Thomas B. Ward

Thomas B. Ward
University of Alabama | UA · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

81
Publications
9,324
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6,324
Citations
Introduction
Additional affiliations
August 1981 - July 2002
Texas A&M University
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (81)
Article
In the past 20 years, there has been a strong and steady increase in the number of publications concerned with creativity and in the number of outlets for that work. More importantly, there has been an increase in the level of detail and sophistication of answers provided for the most fundamental questions in the field. We illustrate that phenomeno...
Chapter
In contrast to the bulk of chapters in this volume that focus on computer- based activities that are best described as games, the present chapter is concerned with creativity in virtual settings that are not particularly game-like. Specifically, the chapter examines manifestations of creativity in 3D virtual worlds in which the primary activity is...
Article
Previous research indicates that learning disabled (LD) children perceive more holistically than do their nondisabled (nonLD) peers. The present study investigated whether or not the holistic perception of LD children is structured by the principle of overall similarity. LD and nonLD children in the second and fourth grades performed a restricted c...
Article
A technique for restricting visual stimuli to a single visual field was validated in the present study. Vertical strips of opaque tape were applied to close-fitting goggles, obscuring one visual field on each lens. Forty-seven right-handed participants fitted with such goggles were found to be faster and more accurate in processing verbal stimuli p...
Article
Creative behavior and problem solving have much in common. Put differently, a broad range of situations that call for creative behavior can be characterized as "problems", and the thought processes that lead to new and useful outcomes in those situations can be characterized "problem solving". Problem solving is potentially one of the broadest topi...
Article
The present study examined whether traditional gender role expectations (Eagly, 1987) influence behaviors in non-traditional contexts such as online virtual environments. Participants were 352 Second Life users who reported their activities and experiences in Second Life. Results indicated that men and women differed in the types of activities they...
Article
Full-text available
Internet use has increased dramatically in the past two decades, including the use of three-dimensional virtual environments in which individuals represent themselves via avatars and can develop and share creative content within those worlds. The authors examine the content of virtual worlds with particular attention to tools that allow expressing...
Article
Evidence from anecdotal accounts and laboratory studies converges on the finding that, when people develop new products within domains, their thinking tends to follow a pathof-least-resistance within the conceptual structures of those domains. That is, the majority of individuals retrieve highly representative, basic level exemplars from the domain...
Article
Previous research has shown that category exemplars vary in how accessible they are within their categories, and that more accessible exemplars are more likely than less accessible ones to be used as starting points in creative idea generation. In the present study, specific exemplars of fruit and tools that varied in their baseline levels of unpri...
Chapter
We focus on the cognitive processes that gifted adolescents bring to bear on creative tasks, particularly open-ended tasks that involve generating novel, candidate ideas and developing those ideas into creative products. We use the Geneplore model of creative cognition as an orienting framework and focus on processes of divergent production, proble...
Article
This study examined the extent to which Chinese-English bilinguals' representations of common categories are similar or different in each of their languages. More specifically, it examined variations in a particular aspect of graded structure: the extent to which exemplars are differentially accessible from corresponding category labels in two lang...
Article
Creative writing is a multifaceted endeavor requiring verbal skills, extensive content knowledge, and the motivation to persist in spite of obstacles. In this chapter we focus particularly on creative writing in the form of science fiction and fantasy. We begin with a presentation of a particular view of creativity, namely the creative cognition ap...
Article
Previous studies have shown that a predominant tendency in creative generation tasks is to base new ideas on well-known, specific instances of previous ideas (e.g., basing ideas for imaginary aliens on dogs, cats or bears). However, a substantial minority of individuals has been shown to adopt more abstract approaches to the task and to develop mor...
Article
Byrne (2005) demonstrates that reasoning and imagination are logical and governed by the same processing principles. In extending those principles to other forms of imaginative functioning, however, problems arise. The meaning of “true possibility” is stretched, and the causal role of the principles is not well established. Nevertheless, considerat...
Article
The creative cognition approach views creativity as the generation of novel and appropriate products through the application of basic cognitive processes to existing knowledge structures. It relies on converging evidence from anecdotal accounts of creativity and tightly controlled laboratory studies designed to examine the processes that are assume...
Article
This paper examines the structure of implicit theories of creativity in a sample of gifted adolescents and describes the development and use of the Creative Self Checklist and the Creative Individual Checklist, adjective checklists designed to assess endorsement of creativity‐related personality and behavioral attributes. Findings indicate that the...
Chapter
Creativity is the result of the convergence of basic cognitive processes, core domain knowledge, and environmental, personal, and motivational factors which allow an individual to produce an object or behavior that is considered both novel and appropriate in a particular context.Keywords:creative processes;incubation;insight;conceptual combination;...
Article
Full-text available
Chinese-English bilingual participants listed exemplars of 10 common categories on two occasions, one week apart. Half responded in the same language in both sessions (Chinese or English) and half responded in one language in one session and the other language in the other session. There was substantial overlap in the exemplars listed across the se...
Article
Several measures and methods developed by the field of cognitive science may prove useful to researchers investigating various aspects of entrepreneurial cognition. These techniques include ones that have not, as yet, been applied to entrepreneurial cognition, such as reaction time, priming, measures of working memory, and measures of creative cogn...
Article
Cognitive approaches to creativity are discussed as they relate to an important task of entrepreneurs: generating novel and useful ideas for business ventures. Attention is given to the paradoxical role of knowledge, which can either enhance of inhibit creativity, as well as to the properties of knowledge and a selected set of processes that influe...
Article
Three experiments examined the relationship between approaches to a creative generation task and the novelty of the resulting products. Participants were given the task of imagining life on other planets and they received instructions intended to encourage them to formulate the task in either very specific ways (e.g., thinking of specific Earth ani...
Article
Full-text available
Accession Number: 2004-10188-021. Partial author list: First Author & Affiliation: Roskos-Ewoldsen, Beverly; Department of Psychology, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, US. Release Date: 20040209. Publication Type: Journal (0100). Format Covered: Print. Document Type: Comment/Reply. Language: English. Major Descriptor: Cognitive Ability; Hallu...
Article
Three experiments tested the prediction that incubation effects are caused by interactions between activation and environmental clues. Participants worked on 20 experimental problems and then were informed that they would have a second chance to work on the problems. Half were told they might see clues before returning to the problems and were inst...
Article
Participants generated lists of exemplars from the categories of animals, tools, and fruit, and their lists were used to determine the relative accessibility of individual exemplars. Measures of accessibility included output dominance (the number of participants who listed an exemplar), rank (how early instances were listed), and two scores that re...
Article
Full-text available
An important source of creativity in concept combination is emergence: Novel features are often attributed to a concept combination that are not attributed to either of its constituent concepts. For instance, a Harvard-educated carpenter is judged to be nonmaterialistic, though neither Harvard-educated people nor carpenters in general are thought t...
Article
The influence of similarity on emergence in interpretations of conceptual combinations was assessed. Participants wrote two definitions for each of eight similar and eight dissimilar word pairs and then listed the important features of each definition. Those features were compared with the features collected from a different group of participants w...
Article
Participants' representations of the concept human were examined to differentiate three types of associations between concepts and their component attributes: the capacity of concepts to cue attributes (attribute accessibility), the capacity of attributes to cue concepts (instance accessibility), and the extent to which attributes are thought of as...
Article
Cued recall of categorized lists was used to examine effects of category structure on the creation of false memories. In three experiments, category members that had not been presented on studied categorized lists were nonetheless recalled by participants. Delaying the category cued recall test (Experiment 1) and priming category members that had b...
Article
Gifted adolescents performed a creative generation task in which they imagined and drew fruit that might exist on another planet. They produced creations that tended to include central properties of Earth fruit, such as seeds and stems, but also more unusual properties, such as poisonousness. They also developed imaginary fruit that were rated as m...
Article
Full-text available
In four experiments with 332 participants, participants were asked to generate novel nonwords for English categories. When participants were shown examples embedded with regular orthographic structures, participants’ nonwords tended to conform orthographically to the examples, despite instructions to avoid using features of the examples. The effect...
Article
In this chapter we highlight the generativity of ordinary human cognition, elaborate on the creative cognition approach, and give representative examples of research that further the goals of creative cognition. We conclude with some observations about how creative cognition can help to resolve some long-lasting controversies concerning creativity....
Article
Two experiments examined the properties people include in drawings of faces of imaginary creatures from other planets. The majority projected the surface features and functions of human faces onto their creations and depicted those properties in ways that preserved the symmetry and other ordinary spatial relations among the components. When they di...
Article
Examined the impact of 3 conditions on the way psychology students generated ideas about imaginary extraterrestrials. 31 Ss in the wildly different condition (WDC) were asked to generate creatures that were as wildly different from Earth animals as they could be. 34 control Ss developed alien animals but were given no special instructions. Both gro...
Chapter
Full-text available
As in most other areas of cognitive psychology, research on concepts and categories has provided a wealth of information about the more receptive aspects of cognition (e.g., how people classify category instances) but has been less systematic in assessing the more generative aspects (e.g., how people use their concepts to develop something new). He...
Book
Full-text available
Pages: 567 Item #: 4318581 ISBN: 978-1-55798-906-2 Copyright: 1997 Format: Softcover Creativity is a powerful and elusive force. It brings about scientific, technological, and artistic accomplishment, and it allows us to adapt to changes in our lives, to solve problems, and to resolve conflicts. Little wonder, then, that cognitive psychologists hav...
Chapter
Jim Crocker was an engineer with a problem that was truly far out—in space. The Hubble telescope, the shining hope of astronomers, just wasn’t shining properly, having been outfitted and set into orbit with a flawed primary mirror. At a meeting arranged by NASA, Crocker and his team of engineers floated plan after plan for adjusting the optics on t...
Chapter
The Dallas Cowboys have just intercepted a pass in New York Giant territory. Coverage of the game is about to yield to a commercial break. Time to pull away from the television, and go forage in the refrigerator. But wait. What’s this? In a bizarre twist on reality it’s a television advertisement about people watching television. A group of attract...
Chapter
The principles of creative cognition clearly come into play when inventors, writers, artists, and scientists perform their creative magic. We can also put the same principles to work in everyday life, even if we hold other kinds of jobs, or labor at home to keep a household running smoothly. Many day-to-day situations clamor for imaginative solutio...
Chapter
We have considered how people can use their concepts to formulate creative ideas. Now we examine how mental imagery can enhance creativity. We will also examine how imagery techniques can sometimes help us avoid the influence of conventional concepts when generating a new idea.
Chapter
Those first creative ancestors who picked up sharp rocks and contemplated their usefulness also might have pondered that soft round light that appeared periodically in the night sky. They certainly would not have realized that the source of the light was the sun’s rays reflecting off the celestial satellite that we call the moon. Nor could they eve...
Chapter
New ideas, whether wondrously creative or merely unusual, are almost always constructed from the building blocks of prior knowledge. Truly creative ideas arise when we wisely preserve and extend what is worthwhile from existing knowledge, and reject only the ideas that constrain our thinking. The old knowledge roots our new ideas in what has worked...
Chapter
Late one evening in April of 1983, Kary Mullis drove through winding hills to his ranch in northern California. Mullis was a biochemist employed by the Cetus Corporation to synthesize chemicals used in genetic cloning. The road wove to and fro through the hills, and the fragrance of wildflowers wafted in his window as Mullis toyed with notions in h...
Chapter
Stephen Donaldson, the noted science fiction and fantasy author, had a vexing problem, the sort of problem that most writers dread. He had an idea that he wanted to write about, but could not find a suitable way to convey it. He wanted to probe the abstract concept of “unbelief,” an unwillingness to accept the possibility that fantasy worlds might...
Chapter
We have seen that people often rely heavily on old ideas when they formulate new ones. In this chapter we will examine how existing knowledge influences the artifacts that humans produce. We will see that innovation is basically a conservative process, but also one that allows a flowering of useful new ideas.
Chapter
In the shimmering heat along the Olduvai lakeside in ancient Africa, an anonymous ancestor picks up a sharp rock. He runs his fingers across its jagged edge and wonders if it will scrape meat from the bones that lie at his feet. Nearly two million years later, Deana Ward, age four, handles a very different rock—one that humans have brought back fro...
Article
College students imagined animals that might live on a planet somewhere else in the galaxy. In the first experiment, they provided drawings and descriptions of their initial imagined animal, another member of the same species, and a member of a different species. The majority of imagined creatures were structured by properties that are typical of a...
Article
This chapter focuses on the extent to which there are differences in the nature of what people learn and in the types of processes they use in acquiring categories intentionally and incidentally. There is intuitive appeal to the idea that, when individuals deliberately attempt to learn categories, they bring the full weight of their cognitive resou...
Article
The tendency of young children to focus on the component attribute of shape in making category decisions was assessed in three experiments. In Experiment 1a, preschoolers made category generalizations to novel objects primarily on the basis of single attributes of those objects. When they heard either labels or stories suggesting that the objects w...
Article
The young child's evident tendency to extend category labels on the basis of overall shape could facilitate learning of basic level categories. However, a rigid reliance on shape could be counterproductive because postural changes of an animal produce superficial changes in shape that are unrelated to its identity. The present study examined the ab...
Chapter
Young children's success in learning real world categories is described within the framework of the attribute availability hypothesis. The hypothesis posits a match between category structures that provide predictive component attributes and analytic modes of processing that lead children to selectively attend to maximally informative attributes. C...
Article
3 experiments examined the modes of processing used by children and adults in learning family-resemblance categories. The materials were cartoon faces (Experiments 1 and 2) and bugs (Experiment 3) divided into categories that possessed no single defining attributes, but rather several characteristic attributes that were each partially predictive of...
Article
Kemler Nelson raises several important issues regarding children's category learning in her commentary on Ward, Vela, and Hass. The points of agreement in our positions concern the extreme complexity of the phenomenon. The points of disagreement that are addressed in this reply concern Kemler Nelson's assertions that (a) children are, in general, h...
Article
Individuals tend to adopt either analytic or holistic modes of categorizing objects. In two studies, we examined the relation between these categorization tendencies and cognitive abilities as measured by standard psychometric instruments. The participants in both studies were pretested with a restricted classification task in which it was possible...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals tend to adopt either analytic or holistic modes of categorizing objects. In two studies, we examined the relation between these categorization tendencies and cognitive abilities as measured by standard psychometric instruments. The participants in both studies were pretested with a restricted classification task in which it was possible...
Article
Ward and Scott (1987) recently provided evidence consistent with the idea that category learning can occur analytically whether that learning takes place under intentional or incidental conditions and whether the learner is an adult or a young child. Kemler Nelson (1988) raised concerns about Ward and Scott’s conclusions as well as about the logic...
Article
Three studies examined how individuals learn concepts structured according to family-resemblance principles. The materials were cartoon faces varying in the attributes of hair, mustache, ears, and nose. In contrast to previous studies purporting to show holistic modes of learning family-resemblance concepts, the present studies indicate that many i...
Article
Three studies investigated individual differences in the tendency to process stimulus dimensions in a manner that is either primarily separable or integral. All employed a restricted classification task that allows participants to classify items on the basis of component dimensions (separable perception) or overall similarity (integral perception)....
Article
One difficulty in teaching service courses such as Psychology of Adolescence is maintaining the interest of nonmajors without sacrificing course-relevant content. A course project that is helpful in overcoming this problem is described. The project requires students to observe some type of media (e.g., television) and determine the extent to which...
Article
Typescript. Thesis--University of Wisconsin--Madison. Vita. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 110-113).
Article
Two experiments were conducted to examine laterality differences and practice effects under various central backward masking conditions. Critical stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) was determined for subjects on 3 consecutive days using single letters as target stimuli (TS) and a pattern masking stimulus (MS). There was a right visual field (RVF) adva...
Article
Noninstitutionalized retardates and normal children of equal mental age (approximately 8 years) listened to 11 orders of 20 nouns with no instructions to overtly or covertly rehearse. All subjects were in each of three list conditions: (a) when all words were at the same decibel (dB) level, (b) when the 11th item was at a higher dB level, and (c) w...
Article
Sumna~y.-79 Ss processed semantically related and unrelated pairs of once-exposed concrete nouns, finding either a similarity or difference in the meanings of the paired items. Ss' recall of the second item of each pair when cued with the first was significantly influenced by both pair relationship and the processing task. The findings are interpre...
Article
Infantile handled (Days 1-20) and nonhandled, male and female Long Evans hooded rats were tested at maturity (90-100 days) over 10 daily sessions for aggressive response to footshock. Individual jump and flinch thresholds for reactivity to shock, as well as paired aggressive responding to shock, were not significantly influenced by the handling pro...
Article
Crosby and Cahoon ( 1973) have proposed that the typical use of constant duration shock in shock-elicited social fighting between mature male rats may account for the general increase in fighting normally observed over sessions. In a test of their hypothesis, a variable duration shock group was compared with 2 constant duration shock groups. All gr...
Article
Creativity depends on how people think. Obviously, it depends on many other factors as well, such as the environment, one's culture, and individual abilities (e.g., Sternberg 1988). Nonetheless, mental processes are, in our view, the essence and the engine of creative endeavors. Although there are many useful and productive ap-proaches to understan...
Article
Full-text available
The contributing authors to this book have addressed, and in many cases clarified or resolved, some of the major issues and controversies that have surrounded the subject of creativity. In doing so, they dem-onstrate the value of the creative cognition approach (Finke, Ward, and Smith 1992), showing that creativity can be better understood if it is...

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