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A summary of "Creativity" by Dean Keith Simonton in Handbook of Positive Psychology.

Julie Hyatt

on 19 March 2012

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Transcript of Creativity

Divine Creativity Roman Genius Greek Muses Human creative genius original adaptive how do we define it? A bit about history... How do we research it? behaviorists cognitive personality humanistic how do we measure it? mental process e.g. pscyhometrician JP Guilford (1950), president of APA type of person creative product Guilford's approach:
convergent vs. divergent thought Alternate Uses Test - e.g. brick, paper clip
Remote Associates Test (RAT) - flat hierarchy of associations (Mednick 1962) Crammond (1994) tried to validate divergent tests with other measures e.g. creativity in music vs. uses for paper clip numerous & diverse ideas independent
nonconformist wide interests & greater openness to experience greater behavioral & cognitive flexibility & boldness less creative creative scientist artist Measure the Person:
16 Personality Factor Questionairre (Cattell, 1957)
Adjective Checklist (Gough, 1979)
Biographical Inventories - family, education, career product generated in a controlled research setting and evaluated by judges more direct & objective assessment, but...
difficult to design & administer this measure portfolio of creative work creative person is distinctly different in various personal characteristics patents, journal articles, awards, plays, etc. Correlated Product Measures:
Quantity - total output
Quality - select output
Impact - output influence Empirical Findings 3 modes of measurement correlate -
Creative products emerge from creative persons who use creative processes! creativity early trauma -
same life events associated with negative outcomes e.g. juveline delinquency & suicidal depression
creativity may be an adaptive response by those who "rise to the challenge" to difficult circumstances stronger egos
self command of bizarre thoughts & behaviors symptomology below pathological levels, borderline between normal and abnormal
symptoms may be consequence of stress of creative life psychopathology Psychological disorders -
rates of disorders somewhat higher among highly creative
correlation between amount of psychopathological symptomsand level of creative achievement
family lines with prevalence of disorders also more likely to have highly creative individuals Events or traits that might severely disable or retard personal development can sometimes be converted into forces for positive growth Theoretical issues genetic inheritence & environmental stimulation small-c vs. big-C Childhood:
encouraging imaginative play
relinquishing control
talented & gifted (TAG) programs

extrinsic reward, evaluative supervision, time pressure
individual vs. group creativity
military conflict & political anarchy
cultural diversity - immigration, political fragmentation, nationalistic revolt future of creativity research creativity in sub-populations, e.g. women & ethnic minorities
genetic basis of individual differences
longitudinal studies throughout lifespan
creativity in late life comprehensive & precise theoretical framework (psychoanalytic, Gestalt, behaviorist, humanistic)
e.g. psychoeconomic theory of creativity as investment in human capital, Darwinian variation-selection process practical methods for enhancing creativity
personal & societal
e.g. computer networks, simulated creative process & electronic brainstorming A Summary of the article by
Dean Keith Simonton in the
Handbook of Creativity Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Howard Gardner, Ellis Paul Torrance focused studies enhancing creativity theory by Julie Hyatt
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