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Why Isn't Creativity More Important to Educational Psychologists? Potentials, Pitfalls, and Future Directions in Creativity Research

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The construct of creativity has a great deal to offer educational psychology. Creativity appears to be an important component of problem-solving and other cognitive abilities, healthy social and emotional well-being, and scholastic and adult success. Yet the study of creativity is not nearly as robust as one would expect, due in part to the preponderance of myths and stereotypes about creativity that collectively strangle most research efforts in this area. The root cause of these stereotypes is the lack of adequate precision in the definition of creativity. The body of the article is devoted to specific suggestions for conceptualizing and defining creativity to maximize its potential contributions to educational psychology.
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PLUCKER, BEGHETTO, DOWRECONCEPTUALIZING CREATIVITY
Why Isn’t Creativity More Important to Educational
Psychologists? Potentials, Pitfalls, and Future
Directions in Creativity Research
Jonathan A. Plucker
School of Education
Indiana University
Ronald A. Beghetto
College of Education
University of Oregon
Gayle T. Dow
School of Education
Indiana University
The construct of creativity has a great deal to offer educational psychology. Creativity appears
to be an important component of problem-solving and other cognitive abilities, healthy social
and emotional well-being, and scholastic and adult success. Yet the study of creativity is not
nearly as robust as one would expect, due in part to the preponderance of myths and stereotypes
about creativity that collectively strangle most research efforts in this area. The root cause of
these stereotypes is the lack of adequate precision in the definition of creativity. The body of the
article is devoted to specific suggestions for conceptualizing and defining creativity to maxi-
mize its potential contributions to educational psychology.
Creativity is an integral part of any understanding of human
education and psychology. During the first few decades of last
century, especially when behaviorism held sway over large
segments of the behavioral and social sciences, theorists, re
-
searchers, and practitioners rarely explored creativity and its
numerous positive benefits. But in the last 50 years, research
-
ers have extolled the virtues of creativity regarding the intel
-
lectual, educational, and talent development of children
(Guilford, 1950; Renzulli, 1994; Torrance, 1962), both gener
-
ally and in specific content areas (Blicbau & Steiner, 1998;
Bloland, 1987;Innamorato, 1998). The concept of building on
strengths as opposed to remediating weaknesses has a wide
appeal: The business sector has identified creativity as an en
-
gine of economic and technical development, both in modern
and developing countries (Akarakiri, 1998; Amabile, 1998; S.
C. King, 1998; Robinson & Stern, 1997; Stevens & Burley,
1999), and corporations areinvesting very heavilyin creativity
education. Applications of creativity research to technol
-
ogy—and vice-versa—are also beginning to pick up steam
(Clements, 1995; Kappel & Rubenstein, 1999).
In addition to these rather traditional perspectives on the
benefits of creativity, educators and psychologists from di
-
verse specialties have noted creativity’s contributions in ar
-
eas as diverse as workplace leadership (Tierney, Farmer, &
Graen, 1999); adult vocational and life success (Torrance,
1972b, 1981); healthy psychological functioning, coping,
and emotional growth (B. J. King & Pope, 1999; Russ,
1998); maintenance of healthy, loving relationships
(Livingston, 1999); and more effective therapeutic treat
-
ments (Kendall, Chu, Gifford, Hayes, & Nauta, 1998). Edu
-
cational and school psychologists, reacting to recent con
-
cerns over youth violence, have called for explorations of the
role creativity can play in reducing violence and promoting
conflict resolution (Kovac, 1998; Plucker, 2000). These ex
-
plorations are especially promising in the use of creativity to
help students become better interpersonal and intrapersonal
EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST, 39(2), 83–96
Copyright © 2004, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Jonathan A. Plucker, School of
Education, Indiana University, 201 N. Rose Ave., Bloomington,
IN 47405–1006. E-mail: jplucker@indiana.edu
problem solvers, although suggestions also range from the
use of humor to defuse potentially violent situations
(Jurcova, 1998) to learning more effective conflict resolution
strategies (Webb, 1995). There is also a body of research on
the use of creativity to help people deal with serious prob
-
lems, including alcoholism (McCracken, 1991), grief (C. B.
Davis, 1989), and trauma (Terr, 1992).
A specific example of the overlap between creativity and
educational psychology is the case of constructivism.
Constructivist approaches to learning and teaching stress the
role of knowledge creation as opposed to knowledge trans
-
mission. Creativity scholars have examined the creation, im
-
plementations, and evaluation of ideas for decades, and much
of this research is directly applicable to educational psychol
-
ogists’ current constructivist efforts. Not surprisingly, the re
-
cent emphasis on and debates involving situated cognition
and cognitive apprenticeship (e.g., Barab & Duffy, 2000;
Kirshner & Whitson, 1997, 1998) parallel similar systems ef
-
forts and discussions in the creativity literature (Baer, 1998;
Plucker, 1998; Renzulli, 1994).
However, in addition to overlapping with constructivist
efforts, creativity research can also contribute to the study of
constructivism, especially social constructivist approaches to
learning and teaching. Constructivism has come under gen-
eral criticism recently, especially regarding confusion sur-
rounding the role of the teacher and the belief that the re-
search base on constructivism is perilously thin, old wine in
new bottles, or even nonexistent (Baines & Stanley, 2000;
Fox, 2001; Nickerson, 1993; Smerdon & Burkam, 1999).
Creativity theory and research provide frameworks for ana-
lyzing the wide range of influences on the learner during the
creation of understanding. These and other models also sug-
gest ways in which the roles of teachers, students, and others
can complement each other during the learning process.
For example, Amabile’s (1983, 1996) componential
model of creativity is a social psychological framework for
understanding how products or ideas are constructed, with
specific mechanisms proposed for social and environmental
influence on creativity, of which learning is considered a
part. Not only does this approach mirror social
constructivist and other distributed perspectives on learning
and cognition (von Glasersfeld, 1995; Wertsch & Toma,
1995), Amabile’s model is also sufficiently detailed to
guide instructional practice. This detail is often hard to find
in the often philosophical writings on social constructivism.
Amabile’s model is supported by a considerable body of
data, both from Amabile and her colleagues and from other
researchers. Another approach, Csikszentmihalyi’s (1988;
Nakamura & Csikszentmihalyi, 2001) systems model of
creativity, provides a detailed mechanism through which in
-
tellectual activity is accepted as creative accomplishment.
The model’s consideration of the individual and different
groups of stakeholders mirrors the idea of distributed cog
-
nition and intelligence within and across disciplines (e.g.,
Cole & Engström, 1993). The work of Amabile,
Csikszentmihalyi, and their colleagues are just a few of many
possible examples, with many approaches having been widely
applied in schools, businesses, informal education, and artistic
settings. Many efforts within the domain of creativity can be
viewed as focusing on and informing social constructivist
models of learning, and the collective conceptual and empiri
-
cal foundations of these efforts can inform the work of schol
-
ars who do not appear to be aware of these efforts.
Creativity research and application may also have positive
implications for educational psychology as a whole. For ex
-
ample, creativity may serve as a foundation for understand
-
ing and applying constructivism to learning and treatment
(Chessick, 1998; Viney, 1996). Gelatt (1995) took this a step
further by implying that acceptance of chaotic thought, and
therefore creativity, as a theoretical foundation of psychol
-
ogy may lead to a greater understanding of the individual in a
variety of settings. More pragmatically, a thorough under
-
standing of the creative processes underlying theoretical and
empirical efforts in any psychological subdiscipline may ad
-
vance psychologists’ work in these areas (e.g., Simonton,
1999; Sternberg, 1999; Sternberg & Lubart, 1996). As a case
in point, Simonton’s (1988) chance configuration theory pos
-
ited that the most important predictor of creativity quality
among scholars is their productivity. This stands in contrast
to frequent debates, and conventional wisdom, about the sup-
posedly poor quality of highly productive academics.
Simonton acknowledged that perfectionists (i.e., scholars
who produce few but high-quality pieces) and mass produc-
ers (high output, low quality) exist, but he argued convinc-
ingly that creativity research shows these two groups to be
the exceptions rather than the rule. Simply put, scholars with
the biggest impact on their fields tend to be the most produc-
tive members of those fields, with a relatively constant ratio
of high- to low-impact pieces throughout one’s career. If edu
-
cational psychologists want to influence the quality of educa
-
tional systems, they should take from creativity research the
observation that quantity of work is important.
These are but a few of the areas in which creativity is be
-
ing applied, but they provide a sense of the extraordinary
breadth of applications that educational psychologists may
pursue. There appears to be no shortage of areas in which
creativity can be applied constructively to improve people’s
lives—and, more important, areas in which people can use
creativity to improve their own lives.
PROBLEMS
Although the potential applications of creativity are well
documented, observers over the past several decades, from
Guilford (1950) to Sternberg and Lubart (1999), have noted
that this potential is rarely fulfilled. Classrooms generally
do not appear to be creativity-fostering places, primarily
due to the biases of teachers and traditional classroom orga
-
nization (Furman, 1998; Torrance, 1968), lack of meaning
-
84
PLUCKER, BEGHETTO, DOW
ful curriculum differentiation (Archambault, Westberg,
Brown, Hallmark, Zhang, & Emmons, 1993; Westberg,
Archambault, Dobyns, & Salvin, 1993), and lack of origi
-
nality in classroom-based enhancement efforts (Plucker &
Beghetto, in press).
For example, the differences between the seminal work of
Guilford and Torrance in the 1960s and 1970s and the most
common creativity exercises in today’s classrooms and
workplaces are semantic, at best. Guilford and Torrance fo
-
cused in large part on exercises devoted to the enhancement
of divergent thinking, providing multiple responses to a sin
-
gle prompt or problem (i.e., think of as many objects as you
can that have wheels). Although divergent thinking is often
considered to contribute to creativity, the constructs are not
synonymous, and theorists over the past 20 years have moved
toward more inclusive models of creativity in which diver
-
gent thinking plays an important but small role. In one exam
-
ple, the activities employed by one of the country’s leading
innovation firms (and providers of creativity training) are pri
-
marily highly repackaged versions of classic divergent think
-
ing exercises, such as attribute listing, forced combination of
ideas or concepts to arrive at new ideas, and mind mapping
(cf. Hall, 1995, to Renzulli, 1976, or Torrance, 1962). Our
knowledge of creativity—and thinking and learning in gen-
eral—has advanced over the past several decades, but our
strategies for enhancing creativity have changed very little.
The problems exist beyond the walls of our classrooms.
Creativity is too often associated with negative assumptions
and characteristics held by researchers, practitioners, and
laypeople. As a result, people who study problem solving,
abductive reasoning, cognitive flexibility, or functional
fixedness would never dare utter the “C word, yet they are
essentially investigating aspects of creativity. This situation
mirrors Sternberg and Lubart’s (1999) observation that “Cre
-
ativity is important to society, but it traditionally has been
one of psychology’s orphans” (p. 4). They identified six
roadblocks to the study of creativity: mystic and spiritual ori
-
gins; negative effects of the numerous pop psychology and
commercialized approaches; early work conducted in rela
-
tive isolation from mainstream psychology; elusive or trivial
definitions; negative effects of viewing creativity as an ex
-
traordinary phenomenon; and narrow, unidisciplinary ap
-
proaches. Plucker and Beghetto (in press) offered a similar
set of roadblocks to the lack of creative approaches to en
-
hancement efforts: emphasis on eminent rather than every
-
day creativity, overemphasis on the role of divergent thinking
as part of the creative process, and insularity of theory and re
-
search. The literature generally supports the existence and
negative effects of these roadblocks (see Sternberg & Lubart,
1996; Treffinger, Isaksen, & Dorval, 1996). However, these
lists are not without controversy, and, perhaps as a result, lit
-
tle effort appears to be expended to remove these roadblocks.
With regard to studying and enhancing creativity, we be
-
lieve that the numerous roadblocks have led to an additional,
more immediate problem. More than any other factors, the
preponderance of faulty prior conceptions about creativity
creates an atmosphere that severely restricts researchers’ and
practitioners’ ability and desire to study and apply creativity.
As with other domains, most notably science, students and
scholars of creativity enter empirical examinations of cre
-
ativity with robust and resilient prior-conceptions—many of
which impede the study and enhancement of creativity. In the
following sections, we analyze some of the most damaging
prior-conceptions and propose a future direction that may be
-
gin to remedy the situation.
Pitfalls
In an effortto examine prior-conceptionsof creativity, we have
focused on what is or is not an accurate conception of creativ
-
ity, ratherthanfocusing on whoisor is not creative.Indoing so,
we have adopted the following three-pronged approach: (a)
recognize that individuals have robust implicit conceptions of
creativity, (b) create opportunities for those conceptions to be
made explicit, and (c) test the viability of those conceptions by
attempting to falsify those claims with extant and on-going
creativity research. In the course of our work, we have identi
-
fied several faulty conceptions of creativity. Many if not all of
these myths arewidespread both inpractice and inthe research
literature (Isaksen, 1987; Treffinger et al., 1996). Common
themes that run throughout the myths are their pervasiveness,
even among creativity scholars, and their exclusionary under-
tones (i.e., their role in reinforcing who is not creative). In the
followingsections,we highlight afew of thesemyths and pres-
ent evidence to the contrary.
Myth 1: People are born creative or
uncreative.
The myth that people either have or do not
have creativity, with no capacity for enhancement, is one of
the most pervasive and stubborn myths surrounding creativ
-
ity (Treffinger et al., 1996). Decades of research on positive
training and educational effects and, lately, environmental
techniques for fostering creativity strongly refute this myth
(e.g., Amabile, 1983, 1996; Fontenot, 1993; Hennessey &
Amabile, 1988; Osborn, 1963; Parnes, 1962; Pyryt, 1999;
Sternberg & Lubart, 1992; Torrance, 1962, 1972a, 1987;
Westberg, 1996).
This myth probably originates from the mystification of
creativity cited by Sternberg and Lubart (1999) and
Treffinger et al. (1996) and the traditional accent on eminent
(i.e., “Big C”) creativity. Big C creativity involves the study
of clearly eminent creators, which has had a significant, posi
-
tive impact on our understanding of creativity. But Big C cre
-
ativity may also have a negative side effect by furthering the
idea that creativity is only possessed by a blessed few—an
idea that is quite controversial and often criticized (Halpern,
1996; Osborn, 1963; Plucker & Beghetto, in press; Sternberg
& Lubart, 1999). Disappointingly, nearly all of the articles in
a recent American Psychologist special section on creativity
took a Big C approach (Sternberg & Dess, 2001). Although
RECONCEPTUALIZING CREATIVITY 85
few researchers would claim to believe in a “Big C versus lit
-
tle c” distinction in creativity, this stereotype is very wide
-
spread in practice, especially among teachers who tend to be
-
lieve that creativity is a rare trait possessed by few students
(Fryer & Collings, 1991).
Myth 2: Creativity is intertwined with negative
aspects of psychology and society.
The “lone nut” ste
-
reotype of creativity—that of the strange, creative loner with
a dark side—is surprisingly widespread. Isaksen (1987) de
-
scribed this stereotype as the belief that “you must be mad,
weird, neurotic or at least unusual” (p. 2) to be considered
creative . Large numbers of studies have been published on
the relationship between creativity and drug use, criminality,
and mental illness, with many presupposing a strong link be
-
tween these deviant behaviors and conditions and creativity
(e.g., Brower, 1999; Hershman & Lieb, 1998; Ludwig, 1996;
Steptoe, 1998). Not surprisingly, these negative stereotypes
reveal themselves in applied situations, hindering enhance
-
ment efforts. For example, several studies provide evidence
that teachers view creative students as nonconformists and
potential troublemakers (Chan & Chan, 1999; Guencer &
Oral, 1993; Scott, 1999). These negative associations are so
strong that they often exist when teachers otherwise express
strong positive feelings about the importance of creativity
(Dawson, 1997; Westby & Dawson, 1995).
Little of this research, however, provides conclusive evi-
dence of strong, generalizable relationships (Plucker &
Dana, 1998a, 1999; Waddell, 1998). For example, Norlander
(1999), among many others, provided evidence that alcohol
enhances some skills that may lead to creativity but hurts
many others. Most important, these deficits appear most
strikingly in secondary processes (e.g., preparation, commu
-
nication). Therefore, alcohol may lower inhibitions, enhanc
-
ing opportunities for creative thought, but it may lower one’s
problem-finding and communicative abilities, producing a
net deficit in creative productivity (Plucker & Dana, 1999).
This is not to say that creativity cannot emerge from negative
circumstances, although the evidence suggests that the con
-
text of the negativity is important: Parental conflict may be
positively related to later adult creativity (Koestner, Walker,
& Fichman, 1999), but family alcohol abuse may not (Noble,
Runco, & Ozkaragoz, 1993; Plucker & Dana, 1998b).
In Isaksen’s (1987) opinion, this stereotype emanates
from the belief that creativity is essentially novelty. Novelty
can be viewed as a form of deviance; therefore, anyone who
is deviant in one sense may be likely to exhibit other forms of
deviance. However, as many researchers have concluded,
this is not necessarily the case (e.g., Neihart, 1998; Plucker &
Runco, 1999). Again, the focus on Big C creativity also en
-
courages this myth—nearly all studies that show strong cre
-
ativity–“dark side” relationships are based on case studies of
eminently creative people. Even if a strong positive correla
-
tion were found between creativity and criminality, mental
illness, or drug abuse among eminent creators, this would not
inform our daily efforts to improve most people’s lives with
creativity.
This myth is especially damaging because it clouds and
otherwise distorts the real issues. Many people focus on the
fact that alcohol use may cause creativity, but better ques
-
tions are probably how stereotypes about creativity may lead
creative individuals to drug use or how creativity can be used
to combat alcoholism. And what of the evidence that some
forms of deviance, such as eccentricity, may be a matter of
personal choice (Weeks & James, 1995)? If nothing else, the
negative perspective of creativity creates an image in psy
-
chologists’ minds that makes positive applications of creativ
-
ity very difficult. Again, as Isaksen (1987) suggested, “there
is no clear evidence to suggest that to be creative, a person
must also be neurotic or psychologically disturbed” (p. 3).
We need to be tolerant of deviance, but we do not need to ex
-
pect it in all forms and types of creativity.
Myth 3: Creativity is a fuzzy, soft construct.
In
courses and at professional conferences, we are always as
-
tonished at the degree to which people see the stereotypical
creative person, if not as a dangerous loner, as a barefooted
hippie running around a commune while rubbing crystals on
his forehead. This stereotype leads many psychologists to
think of creativity as “soft psychology, even though many of
them study related constructs. The evidence in support of this
stereotype is very thin, with research strongly suggesting that
creativity is not a “fuzzy” or “soft” construct. For example,
books on creative cognition have strong, well-defined themes
that address creativity in a serious manner (Smith, Ward, &
Finke, 1995; Ward, Smith, & Vaid, 1997).
Commercialized training programs, many with weak the-
oretical and empirical foundations, and antireductionist per
-
spectives by many individuals (i.e., a desire to cloak creativ
-
ity in a mystical aura) factor into this perception, but
misinterpretation of lists of creative personality characteris
-
tics and behaviors may be an additional cause of this myth.
Traits such as “gets lost in a problem,” “sensation seeking,
“open to the irrational, “impulsive, “uninhibited, and
“nonconforming” can easily lead to the stereotype of the cre
-
ative beatnik, although a more pragmatic profile can be
drawn from the same lists: capable of concentrating, strives
for distant goals, asks many questions, goes beyond assigned
tasks, self-organized, flexible in ideas and thought (all drawn
from G. A. Davis’, 1999, comprehensive list).
Ironically, many of these characteristics were identified
during studies of college students and successful profession
-
als in a wide variety of fields (e.g., Barron, 1969; G. A. Davis
& Subkoviak, 1978; Domino, 1970; MacKinnon, 1961),
groups that are as far from the stereotypical image as one can
hope to get. G. A. Davis (1999) wisely cautioned that “not all
traits will apply to all creative persons” (p. 79), which the re
-
search strongly supports. For example, although idealism is
often included in lists of creative personality traits, Yurtsever
(1998) provided evidence of a lack of positive correlation be
-
86
PLUCKER, BEGHETTO, DOW
tween creativity and idealism. Again, a combination of the
roadblocks suggested by Sternberg and Lubart (1999) and
other authors appear to be at work.
Myth 4: Creativity is enhanced within a group.
This
myth is particularly evident in applications within the busi
-
ness world, where group creative activities are assumed to be
more productive than individual efforts (e.g., Robinson &
Stern, 1997; White, 2002). But even treatments of individual
creators, such as Richard Florida’s (2002) provocative work
on the “creative class” as an emerging demographic group,
contain the implicit theme that groups are more creative than
individuals. As with the other myths, research provides a
more balanced picture of the relative roles of individuals ver
-
sus groups during creative activity. Brainstorming research
generally provides evidence that traditional idea generation
in groups results in a less creative pool of ideas than if people
are allowed to brainstorm ideas individually and pool them
later in the process (Diehl & Strobe, 1986; Finke, Ward, &
Smith, 1992). Several authors have cautioned against over
-
looking the role of the individual within a group or larger or
-
ganization (Dacey & Lennon, 1998; Kurtzberg, 1998; W. M.
Williams & Yang, 1999).
This misperception is relatively new and evolved as a re-
action to the perceived overemphasis on the individual in ear-
lier creativity research. The pendulum needs to swing back
toward a more balanced position, allowing psychologists and
educators to balance the needs and abilities of individuals
with the goals of groups.
WHERE DO THESE MYTHS COME FROM?
Although these myths are widely held, the study of creativity
is moving in a promising direction. Systems approaches of
creativity (see Rathunde, 1999) have become the theoretical
foundation of the field, and many dedicated research pro
-
grams in cognitive, social, and educational psychology have
been developed, helping to overcome many of the roadblocks
mentioned earlier. Given the current fascination with creativ
-
ity and its application in many sectors of society, we are
hopeful that the field will continue to grow and reach its po
-
tential as a contributor to educational psychology.
However, the roots of these myths have grown very deep,
to the point that many of them are still widely held in spite of
the theoretical and empirical advances in the field and the of
-
ten overwhelming evidence of the misperceptions’ fallibility
(Treffinger et al., 1996). The roots go so deep that people of
-
ten have a visceral reaction when confronted with research
that debunks particular myths. Rather than promoting cre
-
ativity as an integral part of psychology and education, dis
-
cussing creativity often leaves people very confused!
For the reasons noted previously, creativity researchers
and theorists are partly responsible for the emergence and
proliferation of these myths. The first and most important
step to maximizing creativity’s contributions to educational
psychology is to attack the taproot of the myths and
misperceptions: the lack of a standard, carefully constructed
definition of creativity. Like weeding dandelions, removing
the other roadblocks may help temporarily, but the myths
will quickly reemerge unless the taproot is pulled from the
soil. As R. L. Williams (1999) noted, “higher-order cognitive
constructs have much surface appeal, [but] their utility is tied
to the clarity and fidelity of their definitions and assessment
procedures” (p. 411). The importance of a standard definition
was called to our attention as we recently reflected on the
state of the field. One senior colleague, after attending a talk
by the first author, contacted him later to share her impres
-
sions, one of which was essentially, “It amazes me that the
field still doesn’t have a standard definition of creativity.
She makes a strong point—Cropley (1999b), Parkhurst
(1999), Sternberg (1988), Taylor (1988), and many others
have pointed out the amazing breadth of definitions currently
in existence.
Unfortunately, the path to a parsimonious, explicit, and
empirically testable definition is often obfuscated by the mis
-
conceptions and fascination that the construct generates, a
fascination that has held sway over humans from as early as
the ancient Greeks. This fascination has deified the construct
to the point where researchers do not want to rock the boat by
carefully considering what really lies behind the curtain of
creativity. As a result, many creativity researchers approach
the study and practice of creativity with a great deal of fervor,
but have unfortunately followed the sequence of fire, aim,
ready. In other words, elaborate theories of creativity,
full-blown empirical creativity studies, ambitious creativity
program implementation, and prescriptive recommendations
regarding creativity are put forth prior to serious consider
-
ation and clear definition of the construct on which these ac
-
tivities are based.
When a definition of creativity is offered in the literature,
it often is prefaced with an “oh, by the way” tone. It is almost
as if creativity researchers and practitioners are afraid that, in
pinning themselves down to a concrete, operational defini
-
tion, they will somehow destroy the complexity and fascina
-
tion that the construct generates (and offend their peers
within the field in the process). This practice results in a
splintering of education’s and psychology’s brightest re
-
searchers; some become fascinated with the topic, whereas
others become frustrated and cynical, and the remainder take
on the Herculean effort of legitimizing a program of research
that is based on a construct that is implicitly understood and
valued but explicitly defined in only the most tenuous terms.
Examples in which authors explicitly state their definition,
such as Sternberg and Lubart (1999), are rare. Without an
agreed-on definition of the construct, creativity’s potential
contributions to psychology and education will remain lim
-
ited. Of course, others have shared similar concerns over the
decades (e.g., Yamamoto, 1965), but the situation stubbornly
remains the same.
RECONCEPTUALIZING CREATIVITY 87
Breadth and Depth of the Problem
In an effort to illustrate the problem caused by the lack of a
standard definition (or of any definition), we performed a
content analysis of creativity articles appearing in refereed
journals over the past 3 years. In drawing on the professional
literature to teach our courses and conduct our own research,
we have noticed that in peer-reviewed journal articles, cre
-
ativity is often cited as a predictor or outcome variable (e.g.,
external evaluation decreases creativity; increasing em
-
ployee creativity in the workplace will in turn increase orga
-
nizational effectiveness; constructivist teaching approaches
increase student creativity). However, clear definitions of
creativity are rarely consistent, if offered at all.
We conducted the content analyses in two phases. First, we
examined the use of the term creativity in a sample of peer-re
-
viewed business, education, and psychology journal articles.
The selection criteria were to select 30 articles (i.e., 10 each
from business, education, and psychology journals) that in
-
cluded the term creativity in the title of the article. The articles,
starting with the most recent articles and working backwards,
were located in the full-text holdings of the EBSCO electronic
database. Within EBSCO, Academic Search Premier, Busi-
ness Source Premier, PsychArticles, and ERIC subdatabases
were used. Welimited the search tofull-text, peer-reviewed ar-
ticles, and the 30 selected articles ranged in publication date
from March 1996 to August 2002. We developed a protocol
(Appendix) that allowed us to record the occurrences of the
word creativity in each article, any explicit or implicit defini-
tions of creativity, and the number of uses of the word creativ-
ity before a definition was provided.
In the second phase of the content analysis, we conducted
similar analyses with a sample of articles from the two major
creativity journals, Creativity Research Journal (CRJ) and
Journal of Creative Behavior (JCB). Starting with the most
recent issues, we selected the first 30 articles from each jour
-
nal that used the term creativity in the title. This sample of 60
articles was then analyzed using the protocol. Selected arti
-
cles ranged in publication date from winter 1998 to spring
2002 (JCB) and January 1999 to January 2002 (CRJ).
Of the 90 selected articles, only 34 (38%) provided an ex
-
plicit definition of the term creativity. Furthermore, 37 (41%)
provided an implicit definition, and 19 (21%) provided no
definition of the construct. Definition rates by journal appear
in Figure 1. We anticipated that implicit definitions or a lack
of definition would appear most often in the creativity jour
-
nals, given an assumption that “people know what we are
talking about. However, the rates of explicit definition are
mixed, with 50% in CRJ, 33% in the out-of-field journals,
and 30% in JCB. Examples of explicit definitions and how
they were coded are included in Table 1.
The most common characteristics of explicit definitions
were uniqueness (n = 24) and usefulness (n = 17). Of interest,
all 17 articles that included usefulness in their definition also
mentioned uniqueness or novelty. The most common charac
-
teristics of implicit definitions were unique (n = 17) and
aspects of divergent thinking or ideation (n = 13), such as flu
-
ency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration. Given the over
-
lap between uniqueness and traditional conceptions of
ideation, the data suggest that most implicit definitions relied
on traditional conceptions of creativity research and training,
which relied heavily—if not exclusively—on divergent
thinking (e.g., Guilford, 1967; Torrance, 1962). Characteris-
tics of definitions classified as “other” appeared in very few
cases and ranged from humor to insight to personality char-
acteristics (e.g., openness to new experiences, psychoana-
lytic conceptions, cognitive/thinking styles). Frequencies of
common characteristics of definitions appear in Figure 2.
Authors who provided explicit definitions used creativity
an average of 67 times (SD = 46), ranging from 5 to 193. Au
-
thors who did not provide an explicit definition used creativity
in their articles an average of 32 times (SD = 30), ranging from
3 to 167. Two articles used the term over 100 times without de
-
fining it. Among those who did explicitly define the construct,
the definition appeared after an average of 13 uses of the term
(SD = 18), ranging from 1 article that defined the term in its
first use to an article that mentioned creativity 79 times before
defining it (out of a total of 86 uses in that article).
In very few cases, the author presented a precise definition
of creativity early in the article. For example, Huber (1998)
stated that he was using a definition similar to that used by
the U.S. Patent Office to evaluate patent applications: new,
useful, and unobvious. However, most authors did not explic
-
itly define creativity, and those that did provided a wide range
of definitions. We interpret these results as evidence in sup
-
port of our hypothesis: We do not define what we mean when
we study “creativity, which has resulted in a mythology of
creativity that is shared by educators and researchers alike. In
essence, all of these researchers may be discussing com
-
pletely different topics, or at least very different perspectives
of creativity. This is not merely a case of comparing apples
and oranges: We believe that this lack of focus is tantamount
88
PLUCKER, BEGHETTO, DOW
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
Creativity Research
Journal
Journal of Creat ive
Behav ior
Psychology, Business,
Education
Journal/Journal Type
Frequency
Explicitly Defined
Implicitly Defin ed
Not Defined
FIGURE 1 Definition rates for selected journal articles.
to comparing apples, oranges, onions, and asparagus and
calling them all fruit. Even if you describe the onion very
well, it is still not a fruit, and your description has little bear
-
ing on our efforts to describe the apple. For example, Dom
-
ino, Short, Evans, and Romano (2002) implicitly defined cre
-
ativity as the suspension of control of unconscious and pre
-
conscious elements that are consciously organized into cre
-
ative solutions. These authors are clearly studying a different
“creativity” than Huber (i.e., the production of new, useful,
and unobvious things), and one should not be surprised if au
-
RECONCEPTUALIZING CREATIVITY 89
TABLE 1
Examples of Explicit Definitions of Creativity
Definition Unique Artistic Psychometric Usefulness
Stakeholder
Defined Accessible
Divergent
Thinking
Problem
Solving Other
“It must be original, it must be
useful, or appropriate for the
situation in which it occurs, and it
must be actually put to some use
[Martindale, 1989, p. 211]” (Sass,
2001, p. 55).
XX
According to Amabile (1996, 1998)
creative thinking refers to how
people approach existing problems
and come up with solutions”
(Jung, 2001, p. 186).
XX
“ … the openness to ideas and the
willingness to encourage the
exploration of the unknown, even
if not easily manageable”
(Edwards, 2001, p. 222).
XX
“Managerial creativity is defined as
the production by manager of new
concepts ideas, methods,
directions, and modes of
operation, that are useful to the
organization” (Scratchley &
Hakstian, 2001, p. 367).
XXX
“ … defined by making reference to
the idea of novelty and
uniqueness” (Rubenstein, 2000,
p. 2).
X
“Creativity was operationally defined
as creativity ratings applied to
students’ proposed solutions to an
engineering problem … novelty
combined with appropriateness,
value or usefulness” (Fodor &
Carver, 2000, p. 383).
XXX
“Creativity may be viewed as the
ability to form remote ideational
associations to generate original
and useful solutions to a given
problem” (Atchley, Keeney, &
Burgess, 1999, p. 485).
XX X
“ … the ability to create is defined as
the bringing into existence of
something new” (Hasse, 2001, p.
200).
X
“Singaporean adults … also
associated uniqueness,
imagination, and art with
creativity” (Tan, 2000, p. 266).
XX Imagination
“ … divergent thinking, the
generation of new and possibly
useful ideas” (Schuldberg, 2001,
p. 7).
XX X
thors using such radically different definitions arrive at very
different conclusions about the nature of creativity.
APPROACHING A DEFINITION OF
CREATIVITY
The results of our content analysis serve as a concrete rep-
resentation of the “definition problem” surrounding the
study of creativity. These findings substantiate our fear that
creativity is rarely explicated in the professional literature.
Without a clear definition, creativity becomes a hollow con-
struct—one that can easily be filled with an array of myths,
co-opted to represent any number of divergent processes,
and further confuse what is (and is not) known about the
construct.
Although these results illustrate the troubling aspects sur
-
rounding the study of creativity, we are optimistic about the
future of creativity research. In fact, the very process of con
-
ducting such an analysis provided us with the necessary ma
-
terial from which a useful definition of creativity could be
constructed.
1
Drawing on the articles that did explicitly de
-
fine creativity, as well as those that provided enough contex
-
tual information from which a definition could be inferred,
we were able to identify several reoccurring, constituent ele
-
ments that could serve as a basis for generating a synthesized
definition of creativity. Our proposed definition is:
Creativity is the interaction among aptitude, process,
and environment by which an individual or group pro
-
duces a perceptible product that is both novel and use
-
ful as defined within a social context.
In the following sections, we describe the various components
of this definition to clarify the defining elements of creativity and
provide a basis from which our definition can be critiqued, exam
-
ined, and utilized in subsequent scholarly discourse.
Interaction of Aptitude, Process, and
Environment
In the construction of our definition, we focused on the
interaction among aptitude, process, and environment, as we
feel that even when this interaction is not explicitly stated, it
is strongly implied. Our concept of aptitude is influenced by
Snow’s use of the term, which represents ability, affective in
-
fluences such as attitude, and motivation (Stanford Aptitude
Seminar, 2002). We use aptitude rather than trait due to our
perception of a trait as a static, innate characteristic, whereas
aptitude refers to a more dynamic characteristic or skill-set
that can be influenced by experience, learning, and training.
Within and across the various articles surveyed in our con
-
tent analysis, authors focused on the traits of creativity, the
process of creativity, attitude or personality factors, or some
combination thereof. For example, James and Asmus (2001)
reported on the traits of creativity:
Eysenck, in fact, referred to variables such as divergent
thinking test scores that we are calling types of cogni-
tive skills as trait creativity (personality characteris-
tics of) self esteem, independence, introversion, perse-
verance, social poise, tolerance for ambiguity,
willingness to take risks, behavioral flexibility, and
emotional variability. (pp. 149–150)
Jung (2001) alluded to the process of creativity: “Accord
-
ing to Amabile (1996, 1998) creative thinking refers to how
people approach existing problems and come up [italics
added] with solutions” (p. 186). Van Hook and Tegano (2002)
also stressed the process of creativity: “for this study creativity
has been defined as the ‘interpersonal and intrapersonal pro
-
cess by means of which original, high quality, and genuinely
significant products are developed’” (p. 1).
Still others highlight the interplay between trait and pro
-
cess. For example, Diakidoy and Constantinou (2001) ex
-
plained that “creativity has been conceptualized as an ability
or characteristic of the person or as a cognitive process influ
-
enced by thinking styles or personality trait” (p. 401). Cox
and Leon (1999) were more explicit in embracing the inter
-
play between trait and process: “This study concerned with
creativity defined as both a process and individual difference
and it therefore includes creativity measures of divergent
thinking, perception, and personality biography” (p. 26).
The environmental-influences aspect of our definition
was rarely found in the surveyed articles, but the research lit
-
erature provides substantial evidence that specific aspects of
one’s environment are positively related to the existence of
creativity (see, e.g., Amabile, 1996, and Csikszentmihalyi,
90
PLUCKER, BEGHETTO, DOW
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
Unique
Artistic
Psychometric
Usefulness
Stakeholder
Accessible
Divergent thinking
Problem Solving
Other
Categories
Frequency
Explicit
Im plicit
FIGURE 2 Types of explicit and implicit definitions of “creativ
-
ity.”
1
We are grateful for the recommendation from reviewers to consider
constructing a definition of creativity out of our content analysis (similar to
what Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2000, did in their construction of a multidi
-
mensional definition of “trust”).
1988, among many others). Indeed, Barab and Plucker
(2002) recently argued that environmental (construed
broadly) and individual factors are inseparable influences on
talent development and creativity.
Focusing on the interaction among aptitude, process, and
environment helps to dethrone one of the most prevalent and
debilitating myths surrounding creativity (i.e., people are
born creative or uncreative) and helps to buffer against the
generation of additional myths. Recognizing the interaction
also speaks to the promise of education and intervention and
thereby shatters the myth that creativity is a static trait that
cannot be enhanced. As such, purposive efforts can be uti
-
lized to cultivate creative aptitudes (e.g., tolerance for ambi
-
guity, flexibility in thinking, perseverance, motivation for
creativity) as well as processes that may enhance the proba
-
bility for creativity (e.g., brainstorming, creative problem
solving, and problem-finding processes). In sum, creativity
emerges from an interaction among certain aptitudes, spe
-
cific cognitive processes, and influences from the environ
-
ment in which the individual or group exists.
Perceptible Product
At the risk of sounding like naïve empiricists, we specify a cri-
teria of perceptibility—or more narrowly, observability—in
our definition. We do this not only because tangibility is stated
or implied in the various definitions surveyed in our analysis,
but also because it helps promote the scientific study of cre-
ativity. Several authors, such as Hasse (2001), directly point
out the observable criteria in their definition of creativity: “the
ability to create is defined as the ability to bring into existence
[italics added] something new” (p. 200). Other authors
strongly imply that creativity is the production of something,
although they are vague about the nature of that something:
“Creativity may be viewed as the ability to form remote
ideational associations to generate original and useful solu
-
tions [italics added] to a given problem” (Atchley, Keeney, &
Burgess, 1999, p. 485).
The criteria of a perceptible outcome is useful because
without observable and measurable evidence of some act,
idea, or performance, it is difficult to determine whether cre
-
ativity has occurred. By working backward from tangible ar
-
tifacts (e.g., creative products, documentation of creative be
-
haviors), latent theories of creative action can be inferred (see
Argyris & Schon, 1974, for a description of making theo
-
ries-in-use explicit). Such theories of creative action may fur
-
ther illuminate the aptitudes, processes, and environmental
factors that most effectively lead to creative behavior. A fo
-
cus on perceptibility also moves research away from the
study of personality and other areas that may lead to myth
and stereotype formation (e.g., the use of personality check
-
lists to identify creative children).
Making a determination of what is and what is not creative
can be tricky without relying on artifacts of behavior or some
other form of observable or measurable evidence. For exam
-
ple, the following question was recently posed to the second
author during a presentation of an earlier draft of this article:
Was Emily Dickenson creative prior to publishing her first
poem? Based on the tangibility criteria, the answer appears to
be a simple “no.” But such a response is circular and rigidly
empirical; the criteriaof perceptibility does not requirea phys
-
icalproduct. As such, the answerto the EmilyDickenson ques
-
tion is nota simpleyes or no.Rather,judgment ofher creativity
would need to be withheld until sufficient evidence of tangible
creative production (e.g., poems) could be evaluated by her
community of practice (i.e., those who have legitimate mem
-
bership and a stake in the domain of poetry). Musing over
whether a person iscreative before they create arespeculations
that are interesting, but it does not necessarily advance the cu
-
mulative knowledge of creativity.
2
Although we recognize that creativity involves latent,
unobservable abilities and processes, we argue that the gen
-
erating, identifying, and studying of documentable artifacts
(e.g., behaviors, products, ideas) serves as necessary evi
-
dence from which the presence of creativity can be inferred,
determined, and evaluated.
Novel and Useful
Perhaps the least surprising aspect of our definition is the
combination of novelty and usefulness. Overwhelmingly, the
combination of novelty and usefulness were the most preva-
lent facets of both explicit and implied definitions of creativ-
ity. For example, Eisenberger, Haskins, and Gambleton
(1999) stated that “creativity involves the generation of novel
behavior that meets a standard of quality or utility [italics
added]” (p. 308), and Fodor and Carver (2000) defined stu-
dent work as creative if the products showed evidence of
novelty combined with appropriateness, value or usefulness
[italics added]” (p. 383).
Novelty and usefulness are two facets of creativity found
in definitions both within our content analysis and when sur
-
veying the creativity literature in general (e.g., Cropley,
1999a; Halpern, 1996; Sternberg & Lubart, 1999). Moreover,
scholarship on the assessment of creative products implicitly
includes the elements of novelty and usefulness (e.g.,
Besemer & O’Quin, 1986; Reis & Renzulli, 1991). Novelty
and usefulness often characterize implicit theories of creativ
-
ity (Runco & Bahleda, 1986; Runco, Johnson, & Bear, 1993;
Sternberg, 1985).
As with the aptitude–process-environment interaction, we
argue that the important interaction between novelty and use
-
fulness results in a tangible product being defined as “cre
-
ative. The major advantage of specifying the interplay be
-
tween novelty and usefulness, aside from being widely held,
RECONCEPTUALIZING CREATIVITY 91
2
Of interest, the mere mention of Dickenson reinforces our belief about
the pervasiveness of creative myths due to the Big C approach. It is widely
believed that Dickenson never published her poetry, when in fact she did
publish a limited number of pieces that were widely ignored.
is that it corrodes the foundation of many of the myths and
stereotypes. For example, drug use may help lessen inhibi
-
tion and promote original responses, but the usefulness crite
-
ria creates a standard that demands that these original re
-
sponses have the potential to be applied successfully to a
context, any context, in which the responses are useful. Indi
-
viduals using drugs have a difficult time meeting this criteria
of utility. The same argument could be applied to research on
the relationship between creativity and mental illness, and
the definition effectively squashes the stereotype of the wild
and free creator running through a field of daisies.
Social Context
In most cases, definitions of creativity focus on the individ
-
ual—particularly if ability or aptitude is stressed more than
processes. However, all definitions of creativity imply the ne
-
cessity of a social context because such a context is requisite
for determining whether (and how) a person, action, or prod
-
uct will be defined or judged as creative. For example, Rich
-
ards (2001) explained that “[Everyday creativity is] original
-
ity within a social context [eminent creativity]
accomplishments that are recognized by society at large” (p.
114). Similarly, Nuessel, Stewart, and Cedeño (2001) implic-
itly highlighted the social context by noting that creativity
“fashions or defines new questions in a domain in a way that
is initially considered novel but ultimately becomes accepted
in a particular cultural setting” (p. 700). Yet another example
of the social context is found in Redmond, Mumford, and
Teach’s (1993) definition: “Creativity is reflected in the pro-
duction of novel, socially valued products” (p. 120).
Our hope is that, by explicitly recognizing the social con-
text in our definition, creativity researchers and consumers of
that research will consider and address the question of cre
-
ativity for whom and in what context? Having a definition
that situates creativity in a particular context helps to bridge a
connection between Big C creativity (study of eminence) and
little c creativity (study of everyday creative acts), thereby
broadening the study of creativity. As a result, the specifica
-
tion of the contextual parameters allows creativity studies of
4th-grade science projects to be viewed as valid as creativity
studies of Nobel Prize winners (e.g., this particular 4th-grade
science project is creative in the context of fourth graders and
science fairs or for this particular student). At the same time,
specifying context does not allow for empty relativistic
claims that a 4th-grade science project necessarily is as cre
-
ative or significant as a Nobel Prize-winning discovery (e.g.,
this particular 4th-grade science project is viewed as quite
pedestrian when considered within the context of the projects
and discoveries of Nobel Prize-winning scientists, but the
distinction matters little to the fourth grader or the scientist).
In summary, the addition of social context to the previ
-
ously discussed facets of our definition (i.e., interaction
among aptitude, process, and environment; criteria of tangi
-
bility; and the combination of uniqueness and utility) pro
-
vides creativity researchers with a broad framework from
which they can begin to articulate what creativity “looks
like” in light of the various stakeholders who will be evaluat
-
ing the creative act, person, or product.
CONCLUSION
The fate of the study of creativity is tenuously resting in the
hands of today’s social scientists. Currently, interdisciplinary
scholarly efforts are taking the study of creativity in positive
directions, with potential implications for a variety of prob
-
lems and issues within educational psychology. As promis
-
ing as these current directions are, unless the definitional
problem is addressed, creativity research will continue to be
impeded by lack of direction, damaging mythologies, and
general misunderstanding. The definition that was developed
from our content analysis serves as a tool with which subse
-
quent work can test, examine, and build an understanding of
creativity that is meaningful and relevant to researchers and
practicing educators.
With respect to subsequent creativity research, we pro
-
pose an approach akin to responsible research reporting. As
researchers are now required to report effect sizes (and in
some cases confidence intervals), we argue that creativity re-
searchers must (a) explicitly define what they mean by cre-
ativity, (b) avoid using scores of creativity measures as the
sole definition of creativity (e.g., creativity is what creativity
tests measure and creativity tests measure creativity, there-
fore we will use a score on a creativity test as our outcome
variable), (c) discuss how the definition they are using is sim-
ilar to or different from other definitions, and (d) address the
question of creativity for whom and in what context.
In explicitly defining creativity, we are not suggesting that
researchers necessarily adopt our definition, just that they
clearly define what they mean by creativity and (when appro
-
priate) the empirical indicators of that definition. Further
-
more, we admonish researchers to avoid the temptation of
simply allowing the score obtained from a creativity measure
to serve as the definition of what is creative in their study. A
reviewer noted that, at some point, creativity tests were al
-
most certainly based on a theoretical conception of creativity.
We agree, but we question whether researchers using these
tests have seriously considered the theoretical foundations of
the measures. In many cases, the conceptualization of the in
-
struments occurred decades earlier, before more complex
systems theories were developed and refined. Without seri
-
ous consideration of these issues, implicit and potentially
outdated definitions of creativity are perpetuated. Therefore,
the use of a creativity measure would benefit from an accom
-
panying definition of creativity as well as an explanation of
how the particular measure does (and does not) meet the defi
-
nition of creativity being used. Also, when providing a defi
-
nition of creativity (particularly if it is a novel definition), it is
important to explain how this definition is or is not similar to
92
PLUCKER, BEGHETTO, DOW
other definitions in the literature. In doing so, consumers of
research will be in a better position to be aware of cumulative
findings as well as determine whether contradictory findings
are the result of comparing dissimilar lines of work or if other
factors are accounting for those differential findings (e.g.,
methods, population). Finally, specifying the context and
stakeholders is important in clarifying the parameters in
which the definition and study results apply.
Unless researchers start to adopt these basic guidelines,
the kinds of “research” and ideas put into the creativity
knowledge base will continue to be insulated from empirical
testing and thereby add to the bulk of speculative accounts of
creativity that range from mysticism to pop psychology to
promising scholarly efforts. Ironically, amidst such a wide
range of varying and untouchable accounts of creativity, the
potential for developing a cumulative, robust line of study be
-
comes diminished with each successive contribution. Rather
than being a strength of the field, as many believe, the lack of
a common definition is a major, debilitating weakness.
Adhering to these guidelines, as well as further dialogue
and effort on the part of researchers, is needed to strengthen
and advance the knowledge base of creativity, one of psy-
chology’s most promising and provocative constructs. Seri-
ous efforts to study creativity have had a relatively short his-
tory, but we feel that an agreed-on definition is long overdue
and has placed the field in a crisis of legitimacy. The study of
creativity will only become a legitimate endeavor when re-
searchers and practitioners clearly and specifically put forth
an agreed-on operational definition of creativity. This change
in the focus and direction of creativity research is needed if
the field is to move from a shadowy past into the forefront of
constructive approaches to educational psychology and the
social sciences in general.
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APPENDIX
Creativity Usage Analysis (Classification Sheet)
Article ID_____ Name of Coder:_________________
1. Journal Type: (Business, Education, Psychology, CRJ,
JCB)
2. Number of times the term “Creativity” is used in the
body of the article _________
3. Is creativity specifically defined: (YES/NO). If yes
proceed to number 4.
3a. If no, can a definition be inferred from the
immediate contextual clues of the article (YES/NO).
If yes, proceed to number 7.
4. After how many uses of the term is a definition offered
_______________
(e.g., 5—creativity is used five times prior to the
definition being offered)
Definition Factors
5. Actual definition offered (quote directly—including
page number if available):
6. If the article provides an explicit definition, classify it
using the following factors. Multiple factors can be
selected.
______ Unique. The definition specifically mentions
uniqueness. For example: that which is “new, “novel,
“innovative,” “outside of the box”
______ Artistic. Definition specifies an artistic focus (art,
music, literature) highlighting artistic skill, production,
proclivity.
______ Psychometric. The definition relies on the outcome
of some creativity instrument (e.g., ideational fluency test,
etc). That is, creativity is defined by some score on a
creativity measurement instrument.
______ Usefulness. The definition specifies that creativity
involves usefulness, value, or contribution.
______ Stakeholder. The definition specifies that creativity
is defined by particular stakeholder groups (e.g., artists,
community of scientists).
______ Accessible. The definition specifies that creativity is
a trait possessed by anyone.
______ Other:
7. If the article provides an implicit definition, classify it
using the following factors. Multiple factors can be
selected.
______ Unique. The definition specifically mentions
uniqueness. For example: that which is “new, “novel,
“innovative,” “outside of the box”
______ Artistic. Definition specifies an artistic focus (art,
music, literature) highlighting artistic skill, production,
proclivity.
______ Psychometric. The definition relies on the outcome
of some creativity instrument (e.g., ideational fluency test,
etc). That is, creativity is defined by some score on a
creativity measurement instrument.
______ Usefulness. The definition specifies that creativity
involves usefulness, value, or contribution.
______ Stakeholder. The definition specifies that creativity
is defined by particular stakeholder groups (e.g., artists,
community of scientists).
______ Accessible. The definition specifies that creativity is
a trait possessed by anyone.
______ Other:
96
PLUCKER, BEGHETTO, DOW
... While there is considerable variability in the definition and usage of the term creativity within psychology ([***]Silvia & Kaufman, 2010), there is some degree of consensus that creativity implies two qualities: novelty and usefulness (Feist, 1988;Plucker, Beghetto, & Dow, 2004). We find it useful to explicitly conceptualize creativity as an appraisal of novelty and usefulness that may be applied to any of a variety of objects, particularly ideas and resulting products. ...
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... Creativity has emerged as an essential element of problem-solving (Plucker et al., 2004). It is a factor that explains the reason for the commendable accomplishments of young entrepreneurs in the twentyfirst century (Kampylis & Valtanen, 2010). ...
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In terms of information availability, talent acquisition and entrepreneurial education, female prospective entrepreneurs encounter several hurdles and inadequacies. This study investigates how social media learning might improve entrepreneurial learning and creativity among female learners. In summary, this article examines the impact of two critical activities in social media communities (knowledge sharing and social interaction) on entrepreneurial learning and creativity, which might develop entrepreneurial ambitions among Muslim female learners. The data were collected from 253 university and college female students who used social media for entrepreneurial learning. The structural equation modelling technique was used on 233 functional responses in the study. The study instrument’s reliability and validity were also evaluated through different statistical measures before hypotheses testing. The study findings exposed that both knowledge sharing and social interactivity influenced entrepreneurial learning and creativity separately. The study also revealed that entrepreneurial learning and creativity further influenced entrepreneurial intentions. This research reveals female learners’ entrepreneurship intentions, which can be advanced using social media learning in a developing region. The primary theoretical research contribution is the identification of essential activities in virtual entrepreneurial communities, which can enhance the learning and creativity of young female learners. However, further studies need to be carried out in other developing regions among other marginalized groups to generalize these findings. Both teaching faculties and policymakers should make effective use of social media for imparting entrepreneurial education among students, which would further lead to entrepreneurial intentions among them. The researchers argue that there is an imperative need to promote female entrepreneurship intentions, especially among Muslim women, to make them self-reliant and self-employed. This makes it essential to promote entrepreneurial learning and creativity among them, which are significant factors to foster entrepreneurial intentions. Thus, this study has provided an effective and cost-efficient manner of imparting entrepreneurial education to female learners aspiring to become entrepreneurs.
... Admittedly, there are various definitions of creativity which have been proffered by researchers in the field but given the focus of our paper, we took a position that aligns with Plucker et al. (2004) who define creativity as the interaction among aptitude, process, and environment by which an individual or group produces a perceptible product that is both novel and useful as defined within a social context. In a similar way that society has been trying to figure out which skills matter in the 21st century KBE, researchers have also posed questions for education about which subject(s) matter in the development of skills needed in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). ...
... On the other hand, it can be beneficial during a situation in which there are several courses of action necessary or during creative acts, by giving an individual more information to choose from Carson et al. (6), Gonzalez-Carpio et al. (7), and Zabelina et al. (8). A common definition of creativity is that it is the interaction between process, ability, and environment to create something meaningful and original based on contextual factors (9,10). Since the benefits of promoting creativity in primary school curricula are increasingly accepted and implemented (11,12) while in turn creativity has been linked to attentional difficulties (13) the current paper investigated sensory and sensorimotor gating in relation to creativity and attention. ...
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The current study investigated whether lower sensory and sensorimotor gating were related to higher levels of creativity and/or attentional difficulties in a natural population of primary school children (9- to 13-year-old). Gating abilities were measured with P50 suppression and prepulse inhibition of the startle reflex (PPI). The final sample included 65 participants in the P50 analyses and 37 participants in the PPI analyses. Our results showed that children with a high P50 amplitude to testing stimuli scored significantly higher on the divergent outcome measures of fluency and flexibility but not originality compared to children with a lower amplitude. No significant differences were found on any of the creativity measures when the sample was split on average PPI parameters. No significant differences in attention, as measured with a parent questionnaire, were found between children with low or high levels of sensory or sensorimotor gating. The data suggest that quantitative, but not qualitative measures of divergent thinking benefit from lower psychophysiological gating and that attentional difficulties stem from specific instead of general gating deficits. Future studies should take the effect of controlled attention into consideration.
... Following this perspective, the product can serve as a measure for human creativity. One popular operationalization of this measure in the scholarly literature is the two-part "standard" definition of creativity [35,40]. Following this definition, an artifact needs to be both novel (original, unique, etc.) and useful (appropriate, effective, etc.) to be considered creative. ...
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Text-based generation of digital images has made a giant leap towards becoming a mainstream phenomenon. With text-based generative systems, anybody can create digital images and artworks. This raises the question of whether text-based generative art is creative. This paper expounds on the nature of human creativity involved in text-based generative art with a specific focus on the practice of prompt engineering, drawing on Rhodes's conceptual model of creativity. The paper critiques the current product-centered view of creativity which may fall short in the context of text-based generative art. An case exemplifying this shortcoming is provided and future opportunities for research on text-based generative art are outlined.
Book
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It is an Edited Book done By Dr. S. Anbalagan
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The subject of creativity has been neglected by psychologists. The immediate problem has two aspects. (1) How can we discover creative promise in our children and our youth, (2) How can we promote the development of creative personalities. Creative talent cannot be accounted for adequately in terms of I.Q. A new way of thinking about creativity and creative productivity is seen in the factorial conceptions of personality. By application of factor analysis a fruitful exploratory approach can be made. Carefully constructed hypotheses concerning primary abilities will lead to the use of novel types of tests. New factors will be discovered that will provide us with means to select individuals with creative personalities. The properties of primary abilities should be studied to improve educational methods and further their utilization. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)