solving
Creative problem solving
Creative problem solving is the mental process of creating a solution to a problem. It is a special form of problem solving in which the solution is independently created rather than learned with assistance.Creative problem solving always involves creativity....

, namely the Explicit-Implicit Interaction (EII) theory of creativity. This new theory constitutes an attempt at providing a more unified explanation of relevant phenomena (in part by reinterpreting/integrating various fragmentary existing theories of incubation
Incubation (psychology)
Incubation is one of the 4 proposed stages of creativity: preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification. Incubation is defined as a process of unconscious recombination of thought elements that were stimulated through conscious work at one point in time, resulting in novel ideas at some...

 and insight
Insight
Insight is the understanding of a specific cause and effect in a specific context. Insight can be used with several related meanings:*a piece of information...

). The EII theory relies mainly on five basic principles, namely 1) The co-existence of and the difference between explicit and implicit knowledge; 2) The simultaneous involvement of implicit and explicit processes in most tasks; 3) The redundant representation of explicit and implicit knowledge; 4) The integration of the results of explicit and implicit processing; and 5) The iterative (and possibly bidirectional) processing. A computational implementation of the theory was developed based on the CLARION cognitive architecture
CLARION (cognitive architecture)
Connectionist Learning with Adaptive Rule Induction ON-line is a cognitive architecture that incorporates the distinction between implicit and explicit processes and focuses on capturing the interaction between these two types of processes. By focusing on this distinction, CLARION has been used to...

 and used to simulate relevant human data. This work represents an initial step in the development of process-based theories of creativity encompassing incubation, insight, and various other related phenomena.

Conceptual blending



In The Act of Creation
The Act of Creation
The Act of Creation is a 1964 book by Arthur Koestler. It is a study of the processes of discovery, invention, imagination and creativity in humor, science, and the arts...

, Arthur Koestler
Arthur Koestler
Arthur Koestler CBE was a Hungarian author and journalist. Koestler was born in Budapest and, apart from his early school years, was educated in Austria...

 introduced the concept of bisociation—that creativity arises as a result of the intersection of two quite different frames of reference. This idea was later developed into conceptual blending. In the '90s, various approaches in cognitive science that dealt with metaphor
Metaphor
A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea; e.g., "Her eyes were glistening jewels." Metaphor may also be used for any rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via...

, analogy
Analogy
Analogy is a cognitive process of transferring information or meaning from a particular subject to another particular subject , and a linguistic expression corresponding to such a process...

 and structure mapping have been converging, and a new integrative approach to the study of creativity in science, art and humor has emerged under the label conceptual blending
Conceptual blending
Conceptual Blending is a general theory of cognition. According to this theory, elements and vital relations from diverse scenarios are "blended" in a subconscious process known as Conceptual Blending, which is assumed to be ubiquitous to everyday thought and language...

.

Honing Theory


Honing theory posits that creativity arises due to the self-organizing, self-mending nature of a worldview, and that it is by way of the creative process the individual hones (and re-hones) an integrated worldview. Honing theory places equal emphasis on the externally visible creative outcome and the internal cognitive restructuring brought about by the creative process. Indeed one factor that distinguishes it from other theories of creativity is that it focuses on not just restructuring as it pertains to the conception of the task, but as it pertains to the worldview as a whole. When faced with a creatively demanding task, there is an interaction between the conception of the task and the worldview. The conception of the task changes through interaction with the worldview, and the worldview changes through interaction with the task. This interaction is reiterated until the task is complete, at which point not only is the task conceived of differently, but the worldview is subtly or drastically transformed. Thus another distinguishing feature of honing theory is that the creative process reflects the natural tendency of a worldview to attempt to resolve dissonance and seek internal consistency amongst its components, whether they be ideas, attitudes, or bits of knowledge; it mends itself as does a body when it has been injured.

Yet another central, distinguishing feature of honing theory is the notion of a potentiality state . Honing theory posits that creative thought proceeds not by searching through and randomly ‘mutating’ predefined possibilities, but by drawing upon associations that exist due to overlap in the distributed neural cell assemblies that participate in the encoding of experiences in memory. Midway through the creative process one may have made associations between the current task and previous experiences, but not yet disambiguated which aspects of those previous experiences are relevant to the current task. Thus the creative idea may feel ‘half-baked’. It is at that point that it can be said to be in a potentiality state, because how it will actualize depends on the different internally- or externally-generated contexts it interacts with.

Honing theory can account for many phenomena that are not readily explained by other theories of creativity. For example, creativity was commonly thought to be fostered by a supportive, nurturing, trustworthy environment conducive to self-actualization. However, research shows that creativity is actually associated with childhood adversity, which would stimulate honing. Honing theory also makes several predictions that differ from what would be predicted by other theories. For example, empirical support has been obtained using analogy problem solving experiments for the proposal that midway through the creative process one's mind is in a potentiality state. Other experiments show that different works by the same creator exhibit a recognizable style or 'voice', and that this same recognizable quality even comes through in different creative outlets. This is not predicted by theories of creativity that emphasize chance processes or the accumulation of expertise, but it is predicted by honing theory, according to which personal style reflects the creator's uniquely structured worldview. This theory has been developed by Liane Gabora
Liane Gabora
Liane Gabora is a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia - Okanagan. She is best known for her theory of the "Origin of the modern mind through conceptual closure." This built on her earlier work on "Autocatalytic closure in a cognitive system: A tentative scenario for the...

.

Creativity and everyday imaginative thought


In everyday thought, people often spontaneously imagine alternatives to reality when they think "if only...". Their counterfactual thinking
Counterfactual thinking
Counterfactual thinking is a term of psychology that describes the tendency people have to imagine alternatives to reality. Humans are predisposed to think about how things could have turned out differently if only..., and also to imagine what if?....

 is viewed as an example of everyday creative processes. It has been proposed that the creation of counterfactual alternatives to reality depends on similar cognitive processes to rational thought.

Creativity quotient


Several attempts have been made to develop a creativity quotient of an individual similar to the intelligence quotient
Intelligence quotient
An intelligence quotient, or IQ, is a score derived from one of several different standardized tests designed to assess intelligence. When modern IQ tests are constructed, the mean score within an age group is set to 100 and the standard deviation to 15...

 (IQ), however these have been unsuccessful.

Psychometric approach


J. P. Guilford
J. P. Guilford
Joy Paul Guilford was a US psychologist, best remembered for his psychometric study of human intelligence, including the important distinction between convergent and divergent production....

's group, which pioneered the modern psychometric study of creativity, constructed several tests to measure creativity in 1967:
  • Plot Titles, where participants are given the plot of a story and asked to write original titles.
  • Quick Responses is a word-association test scored for uncommonness.
  • Figure Concepts, where participants were given simple drawings of objects and individuals and asked to find qualities or features that are common by two or more drawings; these were scored for uncommonness.
  • Unusual Uses is finding unusual uses for common everyday objects such as bricks.
  • Remote Associations, where participants are asked to find a word between two given words (e.g. Hand _____ Call)
  • Remote Consequences, where participants are asked to generate a list of consequences of unexpected events (e.g. loss of gravity)


Building on Guilford's work, Torrance
Ellis Paul Torrance
Ellis Paul Torrance was an American psychologist from Milledgeville, Georgia.After completing his undergraduate degree at Mercer University, he went on to complete a Master's degree at the University of Minnesota, and then a doctorate from the University of Michigan...

 developed the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking in 1966. They involved simple tests of divergent thinking and other problem-solving skills, which were scored on:
  • Fluency – The total number of interpretable, meaningful and relevant ideas generated in response to the stimulus.
  • Originality – The statistical rarity of the responses among the test subjects.
  • Elaboration – The amount of detail in the responses.


The Creativity Achievement Questionnaire, a self-report test that measures creative achievement across 10 domains, was described in 2005 and shown to be reliable and valid when compared to other measures of creativity and to independent evaluation of creative output.

Such tests, sometimes called Divergent Thinking (DT) tests have been both supported and criticized.

Social-personality approach


Some researchers have taken a social-personality approach to the measurement of creativity. In these studies, personality traits such as independence of judgement, self-confidence, attraction to complexity, aesthetic orientation and risk-taking are used as measures of the creativity of individuals. Other researchers have related creativity to the trait
Big Five personality traits
In contemporary psychology, the "Big Five" factors of personality are five broad domains or dimensions of personality which are used to describe human personality....

, openness to experience.

As the research into the relationship between personality traits and creativity continues to grow, a more complete picture has developed. Within the framework of the Big Five
Big Five personality traits
In contemporary psychology, the "Big Five" factors of personality are five broad domains or dimensions of personality which are used to describe human personality....

 model of personality some consistent traits have emerged. Openness to experience has been shown to be consistently related to a whole host of different assessments of creativity. Among the other Big Five traits, research has demonstrated subtle differences between different domains of creativity. A meta-analysis
Meta-analysis
In statistics, a meta-analysis combines the results of several studies that address a set of related research hypotheses. In its simplest form, this is normally by identification of a common measure of effect size, for which a weighted average might be the output of a meta-analyses. Here the...

 by Gregory Feist showed that artists tend to have higher levels of neuroticism
Neuroticism
Neuroticism is a fundamental personality trait in the study of psychology. It is an enduring tendency to experience negative emotional states. Individuals who score high on neuroticism are more likely than the average to experience such feelings as anxiety, anger, guilt, and depressed mood...

 and introversion, while scientists are more conscientious.

Other approaches to measurement


Howard Gruber
Howard Gruber
Howard E. Gruber, , an American psychologist, was a pioneer of the psychological study of creativity. Howard E. Gruber earned his Ph.D. from Cornell University and went on to a distinguished academic career. He worked with Jean Piaget in Geneva and later co-founded the Institute for Cognitive...

 insisted on a case-study approach that expresses the existential and unique quality of the creator. Creativity to Gruber was the product of purposeful work and this work could be described only as a confluence of forces in the specifics of the case.

Creativity and intelligence


There has been debate in the psychological literature about whether intelligence
Intelligence
Intelligence has been defined in different ways, including the abilities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning, planning, emotional intelligence and problem solving....

 and creativity are part of the same process (the conjoint hypothesis) or represent distinct mental processes (the disjoint hypothesis). Evidence from attempts to look at correlations between intelligence and creativity from the 1950s onwards, by authors such as Barron, Guilford or Wallach and Kogan, regularly suggested that correlations between these concepts were low enough to justify treating them as distinct concepts.

Some researchers believe that creativity is the outcome of the same cognitive processes as intelligence, and is only judged as creativity in terms of its consequences, i.e. when the outcome of cognitive processes happens to produce something novel, a view which Perkins has termed the "nothing special" hypothesis.

An often cited model is what has come to be known as "the threshold hypothesis," proposed by Ellis Paul Torrance
Ellis Paul Torrance
Ellis Paul Torrance was an American psychologist from Milledgeville, Georgia.After completing his undergraduate degree at Mercer University, he went on to complete a Master's degree at the University of Minnesota, and then a doctorate from the University of Michigan...

, which holds that a high degree of intelligence appears to be a necessary but not sufficient condition
Necessary and sufficient conditions
In logic, the words necessity and sufficiency refer to the implicational relationships between statements. The assertion that one statement is a necessary and sufficient condition of another means that the former statement is true if and only if the latter is true.-Definitions:A necessary condition...

 for high creativity. That is, while there is a positive correlation
Correlation
In statistics, dependence refers to any statistical relationship between two random variables or two sets of data. Correlation refers to any of a broad class of statistical relationships involving dependence....

 between creativity and intelligence, this correlation disappears for IQs above a threshold of around 120. Such a model has found acceptance by many researchers, although it has not gone unchallenged. A study in 1962 by Getzels and Jackson among high school students concluded that high IQ and high creativity tend to be mutually exclusive
Mutually exclusive
In layman's terms, two events are mutually exclusive if they cannot occur at the same time. An example is tossing a coin once, which can result in either heads or tails, but not both....

 with a majority of the highest scoring students being either highly creative or highly intelligent, but not both. While this explains the threshold, the exact interaction between creativity and IQ remains unexplained. A 2005 meta-Analysis
Meta-analysis
In statistics, a meta-analysis combines the results of several studies that address a set of related research hypotheses. In its simplest form, this is normally by identification of a common measure of effect size, for which a weighted average might be the output of a meta-analyses. Here the...

 found only small correlations between IQ and creativity tests and did not support the threshold theory.

An alternative perspective, Renzulli's three-rings hypothesis, sees giftedness as based on both intelligence and creativity. More on both the threshold hypothesis and Renzulli's work can be found in O'Hara and Sternberg.

Another view is that creativity may be particularly related to fluid intelligence.

Neurobiology of creativity


The neurobiology of creativity has been addressed in the article "Creative Innovation: Possible Brain Mechanisms." The authors write that "creative innovation might require coactivation and communication between regions of the brain that ordinarily are not strongly connected." Highly creative people who excel at creative innovation tend to differ from others in three ways:
  • they have a high level of specialized knowledge,
  • they are capable of divergent thinking
    Convergent and divergent production
    Convergent and divergent production are the two types of human response to a set problem that were identified by J.P. Guilford .Guilford observed that most individuals display a preference for either convergent or divergent thinking. Others observe that most people prefer a convergent closure...

     mediated by the frontal lobe
    Frontal lobe
    The frontal lobe is an area in the brain of humans and other mammals, located at the front of each cerebral hemisphere and positioned anterior to the parietal lobe and superior and anterior to the temporal lobes...

    .
  • and they are able to modulate neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine
    Norepinephrine
    Norepinephrine is the US name for noradrenaline , a catecholamine with multiple roles including as a hormone and a neurotransmitter...

     in their frontal lobe.


Thus, the frontal lobe appears to be the part of the cortex
Cerebral cortex
The cerebral cortex is a sheet of neural tissue that is outermost to the cerebrum of the mammalian brain. It plays a key role in memory, attention, perceptual awareness, thought, language, and consciousness. It is constituted of up to six horizontal layers, each of which has a different...

 that is most important for creativity.

This article also explored the links between creativity and sleep, mood
Mood disorder
Mood disorder is the term designating a group of diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders classification system where a disturbance in the person's mood is hypothesized to be the main underlying feature...

 and addiction disorders
Substance dependence
The section about substance dependence in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not use the word addiction at all. It explains:...

, and depression
Depression (mood)
Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behaviour, feelings and physical well-being. Depressed people may feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, or restless...

.

In 2005, Alice Flaherty presented a three-factor model of the creative drive. Drawing from evidence in brain imaging, drug studies and lesion analysis, she described the creative drive as resulting from an interaction of the frontal lobes, the temporal lobe
Temporal lobe
The temporal lobe is a region of the cerebral cortex that is located beneath the Sylvian fissure on both cerebral hemispheres of the mammalian brain....

s, and dopamine
Dopamine
Dopamine is a catecholamine neurotransmitter present in a wide variety of animals, including both vertebrates and invertebrates. In the brain, this substituted phenethylamine functions as a neurotransmitter, activating the five known types of dopamine receptors—D1, D2, D3, D4, and D5—and their...

 from the limbic system
Limbic system
The limbic system is a set of brain structures including the hippocampus, amygdala, anterior thalamic nuclei, septum, limbic cortex and fornix, which seemingly support a variety of functions including emotion, behavior, long term memory, and olfaction. The term "limbic" comes from the Latin...

. The frontal lobes can be seen as responsible for idea generation, and the temporal lobes for idea editing and evaluation. Abnormalities in the frontal lobe (such as depression or anxiety) generally decrease creativity, while abnormalities in the temporal lobe often increase creativity. High activity in the temporal lobe typically inhibits activity in the frontal lobe, and vice versa. High dopamine levels increase general arousal
Arousal
Arousal is a physiological and psychological state of being awake or reactive to stimuli. It involves the activation of the reticular activating system in the brain stem, the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system, leading to increased heart rate and blood pressure and a condition of...

 and goal directed behaviors and reduce latent inhibition
Latent inhibition
Latent inhibition is a technical term used in Classical conditioning. A stimulus that has not had any significance in the past takes longer to acquire meaning than a new stimulus...

, and all three effects increase the drive to generate ideas.

Working memory and the cerebellum


Vandervert described how the brain's frontal lobes and the cognitive functions of the cerebellum
Cerebellum
The cerebellum is a region of the brain that plays an important role in motor control. It may also be involved in some cognitive functions such as attention and language, and in regulating fear and pleasure responses, but its movement-related functions are the most solidly established...

 collaborate to produce creativity and innovation. Vandervert's explanation rests on considerable evidence that all processes of working memory
Working memory
Working memory has been defined as the system which actively holds information in the mind to do verbal and nonverbal tasks such as reasoning and comprehension, and to make it available for further information processing...

 (responsible for processing all thought) are adaptively modeled by the cerebellum. The cerebellum (consisting of 100 billion neurons, which is more than the entirety of the rest of the brain) is also widely known to adaptively model all bodily movement. The cerebellum's adaptive models of working memory processing are then fed back to especially frontal lobe working memory control processes where creative and innovative thoughts arise. (Apparently, creative insight or the "aha" experience is then triggered in the temporal lobe.)

According to Vandervert, the details of creative adaptation begin in "forward" cerebellar models which are anticipatory/exploratory controls for movement and thought. These cerebellar processing and control architectures have been termed Hierarchical Modular Selection and Identification for Control (HMOSAIC). New, hierarchically arranged levels of the cerebellar control architecture (HMOSAIC) develop as mental mulling in working memory is extended over time. These new levels of the control architecture are fed forward to the frontal lobes. Since the cerebellum adaptively models all movement and all levels of thought and emotion, Vandervert's approach helps explain creativity and innovation in sports, art, music, the design of video games, technology, mathematics, the child prodigy
Child prodigy
A child prodigy is someone who, at an early age, masters one or more skills far beyond his or her level of maturity. One criterion for classifying prodigies is: a prodigy is a child, typically younger than 18 years old, who is performing at the level of a highly trained adult in a very demanding...

, and thought in general.

REM sleep


Creativity involves the forming of associative elements into new combinations that are useful or meet some requirement. Sleep aids this process. REM rather than NREM sleep appears to be responsible. This has been suggested to be due to changes in cholinergic
Cholinergic
The word choline generally refers to the various quaternary ammonium salts containing the N,N,N-trimethylethanolammonium cation. Found in most animal tissues, choline is a primary component of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and functions with inositol as a basic constituent of lecithin...

 and noradrenergic neuromodulation that occurs during REM sleep. During this period of sleep, high levels of acetylcholine in the hippocampus
Hippocampus
The hippocampus is a major component of the brains of humans and other vertebrates. It belongs to the limbic system and plays important roles in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory and spatial navigation. Humans and other mammals have two hippocampi, one in...

 suppress feedback from the hippocampus to the neocortex
Neocortex
The neocortex , also called the neopallium and isocortex , is a part of the brain of mammals. It is the outer layer of the cerebral hemispheres, and made up of six layers, labelled I to VI...

, and lower levels of acetylcholine and norepinephrine in the neocortex encourage the spread of associational activity within neocortical areas without control from the hippocampus. This is in contrast to waking consciousness, where higher levels of norepinephrine and acetylcholine inhibit recurrent connections in the neocortex. It is proposed that REM sleep would add creativity by allowing "neocortical structures to reorganize associative hierarchies, in which information from the hippocampus would be reinterpreted in relation to previous semantic representations or nodes."

Creativity and affect


Some theories suggest that creativity may be particularly susceptible to affective influence.

Creativity and positive affect relations


According to Alice Isen, positive affect has three primary effects on cognitive activity:
  1. Positive affect makes additional cognitive material available for processing, increasing the number of cognitive elements available for association;
  2. Positive affect leads to defocused attention and a more complex cognitive context, increasing the breadth of those elements that are treated as relevant to the problem;
  3. Positive affect increases cognitive flexibility, increasing the probability that diverse cognitive elements will in fact become associated. Together, these processes lead positive affect to have a positive influence on creativity.


Barbara Fredrickson
Barbara Fredrickson
Barbara L. Fredrickson is a professor in the department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is the Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology....

 in her broaden-and-build model
Broaden-and-build
The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions suggests that positive emotions broaden one's awareness and encourage novel, varied, and exploratory thoughts and actions. Over time, this broadened behavioral repertoire builds skills and resources...

 suggests that positive emotions such as joy and love broaden a person's available repertoire of cognitions and actions, thus enhancing creativity.

According to these researchers, positive emotions increase the number of cognitive elements available for association (attention scope) and the number of elements that are relevant to the problem (cognitive scope).

Various meta-analyses, such as Matthijs et al. (2008) of 66 studies about creativity and affect support the link between creativity and positive affect

Creativity and negative affect relations


On the other hand, some theorists have suggested that negative affect leads to greater creativity. A cornerstone of this perspective is empirical evidence of a relationship between affective illness and creativity. In a study of 1,005 prominent 20th century individuals from over 45 different professions, the University of Kentucky's Arnold Ludwig found a slight but significant correlation between depression and level of creative achievement. In addition, several systematic studies of highly creative individuals and their relatives have uncovered a higher incidence of affective disorders (primarily bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder or bipolar affective disorder, historically known as manic–depressive disorder, is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated energy levels, cognition, and mood with or without one or...

 and depression) than that found in the general population.

Creativity and affect at work


Three patterns may exist between affect and creativity at work: positive (or negative) mood, or change in mood, predictably precedes creativity; creativity predictably precedes mood; and whether affect and creativity occur simultaneously.

It was found that not only might affect precede creativity, but creative outcomes might provoke affect as well. At its simplest level, the experience of creativity is itself a work event, and like other events in the organizational context, it could evoke emotion. Qualitative research and anecdotal accounts of creative achievement in the arts and sciences suggest that creative insight is often followed by feelings of elation. For example, Albert Einstein called his 1907 general theory of relativity "the happiest thought of my life." Empirical evidence on this matter is still very tentative.

In contrast to the possible incubation
Incubation (psychology)
Incubation is one of the 4 proposed stages of creativity: preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification. Incubation is defined as a process of unconscious recombination of thought elements that were stimulated through conscious work at one point in time, resulting in novel ideas at some...

 effects of affective state on subsequent creativity, the affective consequences of creativity are likely to be more direct and immediate. In general, affective events provoke immediate and relatively-fleeting emotional reactions. Thus, if creative performance at work is an affective event for the individual doing the creative work, such an effect would likely be evident only in same-day data.

Another longitudinal research found several insights regarding the relations between creativity and emotion at work. Firstly, evidence shows a positive correlation between positive affect and creativity. The more positive a person's affect on a given day, the more creative thinking they evidenced that day and the next day—even controlling for that next day's mood. There was even some evidence of an effect two days later.

In addition, the researchers found no evidence that people were more creative when they experienced both positive and negative affect on the same day. The weight of evidence supports a purely linear form of the affect-creativity relationship, at least over the range of affect and creativity covered in our study: the more positive a person's affect, the higher their creativity in a work setting.

Finally, they found four patterns of affect and creativity affect can operate as an antecedent to creativity; as a direct consequence of creativity; as an indirect consequence of creativity; and affect can occur simultaneously with creative activity. Thus, it appears that people's feelings and creative cognitions are interwoven in several distinct ways within the complex fabric of their daily work lives.

Creativity and mental health



A study by psychologist J. Philippe Rushton
J. Philippe Rushton
Jean Philippe Rushton is a Canadian psychology professor at the University of Western Ontario who is most widely known for his work on racial group differences, such as research on race and intelligence, race and crime, and the application of r/K selection theory to humans in his book Race,...

 found creativity to correlate with intelligence and psychoticism
Psychoticism
Psychoticism is one of the three traits used by the psychologist Hans Eysenck in his P-E-N model model of personality. Psychoticism refers to a personality pattern typified by aggressiveness and interpersonal hostility.High levels of this trait were believed by Eysenck to be linked to increased...

. Another study found creativity to be greater in schizotypal than in either normal or schizophrenic individuals. While divergent thinking was associated with bilateral activation of the prefrontal cortex
Prefrontal cortex
The prefrontal cortex is the anterior part of the frontal lobes of the brain, lying in front of the motor and premotor areas.This brain region has been implicated in planning complex cognitive behaviors, personality expression, decision making and moderating correct social behavior...

, schizotypal individuals were found to have much greater activation of their right prefrontal cortex. This study hypothesizes that such individuals are better at accessing both hemispheres, allowing them to make novel associations at a faster rate. In agreement with this hypothesis, ambidexterity
Ambidexterity
Ambidexterity is the state of being equally adept in the use of both left and right appendages . It is one of the most famous varieties of cross-dominance. People that are naturally ambidextrous are rare, with only one out of one hundred people being naturally ambidextrous...

 is also associated with schizotypal and schizophrenic individuals. Three recent studies by Mark Batey and Adrian Furnham have demonstrated the relationships between schizotypal and hypomanic personality and several different measures of creativity.

Particularly strong links have been identified between creativity and mood disorder
Mood disorder
Mood disorder is the term designating a group of diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders classification system where a disturbance in the person's mood is hypothesized to be the main underlying feature...

s, particularly manic-depressive disorder (a.k.a. bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder or bipolar affective disorder, historically known as manic–depressive disorder, is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated energy levels, cognition, and mood with or without one or...

) and depressive disorder (a.k.a. unipolar disorder). In Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament, Kay Redfield Jamison
Kay Redfield Jamison
Kay Redfield Jamison is an American clinical psychologist and writer whose work has centered on bipolar disorder which she has suffered from since her early adulthood...

 summarizes studies of mood-disorder rates in writers, poets and artists. She also explores research that identifies mood disorder
Mood disorder
Mood disorder is the term designating a group of diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders classification system where a disturbance in the person's mood is hypothesized to be the main underlying feature...

s in such famous writers and artists as Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

 (who shot himself after electroconvulsive treatment), Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf
Adeline Virginia Woolf was an English author, essayist, publisher, and writer of short stories, regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century....

 (who drowned herself when she felt a depressive episode coming on), composer Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann, sometimes known as Robert Alexander Schumann, was a German composer, aesthete and influential music critic. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most representative composers of the Romantic era....

 (who died in a mental institution), and even the famed visual artist Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

.

A study looking at 300,000 persons with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or unipolar depression, and their relatives, found overrepresentation in creative professions for those with bipolar disorder as well as for undiagnosed siblings of those with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. There was no overall overrepresenation, but overrepresentation for artistic occupations, among those diagnosed with schizophrenia. There was no association for those with unipolar depression or their relatives.

Creativity in various contexts



Creativity has been studied from a variety of perspectives and is important in numerous contexts. Most of these approaches are undisciplinary, and it is therefore difficult to form a coherent overall view. The following sections examine some of the areas in which creativity is seen as being important.

Creativity Profiles


Creativity comes in different forms. A number of different theorists have suggested models of the creative person. One model suggests that there are kinds to produce growth, innovation, speed, etc. These are referred to as the four "Creativity Profiles" that can help achieve such goals. Incubate (Long-term Development) Imagine (Breakthrough Ideas) Improve (Incremental Adjustments) Invest (Short-term Goals)

Research by Dr Mark Batey of the Psychometrics at Work Research Group at Manchester Business School
Manchester Business School
Manchester Business School is the largest department of the University of Manchester in Manchester, England. According to Bloomberg Business Week's ranking of the world's best business schools the MBS MBA is ranked third in the world...

 has suggested that the creative profile can be explained by four primary creativity traits with narrow facets within each
(i) "Idea Generation" (Fluency, Originality, Incubation and Illumination)
(ii) "Personality" (Curiosity and Tolerance for Ambiguity)
(iii) "Motivation" (Intrinsic, Extrinsic and Achievement)
(iv) "Confidence" (Producing, Sharing and Implementing)


This model was developed in a sample of 1000 working adults using the statistical techniques of Exploratory Factor Analysis followed by Confirmatory Factor Analysis by Structural Equation Modelling.

An important aspect of the creativity profiling approach is to account for the tension between predicting the creative profile of an individual, as characterised by the psychometric approach, and the evidence that team creativity is founded on diversity and difference.

Creativity in diverse cultures


Francois Jullien in "Process and Creation, 1989" invites us to look at that concept from a Chinese cultural point of view. Fangqi Xu has reported creativity courses in a range of countries. Todd Lubart has studied extensively the cultural aspects of creativity and innovation.

Creativity in art and literature



Most people associate creativity with the fields of art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

 and literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

. In these fields, originality is considered to be a sufficient condition for creativity, unlike other fields where both originality and appropriateness are necessary.

Within the different modes of artistic expression, one can postulate a continuum extending from "interpretation
Interpretation (logic)
An interpretation is an assignment of meaning to the symbols of a formal language. Many formal languages used in mathematics, logic, and theoretical computer science are defined in solely syntactic terms, and as such do not have any meaning until they are given some interpretation...

" to "innovation". Established artistic movements and genre
Genre
Genre , Greek: genos, γένος) is the term for any category of literature or other forms of art or culture, e.g. music, and in general, any type of discourse, whether written or spoken, audial or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria. Genres are formed by conventions that change over time...

s pull practitioners to the "interpretation" end of the scale, whereas original thinkers strive towards the "innovation" pole. Note that we conventionally expect some "creative" people (dancers, actors, orchestral members, etc.) to perform (interpret) while allowing others (writers, painters, composers, etc.) more freedom to express the new and the different.

Contrast alternative theories, for example:
  • artistic inspiration
    Artistic inspiration
    Inspiration refers to an unconscious burst of creativity in a literary, musical, or other artistic endeavour. Literally, the word means "breathed upon," and it has its origins in both Hellenism and Hebraism. The Greeks believed that inspiration came from the muses, as well as the gods Apollo and...

    , which provides the transmission of visions
    Vision (religion)
    In spirituality, a vision is something seen in a dream, trance, or ecstasy, especially a supernatural appearance that conveys a revelation.Visions generally have more clarity than dreams, but traditionally fewer psychological connotations...

     from divine sources such as the Muse
    Muse
    The Muses in Greek mythology, poetry, and literature, are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. They were considered the source of the knowledge, related orally for centuries in the ancient culture, that was contained in poetic lyrics and myths...

    s; a taste of the Divine. Compare with invention
    Invention
    An invention is a novel composition, device, or process. An invention may be derived from a pre-existing model or idea, or it could be independently conceived, in which case it may be a radical breakthrough. In addition, there is cultural invention, which is an innovative set of useful social...

    .
  • artistic evolution
    Evolution
    Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

    , which stresses obeying established ("classical") rules and imitating or appropriating
    Appropriation (art)
    Appropriation is a fundamental aspect in the history of the arts . Appropriation can be understood as "the use of borrowed elements in the creation of a new work."...

     to produce subtly different but unshockingly understandable work. Compare with crafts.
  • artistic conversation, as in Surrealism
    Surrealism
    Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members....

    , which stresses the depth of communication when the creative product is the language.


In the art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

 practice and theory
Theory
The English word theory was derived from a technical term in Ancient Greek philosophy. The word theoria, , meant "a looking at, viewing, beholding", and referring to contemplation or speculation, as opposed to action...

 of Davor Dzalto
Davor Džalto
Davor Džalto is an artist and art historian born in Travnik, Bosnia and Herzegovina on May 17, 1980.He graduated from the High School of Art in Niš. His academic career started in Belgrade where he received an M.A. degree from the University of Belgrade Faculty of Philosophy in History of Art...

, human creativity is taken as a basic feature of both the personal existence
Existence
In common usage, existence is the world we are aware of through our senses, and that persists independently without them. In academic philosophy the word has a more specialized meaning, being contrasted with essence, which specifies different forms of existence as well as different identity...

 of human being and art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

 production. For this thinker, creativity is a basic cultural and anthropological category, since it enables human manifestation in the world as a "real presence" in contrast to the progressive "virtualization" of the world.

Psychological examples from science and mathematics


Jacques Hadamard
Jacques Hadamard
Jacques Salomon Hadamard FRS was a French mathematician who made major contributions in number theory, complex function theory, differential geometry and partial differential equations.-Biography:...

, in his book Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field, uses introspection
Introspection
Introspection is the self-observation and reporting of conscious inner thoughts, desires and sensations. It is a conscious and purposive process relying on thinking, reasoning, and examining one's own thoughts, feelings, and, in more spiritual cases, one's soul...

 to describe mathematical thought processes. In contrast to authors who identify language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

 and cognition
Cognition
In science, cognition refers to mental processes. These processes include attention, remembering, producing and understanding language, solving problems, and making decisions. Cognition is studied in various disciplines such as psychology, philosophy, linguistics, and computer science...

, he describes his own mathematical thinking as largely wordless, often accompanied by mental images that represent the entire solution to a problem. He surveyed 100 of the leading physicists of his day (ca. 1900), asking them how they did their work. Many of the responses mirrored his own.

Hadamard described the experiences of the mathematician
Mathematician
A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study is the field of mathematics. Mathematicians are concerned with quantity, structure, space, and change....

s/theoretical physicists Carl Friedrich Gauss
Carl Friedrich Gauss
Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss was a German mathematician and scientist who contributed significantly to many fields, including number theory, statistics, analysis, differential geometry, geodesy, geophysics, electrostatics, astronomy and optics.Sometimes referred to as the Princeps mathematicorum...

, Hermann von Helmholtz
Hermann von Helmholtz
Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz was a German physician and physicist who made significant contributions to several widely varied areas of modern science...

, Henri Poincaré
Henri Poincaré
Jules Henri Poincaré was a French mathematician, theoretical physicist, engineer, and a philosopher of science...

 and others as viewing entire solutions with "sudden spontaneity."

The same has been reported in literature by many others, such as Denis Brian, G. H. Hardy
G. H. Hardy
Godfrey Harold “G. H.” Hardy FRS was a prominent English mathematician, known for his achievements in number theory and mathematical analysis....

, Walter Heitler
Walter Heitler
Walter Heinrich Heitler was a German physicist who made contributions to quantum electrodynamics and quantum field theory...

, B. L. van der Waerden
Bartel Leendert van der Waerden
Bartel Leendert van der Waerden was a Dutch mathematician and historian of mathematics....

, and Harold Ruegg.

To elaborate on one example, Einstein
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history...

, after years of fruitless calculations, suddenly had the solution to the general theory of relativity revealed in a dream "like a giant die making an indelible impress, a huge map of the universe outlined itself in one clear vision."

Hadamard described the process as having steps (i) preparation, (ii) incubation, (iv) illumination, and (v) verification of the five-step Graham Wallas
Graham Wallas
Graham Wallas was an English socialist, social psychologist, educationalist, a leader of the Fabian Society and a co-founder of the London School of Economics....

 creative-process model, leaving out (iii) intimation, with the first three cited by Hadamard as also having been put forth by Helmholtz:

Marie-Louise von Franz
Marie-Louise von Franz
Marie-Louise von Franz was a Swiss Jungian psychologist and scholar.-Early life and education:Von Franz was born in Munich, Germany, the daughter of an Austrian baron. In Switzerland, she was known by a pet form of her Christian name, Marlus.-Career:Von Franz worked with Carl Jung, whom she met in...

, a colleague of the eminent psychiatrist Carl Jung
Carl Jung
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and the founder of Analytical Psychology. Jung is considered the first modern psychiatrist to view the human psyche as "by nature religious" and make it the focus of exploration. Jung is one of the best known researchers in the field of dream analysis and...

, noted that in these unconscious scientific discoveries the "always recurring and important factor ... is the simultaneity with which the complete solution is intuitively perceived and which can be checked later by discursive reasoning." She attributes the solution presented "as an archetypal pattern or image." As cited by von Franz, according to Jung, "Archetypes ... manifest themselves only through their ability to organize images and ideas, and this is always an unconscious process which cannot be detected until afterwards."

Creative industries and services


Today, creativity forms the core activity of a growing section of the global economy
World economy
The world economy, or global economy, generally refers to the economy, which is based on economies of all of the world's countries, national economies. Also global economy can be seen as the economy of global society and national economies – as economies of local societies, making the global one....

—the so-called "creative industries
Creative industries
The creative industries refers to a range of economic activities which are concerned with the generation or exploitation of knowledge and information...

"—capitalistically generating (generally non-tangible) wealth
Wealth
Wealth is the abundance of valuable resources or material possessions. The word wealth is derived from the old English wela, which is from an Indo-European word stem...

 through the creation and exploitation
Exploitation
This article discusses the term exploitation in the meaning of using something in an unjust or cruel manner.- As unjust benefit :In political economy, economics, and sociology, exploitation involves a persistent social relationship in which certain persons are being mistreated or unfairly used for...

 of intellectual property
Intellectual property
Intellectual property is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law...

 or through the provision of creative services
Creative services
Creative services are a subsector of the creative industries, a part of the economy that creates wealth by offering creativity for hire to other businesses. Creative Services also means a department within a company that does creative work such as writing, designing, and production. It is often a...

. The Creative Industries Mapping Document 2001 provides an overview of the creative industries in the UK. The creative professional
Creative professional
A is a person who is employed for the extraction of skills in creative endeavors. Creative professions include writing, art, design, theater, television, radio, motion pictures, related crafts, as well as marketing, strategy, scientific research and development, product development, engineering,...

 workforce is becoming a more integral part of industrialized nations' economies.

Creative professions include writing, art, design, theater, television, radio, motion pictures, related crafts, as well as marketing, strategy, some aspects of scientific research and development, product development, some types of teaching and curriculum design, and more. Since many creative professionals (actors and writers, for example) are also employed in secondary professions, estimates of creative professionals are often inaccurate. By some estimates, approximately 10 million US workers are creative professionals; depending upon the depth and breadth of the definition, this estimate may be double.

Creativity in other professions



Creativity is also seen as being increasingly important in a variety of other professions. Architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

 and industrial design
Industrial design
Industrial design is the use of a combination of applied art and applied science to improve the aesthetics, ergonomics, and usability of a product, but it may also be used to improve the product's marketability and production...

 are the fields most often associated with creativity, and more generally the fields of design
Design
Design as a noun informally refers to a plan or convention for the construction of an object or a system while “to design” refers to making this plan...

 and design research
Design research
Design research investigates the process of designing in all its many fields. It is thus related to Design methods in general or for particular disciplines. A primary interpretation of design research is that it is concerned with undertaking research into the design process. Secondary...

. These fields explicitly value creativity, and journals such as Design Studies have published many studies on creativity and creative problem solving.

Fields such as science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 and engineering
Engineering
Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize improvements to the lives of...

 have, by contrast, experienced a less explicit (but arguably no less important) relation to creativity. Simonton shows how some of the major scientific advances of the 20th century can be attributed to the creativity of individuals. This ability will also be seen as increasingly important for engineers in years to come.

Accounting has also been associated with creativity with the popular euphemism creative accounting
Creative accounting
Creative accounting and earnings management are euphemisms referring to accounting practices that may follow the letter of the rules of standard accounting practices, but certainly deviate from the spirit of those rules...

. Although this term often implies unethical practices, Amabile has suggested that even this profession can benefit from the (ethical) application of creative thinking.

In a recent global survey of approximately 1600 CEO's, the leadership trait that was considered to be most crucial for success was creativity. This suggests that the world of business is beginning to accept that creativity is of value in a diversity of industries, rather than being simply the preserve of the creative industries
Creative industries
The creative industries refers to a range of economic activities which are concerned with the generation or exploitation of knowledge and information...

.

Creativity in organizations


It has been the topic of various research studies to establish that organizational effectiveness depends on the creativity of the workforce to a large extent. For any given organization, measures of effectiveness vary, depending upon its mission, environmental context, nature of work, the product or service it produces, and customer demands. Thus, the first step in evaluating organizational effectiveness is to understand the organization itself - how it functions, how it is structured, and what it emphasizes.

Amabile argued that to enhance creativity in business, three components were needed:
  • Expertise (technical, procedural and intellectual knowledge),
  • Creative thinking skills (how flexibly and imaginatively people approach problems),
  • and Motivation (especially intrinsic motivation).


There are two types of motivation:
  • extrinsic motivation – external factors, for example threat
    Threat
    Threat of force in public international law is a situation between states described by British lawyer Ian Brownlie as:The 1969 Vienna convention on the Law of Treaties notes in its preamble that both the threat and the use of force are prohibited...

    s of being fired or money as a reward,
  • intrinsic motivation – comes from inside an individual, satisfaction, enjoyment of work etc.


Six managerial practices to encourage motivation are:
  • Challenge – matching people with the right assignments;
  • Freedom – giving people autonomy
    Autonomy
    Autonomy is a concept found in moral, political and bioethical philosophy. Within these contexts, it is the capacity of a rational individual to make an informed, un-coerced decision...

     choosing means to achieve goals;
  • Resource
    Resource
    A resource is a source or supply from which benefit is produced, typically of limited availability.Resource may also refer to:* Resource , substances or objects required by a biological organism for normal maintenance, growth, and reproduction...

    s – such as time, money, space etc. There must be balance fit among resources and people;
  • Work group features – diverse
    Diverse
    Diverse is an American rapper. An underground hip-hop artist, he has received critical acclaim "from knowledgeable heads worldwide".-Career:...

    , supportive teams, where members share the excitement, willingness to help and recognize each other's talents;
  • Supervisor
    Supervisor
    A supervisor, foreperson, team leader, overseer, cell coach, facilitator, or area coordinator is a manager in a position of trust in business...

    y encouragement – recognitions, cheering, praising;
  • Organizational support – value emphasis, information sharing, collaboration
    Collaboration
    Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals, — for example, an intriguing endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing...

    .


Nonaka, who examined several successful Japanese companies, similarly saw creativity and knowledge creation as being important to the success of organizations. In particular, he emphasized the role that tacit knowledge
Tacit knowledge
Tacit knowledge is knowledge that is difficult to transfer to another person by means of writing it down or verbalising it. For example, stating to someone that London is in the United Kingdom is a piece of explicit knowledge that can be written down, transmitted, and understood by a recipient...

 has to play in the creative process.

In business, originality
Originality
Originality is the aspect of created or invented works by as being new or novel, and thus can be distinguished from reproductions, clones, forgeries, or derivative works....

 is not enough. The idea must also be appropriate—useful and actionable. Creative competitive intelligence is a new solution to solve this problem. It links creativity to innovation
Innovation
Innovation is the creation of better or more effective products, processes, technologies, or ideas that are accepted by markets, governments, and society...

 process and competitive intelligence
Competitive intelligence
A broad definition of competitive intelligence is the action of defining, gathering, analyzing, and distributing intelligence about products, customers, competitors and any aspect of the environment needed to support executives and managers in making strategic decisions for an organization.Key...

 to creative workers.

Economic views of creativity


Economic approaches to creativity have focussed on three aspects - the impact of creativity on economic growth, methods of modelling markets for creativity, and the maximisation of economic creativity (innovation).

In the early 20th century, Joseph Schumpeter
Joseph Schumpeter
Joseph Alois Schumpeter was an Austrian-Hungarian-American economist and political scientist. He popularized the term "creative destruction" in economics.-Life:...

 introduced the economic theory of creative destruction
Creative destruction
Creative destruction is a term originally derived from Marxist economic theory which refers to the linked processes of the accumulation and annihilation of wealth under capitalism. These processes were first described in The Communist Manifesto and were expanded in Marx's Grundrisse and "Volume...

, to describe the way in which old ways of doing things are endogenously destroyed and replaced by the new. Some economists (such as Paul Romer
Paul Romer
Paul Michael Romer is an American economist, entrepreneur, and activist. He is currently the Henry Kaufman Visiting Professor at New York University Stern School of Business and will be joining NYU as a full time professor beginning in 2011...

) view creativity as an important element in the recombination of elements to produce new technologies and products and, consequently, economic growth. Creativity leads to capital
Capital (economics)
In economics, capital, capital goods, or real capital refers to already-produced durable goods used in production of goods or services. The capital goods are not significantly consumed, though they may depreciate in the production process...

, and creative products are protected by intellectual property
Intellectual property
Intellectual property is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law...

 laws.

Mark A. Runco and Daniel Rubenson have tried to describe a "psychoeconomic" model of creativity. In such a model, creativity is the product of endowments and active investments in creativity; the costs and benefits of bringing creative activity to market determine the supply of creativity. Such an approach has been criticised for its view of creativity consumption as always having positive utility
Utility
In economics, utility is a measure of customer satisfaction, referring to the total satisfaction received by a consumer from consuming a good or service....

, and for the way it analyses the value of future innovations.

The creative class
Creative class
The Creative Class is a socioeconomic class that economist and social scientist Richard Florida, a professor and head of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, identifies as a key driving force for economic development of post-industrial...

is seen by some to be an important driver of modern economies. In his 2002 book, The Rise of the Creative Class, economist
Economist
An economist is a professional in the social science discipline of economics. The individual may also study, develop, and apply theories and concepts from economics and write about economic policy...

 Richard Florida
Richard Florida
Richard Florida is an American urban studies theorist.Richard Florida's focus is on social and economic theory. He is currently a professor and head of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management, at the University of Toronto. He also heads a private consulting firm, the...

 popularized the notion that regions with "3 T's of economic development: Technology, Talent and Tolerance" also have high concentrations of creative professional
Creative professional
A is a person who is employed for the extraction of skills in creative endeavors. Creative professions include writing, art, design, theater, television, radio, motion pictures, related crafts, as well as marketing, strategy, scientific research and development, product development, engineering,...

s and tend to have a higher level of economic development.

The creative industries in Europe - including the audiovisual sector - make a significant contribution to the EU economy, creating about 3% of EU GDP - corresponding to an annual market value of €500 billion - and employing about 6 million people. In addition, the sector plays a crucial role in fostering innovation, in particular for devices and networks. The EU records the second highest TV viewing figures globally, producing more films than any other region in the world. In that respect, the newly proposed 'Creative Europe' programme will help preserve cultural heritage while increasing the circulation of creative works inside and outside the EU. The programme will play a consequential role in stimulating cross border co-operation, promoting peer learning and making these sectors more professional. The Commission will then propose a financial instrument run by the European Investment Bank to provide debt and equity finance for cultural and creative industries. The role of the non-state actors within the governance regarding Medias will not be neglected anymore due to a holistic approach .

Fostering creativity



Daniel Pink, in his 2005 book A Whole New Mind, repeating arguments posed throughout the 20th century, argues that we are entering a new age where creativity is becoming increasingly important. In this conceptual age, we will need to foster and encourage right-directed thinking (representing creativity and emotion) over left-directed thinking (representing logical, analytical thought). However, this simplification of 'right' versus 'left' brain thinking is not supported by the research data.

Nickerson provides a summary of the various creativity techniques that have been proposed. These include approaches that have been developed by both academia and industry:
  1. Establishing purpose and intention
  2. Building basic skills
  3. Encouraging acquisitions of domain-specific knowledge
  4. Stimulating and rewarding curiosity and exploration
  5. Building motivation, especially internal motivation
  6. Encouraging confidence and a willingness to take risks
  7. Focusing on mastery and self-competition
  8. Promoting supportable beliefs about creativity
  9. Providing opportunities for choice and discovery
  10. Developing self-management (metacognitive skills)
  11. Teaching techniques and strategies for facilitating creative performance
  12. Providing balance


Some see the conventional system of schooling
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 as "stifling" of creativity and attempt (particularly in the pre-school/kindergarten
Kindergarten
A kindergarten is a preschool educational institution for children. The term was created by Friedrich Fröbel for the play and activity institute that he created in 1837 in Bad Blankenburg as a social experience for children for their transition from home to school...

 and early school years) to provide a creativity-friendly, rich, imagination-fostering environment for young children. Researchers have seen this as important because technology is advancing our society at an unprecedented rate and creative problem solving will be needed to cope with these challenges as they arise. In addition to helping with problem solving, creativity can also helps students identify problems where others have failed to do so. See the Waldorf School as an example of an education program that promotes creative thought.

Promoting intrinsic motivation and problem solving are two areas where educators can foster creativity in students. Students are more creative when they see a task as intrinsically motivating, valued for its own sake. To promote creative thinking educators need to identify what motivates their students and structure teaching around it. Providing students with a choice of activities to complete allows them to become more intrinsically motivated and therefore creative in completing the tasks.

Teaching students to solve problems that do not have well defined answers is another way to foster their creativity. This is accomplished by allowing students to explore problems and redefine them, possibly drawing on knowledge that at first may seem unrelated to the problem in order to solve it.

Several different researchers have proposed methods of increasing the creativity of an individual. Such ideas range from the psychological-cognitive, such as Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving Process
Creative Problem Solving Process
The Creative Problem Solving Process , also known as the Osborn-Parnes CPS process, was developed by Alex Osborn and Dr. Sidney J. Parnes in the 1950s. CPS is a structured method for generating novel and useful solutions to problems...

, Synectics
Synectics
Synectics is a problem solving methodology that stimulates thought processes of which the subject may be unaware. This method was developed by George M. Prince and William J.J. Gordon, originating in the Arthur D. Little Invention Design Unit in the 1950s. They set up Synectics Inc...

, Science-based creative thinking, Purdue Creative Thinking Program, and Edward de Bono
Edward de Bono
Edward de Bono is a physician, author, inventor, and consultant. He originated the term lateral thinking, wrote a best selling book Six Thinking Hats and is a proponent of the deliberate teaching of thinking as a subject in schools.- Biography :Edward Charles Francis Publius de Bono was born to...

's lateral thinking
Lateral thinking
Lateral thinking is solving problems through an indirect and creative approach, using reasoning that is not immediately obvious and involving ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic...

; to the highly-structured, such as TRIZ
TRIZ
TRIZ is "a problem-solving, analysis and forecasting tool derived from the study of patterns of invention in the global patent literature". It was developed by the Soviet inventor and science fiction author Genrich Altshuller and his colleagues, beginning in 1946...

 (the Theory of Inventive Problem-Solving) and its variant Algorithm of Inventive Problem Solving (developed by the Russian scientist Genrich Altshuller
Genrich Altshuller
Genrikh Saulovich Altshuller , was a Soviet engineer, inventor, scientist, journalist and writer. He is most notable for the creation of the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving, better known by its Russia acronym TRIZ...

), and Computer-Aided Morphological analysis.

Understanding and enhancing the creative process with new technologies


A simple but accurate review on this new Human-Computer Interactions (HCI) angle for promoting creativity has been written by Todd Lubart, an invitation full of creative ideas to develop further this new field.

Groupware and other Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW) platforms are now the stage of Network Creativity on the web or on other private networks. These tools have made more obvious the existence of a more connective, cooperative and collective nature of creativity rather than the prevailing individual one. Creativity Research on Global Virtual Teams is showing that the creative process is affected by the national identities, cognitive and conative profiles, anonymous interactions at times and many other factors affecting the teams members, depending on the early or later stages of the cooperative creative process. They are also showing how NGO's cross-cultural virtual team's innovation in Africa would also benefit from the pooling of best global practices online. Such tools enhancing cooperative creativity may have a great impact on society and as such should be tested while they are built following the Motto: "Build the Camera while shooting the film". Some European FP7 scientific programs like Paradiso are answering a need for advanced experimentally-driven research including large scale experimentation test-beds to discover the technical, societal and economic implications of such groupware and collaborative tools to the Internet.

On the other hand, creativity research may one day be pooled with a computable metalanguage like IEML from the University of Ottawa Collective Intelligence Chair, Pierre Levy. It might be a good tool to provide an interdisciplinary definition and a rather unified theory of creativity. The creative processes being highly fuzzy, the programming of cooperative tools for creativity and innovation should be adaptive and flexible. Empirical Modelling seems to be a good choice for Humanities Computing.

If all the activity of the universe could be traced with appropriate captors, it is likely that one could see the creative nature of the universe to which humans are active contributors. After the web of documents, the Web of Things might shed some light on such a universal creative phenomenon which should not be restricted to humans. In order to trace and enhance cooperative and collective creativity, Metis Reflexive Global Virtual Team has worked for the last few years on the development of a Trace Composer at the intersection of personal experience and social knowledge.

Metis Reflexive Team has also identified a paradigm for the study of creativity to bridge European theory of "useless" and non-instrumentalized creativity, North American more pragmatic creativity and Chinese culture stressing more creativity as a holistic process of continuity rather than radical change and originality. This paradigm is mostly based on the work of the German philosopher Hans Joas, one that emphasizes the creative character of human action. This model allows also for a more comprehensive theory of action. Joas elaborates some implications of his model for theories of social movements and social change. The connection between concepts like creation, innovation, production and expression is facilitated by the creativity of action as a metaphore but also as a scientific concept.

The Creativity and Cognition conference series, sponsored by the ACM and running since 1993, has been an important venue for publishing research on the intersection between technology and creativity. The conference now runs biennially, next taking place in 2011.

Social attitudes to creativity


Although the benefits of creativity to society as a whole have been noted, social attitudes about this topic remain divided. The wealth of literature regarding the development of creativity and the profusion of creativity techniques
Creativity techniques
Creativity techniques are methods that encourage creative actions, whether in the arts or sciences. They focus on a variety of aspects of creativity, including techniques for idea generation and divergent thinking, methods of re-framing problems, changes in the affective environment and so on. They...

 indicate wide acceptance, at least among academics, that creativity is desirable.

There is, however, a dark side to creativity, in that it represents a "quest for a radical autonomy apart from the constraints of social responsibility". In other words, by encouraging creativity we are encouraging a departure from society's existing norms and values. Expectation of conformity runs contrary to the spirit of creativity. Sir Ken Robinson argues that the current education system is "educating people out of their creativity".

Nevertheless, employers are increasingly valuing creative skills. A report by the Business Council of Australia, for example, has called for a higher level of creativity in graduates. The ability to "think outside the box" is highly sought after. However, the above-mentioned paradox may well imply that firms pay lip service to thinking outside the box while maintaining traditional, hierarchical organization structures in which individual creativity is not rewarded.

See also


  • Brainstorming
    Brainstorming
    Brainstorming is a group creativity technique by which a group tries to find a solution for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its members...

  • E-scape
    E-scape
    E-scape is a project run by the Technology Education Research Unit at Goldsmiths University of London, England that developed an approach to the authentic assessment of creativity and collaboration based on open-ended but structured activities...

    , a technology and approach that looks specifically at the assessment of creativity and collaboration.
  • Innovation
    Innovation
    Innovation is the creation of better or more effective products, processes, technologies, or ideas that are accepted by markets, governments, and society...

  • Invention
    Invention
    An invention is a novel composition, device, or process. An invention may be derived from a pre-existing model or idea, or it could be independently conceived, in which case it may be a radical breakthrough. In addition, there is cultural invention, which is an innovative set of useful social...

     (such as "artistic invention" in the Visual Arts
    Visual arts
    The visual arts are art forms that create works which are primarily visual in nature, such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, and often modern visual arts and architecture...

    )
  • Musical improvisation
    Musical improvisation
    Musical improvisation is the creative activity of immediate musical composition, which combines performance with communication of emotions and instrumental technique as well as spontaneous response to other musicians...

  • Music therapy
    Music therapy
    Music therapy is an allied health profession and one of the expressive therapies, consisting of an interpersonal process in which a trained music therapist uses music and all of its facets—physical, emotional, mental, social, aesthetic, and spiritual—to help clients to improve or maintain their...

  • The heroic theory of invention and scientific development
  • Greatness
    Greatness
    Since the publication of Francis Galton’s Hereditary Genius in 1869, and especially with the accelerated development of intelligence tests in the early 1900s, there has been a vast amount of social scientific research published relative to the question of ‘greatness’...

  • Creative Culture
    Creative Culture
    Creative Culture is a term used to indicate an environment that can be established in many places, in culture, society or workplace where creative ideas...

  • Why Man Creates
    Why Man Creates
    Why Man Creates is a 1968 animated short documentary film which discusses the nature of creativity. It was written by Saul Bass and Mayo Simon, and directed by Saul and Elaine Bass.The movie won the Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject...

    (film)
  • Confabulation (neural networks)
    Confabulation (neural networks)
    A confabulation, also known as a false, degraded, or corrupted memory, is a stable pattern of activation in a neural network or neural assembly that does not correspond to any previously learned patterns...

  • Learned industriousness
    Learned industriousness
    Learned industriousness is a behaviorally rooted theory developed by Robert Eisenberger to explain the differences in general work effort among people of equivalent ability. According to Eisenberger, individuals who are reinforced for exerting high effort on a task are also secondarily reinforced...