Defining Creativity

Defining Creativity

Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scientific theory, a musical composition or a joke) or an original physical object (such as an invention, a literary work or a painting). Scholarly interest in creativity involves many definitions and concepts pertaining to a number of disciplines: psychology, cognitive science, education, philosophy (particularly philosophy of science), technology, theology, sociology, linguistics, business studies, songwriting, and economics, covering the relations between creativity and general intelligence, mental and neurological processes, personality type and creative ability, creativity and mental health; the potential for fostering creativity through education and training, especially as augmented by technology; and the application of creative resources to improve the effectiveness of teaching and learning. 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” or, in Robert Sternberg’s words, the production of “something original and worthwhile”. Authors have diverged dramatically in their precise definitions beyond these general commonalities: Peter Meusburger reckons that over a hundred different analyses can be found in the literature. As an illustration, one definition given by Dr. E. Paul Torrance described it as “a process of becoming sensitive to problems, deficiencies, gaps in knowledge, missing elements, disharmonies, and so on; identifying the difficulty; searching for solutions, making guesses, or formulating hypotheses about the deficiencies: testing and retesting these hypotheses and possibly modifying and retesting them; and finally communicating the...
Creative Theory

Creative Theory

There has been much empirical study in psychology and cognitive science of the processes through which creativity occurs. Interpretation of the results of these studies has led to several possible explanations of the sources and methods of creativity. Incubation Incubation is a temporary 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 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 drew a distinction between convergent and divergent production (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, 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:...
Creative Strength

Creative Strength

Graphic design is a field that is quickly changing, both creatively and technically, and while it is easy to get caught up in learning new technical skills, it is just as important to focus improving and pushing the limits of our creativity. Below is a list of tips, exercises and practices that can help you strengthen creativity, continue learning, and help you to become an all-around better designer. Step 1 Become a collector. Each time you see a design that inspires you, collect it, bring it home and file it away. You can stack them in boxes or folders, allowing you access to them. They’re a great resource of inspiration when needed. Even Starbucks gives out creative weekly mini-newspapers. You can also do this online. Download work which you like. Make a new Map on your computer and name it ‘Inspiration’. Save everything you like there. Every time you’re stuck or have no idea what to add more into your work, you can always look in your ‘Inspiration’ map. Step 2 Buy books. Having an extensive book collection is essential to learning. Try to buy a new book at least every few weeks. Look for a range of inspirational, educational, fun, and technical topics. Step 3 Read design-related blogs. You will learn a lot by reading other designers’ blogs. The web in an invaluable resource of information — take advantage of it and actually use it. Step 4 Look out for tutorials. These will teach you new techniques, and will expose you to new methods and useful tricks. Work through them and then apply the learned techniques to your...
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