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"Facilitating creativity by regulating curiosity": Comment

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Abstract

Comments on the article by C. Martindale (see record 2001-00625-007) which discussed the intellect of Thomas Young. The current author discusses creativity as it relates to curiosity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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... In contrast, curiosity can be a more complex emotional experience (Ruan et al., 2018), as it may not only reflect the pleasant feelings associated with the interests in knowing more about the things they see and do (Schutte & Malouff, 2019), but also indicate a state of information deprivation, causing discomfort (Litman & Jimerson, 2004;Loewenstein, 1994). Notably, there is clear evidence that curiosity can drive creativity (Hagtvedt et al., 2019;Kashdan & Fincham, 2002;Schutte & Malouff, 2020), which subsequently can promote an abstract presentation and a high construal level (Bullard et al., 2019). ...
... Previous studies have established the link between curiosity and creativity (Hagtvedt et al., 2019;Kashdan & Fincham, 2002;Schutte & Malouff, 2020). Indeed, when individuals feel curious, individuals are motivated to be immersed in new situations (Noordewier & Van Dijk, 2017;Silvia, 2008) and gather new information (Schutte & Malouff, 2020), thus fostering creativity. ...
Article
A growing literature is examining the potential of grotesque advertising. The aim of this study is to examine whether curiosity or boredom cues in a grotesque advertisement are more effective at enhancing brand attitude and how this effect is moderated by consumers’ construal level. Across three experimental studies, this research shows that a curiosity cue will be more effective among consumers with a high construal level, whereas a boredom cue will be more effective among consumers with a low construal level (Study 1 and an ancillary study, Study 2). Further, perceived fit (based on construal level) mediates these effects (Study 2). This study thus offers a fresh theoretical viewpoint on the efficacy of emotional advertising cues in enhancing consumer evaluations of grotesque advertising by investigating the moderating role of consumers’ construal level. These findings benefit marketers in developing effective advertising strategies featuring grotesque imagery.
... Imagine a group of preschoolers who are engaged in sociodramatic play, or school-age children who are making preparations to present a talent show in their neighborhood. In these childhood pursuits, we see intensity combined with playfulness, the very sort of "regulated curiosity" that empirical research associates with creative behavior (Kashdan & Fincham, 2002). Research on creative thinking often describes an ability to focus with such intensity that a person becomes "lost" in the work and time flies by unnoticed (Kashdan & Fincham, 2002). ...
... In these childhood pursuits, we see intensity combined with playfulness, the very sort of "regulated curiosity" that empirical research associates with creative behavior (Kashdan & Fincham, 2002). Research on creative thinking often describes an ability to focus with such intensity that a person becomes "lost" in the work and time flies by unnoticed (Kashdan & Fincham, 2002). Eminent creative thinkers describe these times when their work is going well as times when their thinking proceeds more fluidly or "flows" (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). ...
Article
It is the position of the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) that the defini - tion of creativity needs to be enriched and enlarged to be consistent with contemporary theory and research. Furthermore, it is ACEI's position that creative expression depends not on talent alone, but also on motivation, interest, effort, and opportunity. The creative process, contrary to popular opinion, is socially supported, culturally influenced, and collaboratively achieved. In taking this position, ACEI acknowledges that several challenges must be addressed by educators throughout the world. First, we need to redefine creative teaching and confront misconceptions about creative thinking. Second, we need to provide students with role models of motivation and persistence in creative thought, and arrive at more capacious ways of assessing creative processes and products. Finally, educational institutions and the larger societies in which they exist need to reflect deeply on what they hope children will become. We need to do more than prepare them to become cogs in the machinery of commerce. The international community needs resourceful, imaginative, inventive, and ethical problem solvers who will make a significant contribution, not only to the Information Age in which we currently live, but beyond to ages that we can barely envision.
... Thus, it is possible that the positive effects of entrepreneurial passion might be stronger in some individuals because of their intense desire to question things and learn more. Curiosity, as suggested by self-regulatory theory, is an individual difference that can energize individuals to focus on their goals as well as to collect and integrate domain-related and general information (Carver & Scheier, 1998;Kashdan & Fincham, 2002). Curiosity should thus enhance innovativeness as it often requires collection of disparate information and their integration across disciplines (Martindale, 2001). ...
... Biraglia & Kadile, 2017); and the role of curiosity in the development of creativity and innovativeness (e.g. Kashdan & Fincham, 2002). Further, this study is one of the first few to study curiosity in the context of entrepreneurship and its findings suggest that there is a need for more research on the role of curiosity in entrepreneurship. ...
Article
Previous studies have shown that entrepreneurial passion has a positive relationship with entrepreneurial intentions, however we do not know much about the underlying mechanisms that might mediate or moderate this relationship. This study extends the existing literature by examining the mediating role of innovativeness and the moderating role of curiosity in the entrepreneurial passion to entrepreneurial intentions relationship. Results, based on analysis of data collected from 295 respondents, showed that innovativeness partially mediated the entrepreneurial passion to entrepreneurial intentions relationship. Further, the mediating effect was stronger for individuals who scored high on curiosity than for individuals who scored low on curiosity. The present study contributes to a better understanding of the how, and the when of how, of the entrepreneurial passion to entrepreneurial intentions relationship.
... Writers, artists, inventors, scientists and all others involved in the creative process are often invoked by curiosity to describe the psychological need which leads them to work. The very desire for success and creativity are not sufficient motivation to be persistent in work for ten or twelve or even sixteen hours a day regardless of the imbalance with other life roles (Kashdan & Fincham, 2002). Csikszentmihalyi (1988) explains that the reason for this is that creativity has a broader social dimension, i.e., always someone else decides whether the manuscript will be printed or paintings will be displayed. ...
... Csikszentmihalyi (1988) explains that the reason for this is that creativity has a broader social dimension, i.e., always someone else decides whether the manuscript will be printed or paintings will be displayed. On the other hand, curiosity has self-regulatory mechanism that encourages intrinsic goal orientation, persistence, personal development, and creativity -with proper circumstances (Kashdan & Fincham, 2002). It is obvious that there is a positive feedback loop between these various intra-individual constructs. ...
Article
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The aim of the study was to assess the relationship between curiosity and well-being in the sample of university students. A total of 318 college students from the Faculty of Teacher Education and the Faculty of Kinesiology (100 males and 215 females) participated in the study. The students ranged in age from 18 to 26. Four questionnaires were administered: Curiosity and Exploration Inventory - CEI-II (Kashdan et al., 2009), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule - PANAS (Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988), Flourishing Scale – FS (Diener et al., 2009) and Basic Needs Satisfaction Scale (Gagné, 2003). Results of ANOVAs showed that students of the Faculty of Kinesiology had higher scores on both curiosity scales: Curiosity Stretching and Curiosity Embracing. Curiosity stretching reflects the motivation to seek out knowledge and new experiences while embracing dimension is related to willingness to embrace the novel, uncertain, and unpredictable nature of everyday life. They also scored higher on positive affect and lower on negative affect. There was no statistical difference between students from the two faculties on the flourishing scale and the scale used to measure satisfaction of basic psychological needs. Gender differences were found only for negative affects, with females scoring higher on the negative affect scale. Both curiosity scales were correlated to well-being scales, but as the results of hierarchical regression analyses revealed, only curiosity stretching was a significant predictor of basic needs satisfaction, positive affect and flourishing. Among students of the Faculty of Kinesiology, motivation to seek out knowledge and new experiences has a greater role in their well-being. This suggests the possibility of positive influence of curiosity on well-being and the need to pay more attention to methods for developing curiosity in teaching and learning at the university level.
... They have high persistence in searching for new information. While according to Kashdan and Fincham (2002), curiosity has a strong contribution to improve one's concentration. Therefore, curious individuals can maintain their focus during the information-seeking process. ...
... It is because entrepreneurs with a high level of curiosity enjoy the information-seeking and knowledge-acquisition process (Celik et al., 2016;Jeraj & Marič, 2013;Litman, 2008). They tend to be more persistent (Kashdan & Fincham, 2002), and they also have the capability to handle uncertain situations (Syed, et al. 2020). ...
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to see the effect of curiosity toward business opportunity recognition process and to assess the moderating effect of motivation. By undertaking a survey to collect data from 316 small medium enterprises entrepreneurs and performed interaction analysis using PROCESS macro V3.5.5, this study successfully revealed that curiosity contribute positively toward opportunity perception. From interaction analysis result revealed that the effect of financial motivation toward curiosity-opportunity perception are different from the effect of time flexibility motivation. The result of this study is expected to fill the gap in entrepreneurship literature by providing clear explanation regarding to the role of curiosity in entrepreneurial opportunity recognition process. This study also intends to contribute in SME entrepreneur's capacity development process in order to be able to identify new business opportunities.
... La creatividad, igualmente, es el resultado de la interacción de cualidades que la persona posee y que se proyectan en mayor o menor grado según las circunstancias (Sternberg y Lubart, 1995). La persona creativa es curiosa por las cosas que suceden en la vida, tiene confianza en sus posibilidades, tolera la ambigüedad, es flexible y extrovertida, vive en armonía con sus emociones al mismo tiempo que es sensible a las emociones de los demás y, por último, acepta el riesgo cuando desea dar cierto salto mental en su producción (Barron y Harrington, 1981;Kashdan y Fincham, 2002;Sternberg y Lubart, 1993). El ambiente, por supuesto, tiene su influencia en la creatividad, puesto que ayuda a maximizar la ejecución creativa fomentando la inspiración y evaluando los resultados. ...
Article
Introducción. El objetivo de esta investigación fue examinar las relaciones existentes entre la ansiedad estado y rasgo y la creatividad verbal y gráfica así como la contribución de los tipos de ansiedad en la predicción de la creatividad en alumnos de Educación Secundaria Obligatoria.Método. El estudio se realizó con 89 sujetos, de ambos sexos en edades comprendidas entre 12 y 14 años. Para ello, se aplicaron el Cuestionario de Autoevaluación Ansiedad Estado/Rasgo, formado por dos escalas independientes que miden situaciones transitorias y vivencias generales de tensión, y la Prueba de Imaginación Creativa, que evalúa dos tipos de creatividad con sus manifestaciones verbal y gráfica y la imaginación creativa o creatividad total.Resultados. Los resultados mostraron una relación negativa y estadísticamente significativa entre los dos tipos de ansiedad y la creatividad verbal y gráfica, siendo más elevada y significativa con la ansiedad rasgo. Sin embargo, ni la ansiedad estado ni la ansiedad rasgo resultaron buenas predictoras de la creatividad verbal y gráfica y de la imaginación creativa, si bien la primera tuvo mayor capacidad predictiva que la segunda.Conclusiones. Las conclusiones del estudio resultan interesantes a nivel de investigación pues aportan datos sobre las relaciones de la ansiedad con la creatividad.
... Curiosity has been shown to be positively correlated with creativity [16,17]. As such, the second tool used was the Curiosity and Exploration Inventory (CEI). ...
... NFC is also related to curiosity , "the desire for new knowledge or experience" (Litman & Silvia, 2006 ). Throughout the literature, various scales and empirical work on curiosity have emphasized different but related conceptualizations of this construct: e.g., as a facilitator of personal growth (Kashdan & Fincham, 2002 ;Kashdan, Rose, & Fincham, 2004 ), as motivation toward new opportunities for knowledge or sensory information (Collins, Litman, & Spielberger, 2004 ;Litman & Spielberger, 2003 ), and as a more global trait that disposes an individual to fi nd many diverse topics interesting (Peterson & Seligman, 2004 ). Recognizing the potential overlap between measures of curiosity and NFC, a number of studies have attempted to empirically examine this relationship. ...
Chapter
Need for cognition is a psychological construct that refers to an individual’s desire for, and enjoyment of, intellectually engaging activities. As such, a substantial amount of research has shed light on how need for cognition is associated with numerous positive outcomes, such as learning and academic success, and also how it is associated to theoretically related constructs found in the literature (e.g., intellectual engagement, epistemic curiosity). The current chapter begins by providing an overview of the historical background and development of need for cognition. The subsequent section provides a review of the empirical work in psychology and education that has since illuminated the differences, similarities, and relationships between this construct and others that share a similar theoretical orientation. We then describe the different methods that need for cognition is assessed and briefly discuss their various psychometric properties. Finally, the chapter closes with a discussion of how need for cognition has been shown to be related to desirable learning and educational outcomes and how this trait may be cultivated in order to promote these beneficial and positive effects. In addition, some insights for future research are provided.
... In fact, curiosity seems to be a primary motive in improving industry and creativity. "Without curiosity, the act of pursuing success, eminence, and creativity is not enough to motivate an individual to consistently maintain 10-, 12-, or even 16-hour workdays" (Kashdan & Fincham, 2002). Curiosity and intelligence are traditionally viewed as the two necessary conditions for a high level of creativity (Day & Langevin, 1969). ...
Article
Full-text available
Numerous recent studies have used neuroscientific methods such as event-related potentials and functional magnetic resonance imaging to demystify insight and creativity. To do so, 1 key prerequisite is the creation of a large enough number of homogeneous problems that can reliably produce insight-like experiences within a short time window. The Remote Associates Test (RAT) and its variant, the compound remote associate (CRA) problems developed by Bowden and Jung-Beeman (2003), are 2 of the most popular and important instruments for unraveling the behavioral and cognitive, especially electrophysiological and neural, mechanisms of creative thinking and insight. However, little research has examined cognitive, neural, or even behavioral correlates of remote association and creative insight in the Chinese context because of the absence of a Chinese RAT/CRA. The present work, based on Mednick's (1962) associative theory, developed a Chinese version of the CRA test with enough items. The reliability, criterion-related validity, and underlying structure of this test were then further assessed. The results revealed that the test possesses satisfactory psychometric properties and is an appropriate psychometric instrument for uncovering neural correlates of creative thinking, creative insight, and associative thought.
... This reasoning echoes with existing theories on the effect of non-cognitive factors on cognitive performance (Alberti and Witryol, 1994). Moreover, we argue that curiosity is not only related to intrinsic motivation and persistence in knowledge seeking (Kashdan and Fincham, 2002), but also facilitates innovative performance at work through this mechanism (Amabile, 2001). ...
Article
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between individual work-related curiosity and worker innovation and to test the mediating role of worker divergent thinking. Design/methodology/approach In all, 480 participants, holding 188 different jobs, filled in a validated work-related curiosity scale and indicated their job title. Job requirements in terms of divergent thinking and innovation − derived from the Online Information Network (O*NET) database − were used as proxies for divergent thinking and innovation skills. Findings Results indicated that individual work-related curiosity was a positive predictor of worker innovation and that worker divergent thinking mediated this relationship. Research limitations/implications Individual work-related curiosity supports exploratory skills which support in turn innovation skills. Practical implications Managers could use individual work-related curiosity as a predictor of innovation skills when recruiting, training and guiding employees. Originality/value This study is the first to show an association between individual work-related curiosity and innovation skills across more than 150 different jobs.
Article
Responds to the comments by T. B. Kashdan and F. D. Fincham (see record 2002-12932-014), J. C. Kaufman (see record 2002-12932-016 and J. Raven (see record 2002-12932-015) on the articles that discussed creativity in the April 2001 issue of American Psychologist. The current author does not disagree with any of the comments made. He states that although creative people differ in an astonishing number of ways, there is, in fact, one key attribute that they all possess, an attribute consistent with the original articles in American Psychologist's special section on creativity and consistent with these new commentaries as well. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The psychological study of creativity is essential to human progress. If strides are to be made in the sciences, humanities, and arts, we must arrive at a far more detailed understanding of the creative process, its antecedents, and its inhibitors. This review, encompassing most subspecialties in the study of creativity and focusing on twenty-first-century literature, reveals both a growing interest in creativity among psychologists and a growing fragmentation in the field. To be sure, research into the psychology of creativity has grown theoretically and methodologically sophisticated, and researchers have made important contributions from an ever-expanding variety of disciplines. But this expansion has not come without a price. Investigators in one subfield often seem unaware of advances in another. Deeper understanding requires more interdisciplinary research, based on a systems view of creativity that recognizes a variety of interrelated forces operating at multiple levels.
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The purpose of this study is to examine whether flexible and fluent thinking skills, two important elements in divergent thinking, can be enhanced through creative drama process. The research was conducted on 30 subjects, 15 in an experimental group and 15 in a control group. Each group consisted of 9 females and 6 males. All subjects were postgraduate students, and the average age was 25. Flexibility and fluency were assessed through “circle drawing” and “alternate uses of objects” sub-tests. Both groups were given an initial pre-test. Then the experimental group attended a 10-week creative drama course, 3 h a week. A week after drama process was completed, a post-test was applied to both groups. Determining the pre-test and post-test score differences of the two groups, the one-way MANOVA analysis with a 2 × 2 design was applied. The results show that creative drama process can help enhance the two important aspects of divergent thinking, fluency and flexibility, in adult groups.
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The goals of this study were to examine the relationship between creativity and personality, to identify what personality variables better predict creativity, and to determine whether significant differences exist among them in relation to gender. The research was conducted with a sample of 87 students at the Universidad Pública de Navarra, Spain. We administered the Creative Intelligence Test (CREA), which provides a cognitive measure for creativity and the Situational Personality Questionnaire (SPQ), which is composed of 15 personality features. Positive and significant correlations between creativity and independence, cognitive control, and tolerance personality scales were found. Negative and significant correlations between creativity and anxious, dominant, and aggressive personalities were also found. Moreover, four personality variables that positively predicted creativity (efficacy, independence, cognitive control, and integrity-honesty) and another four that negatively predicted creativity (emotional stability, anxiety, dominance, and leadership) were identified. The results did not show significant differences in creativity and personality in relation to gender, except in self-concept and in social adjustment. In conclusion, the results from this study can potentially be used to expand the types of features that support creative personalities.
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The potential effects of aerobic exercise on creative potential were explored both immediately following moderate aerobic exercise and after a 2-hr lag. Sixty college students participated in an experiment consisting of 3 regimens varying the time when a Torrance Test of Creative Thinking was taken in relation to exercise completion. The results supported the hypotheses that creative potential will be greater on completion of moderate aerobic exercise than when not preceded by exercise (immediate effects), that creative potential will be greater following a 2-hr lag time following exercise than when not preceded by exercise (residual effects), and that creative potential will not be significantly different immediately following exercise than after a 2-hr lag time following exercise (enduring residual effects). Limitations and implications for future research were discussed.
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Introduction. The aim of this research was to examine the relationship between state and trait anxiety and verbal and graphic creativity, as well as how the two types of anxiety contribute to predicting creativity in students of Compulsory Secondary Education. Method. The study was conducted with 89 subjects of both sexes between the ages of 12 and 14. The State/Trait Anxiety Inventory was applied, consisting of two independent scales that measure transitory situations and general experiences of stress, and the Prueba de Imaginación Creativa [Test of Creative Imagination], which assesses two types of creativity in their verbal and graphic manifestations, and creative imagination or total creativity. Results. The results showed a negative, statistically significant relationship between both types of anxiety and verbal and graphic creativity; the relationship with trait anxiety being stronger and more significant. However, neither state anxiety nor trait anxiety was a good predictor of verbal and graphic creativity and creative imagination, although the first was more predictive than the second. Discussion and conclusions. The research findings are interesting because of the data they contribute regarding the relationship between anxiety and creativity.
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Although it is important to include creative potential in the criteria for gifted programs, a review of the literature reveals creativity testing for this purpose to be a controversial topic. As creativity is a complex, multifaceted construct difficult to measure and operationalize, instruments purporting to measure creative abilities may lead to in-accurate assessments. The purpose of this article is to present and clarify some of the many conflicting perspectives of creativity testing in order for educators involved in gifted programs to make informed decisions about their use. Suggestions for measurement selection and alternative methods of assessing creative potential are offered.
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Electronic government (e-Government) is one of the most important ways to bridge the digital divide in developing countries. We develop a model of e-Government portal use. We use various individual characteristics, namely demographics and personality, as predictors of e-Government portal use. Specifically, our predictors were (1) gender, age, income and education; (2) the Big Five personality characteristics, i.e. extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness and openness to experience; and (3) personal innovativeness with information technology. We conducted a field study in a village in India. We collected data from over 300 heads of household. We found support for our model, with most variables being significant and explaining 40% of the variance in e-Government portal use.
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PC-based games are currently being used for military training, but the instructional and motivational features of such technology are not well understood. To identify features of training games that influence instruction and motivation, a popular first-person-perspective game with a military theme was analyzed empirically. Twenty-one participants played the “basic training” portion of the game, which included Army background information, virtual marksmanship training, an obstacle course, virtual weapons familiarization, and an urban terrain training mission. The results of this research provide useful information to individuals developing training games, desktop simulations, and interactive multimedia courseware to meet optimal training objectives and strategies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)
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Research Findings: Pretend play is an important context that supports young children's developing social-cognitive and creative abilities. The play behaviors of 70 sibling dyads in early and middle childhood were examined for the following indices of creativity in play: (a) play themes (set-up/organization, expected, creative), (b) object use (set-up/organization, expected transformations, creative transformations), and (c) descriptive language (adjectives, adverbs). Internal state references, which are markers of social understanding (i.e., cognitive and emotional states), were also coded. Findings showed that (a) children who engaged in set-up themes (i.e., stating and describing play themes) and set-up object use (i.e., organizing props) were less likely to develop play scenarios with expected themes (i.e., themes that emanated from the props’ defining characteristics, such as a farmer milking a cow) or creative themes (i.e., themes that moved beyond the constraints imposed by the play materials, such as a tornado blowing down a barn), (b) children who developed expected themes were more likely to develop creative themes, and (c) adverbs were positively associated with expected themes and creative object transformations. Finally, we identified predictors of both creative themes and creative object transformations. Practice or Policy: Findings are discussed in light of recent research, theory, and implications for practice.
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The present study investigated the contributions of an overall personality taxonomy (HEXACO) and boredom proneness to creativity and curiosity. Past research has indicated that creativity and curiosity are related processes that are informed by personality variables. Prior, largely theoretical, work also suggests that the tendency to experience boredom may be linked to creativity and curiosity. In the present study, hierarchical multiple regressions were used to evaluate the role of personality and boredom proneness in the prediction of creativity and curiosity. The results confirmed the importance of personality (especially Openness to Experience) as an important predictor of creativity and curiosity. Furthermore, we found that boredom proneness was a positive predictor of curiosity in several forms once its shared variance with overall personality structure was partialled out. In addition, while the literature has found that boredom as a state triggers creativity, the results of this study indicate that boredom as a personality trait is not predictive of creativity. These findings suggest several interesting possibilities. Of note, if its inhibited qualities could be overcome, boredom proneness might be able to play a positive role in curiosity.
Article
Comments on the article by C. Martindale (see record 2001-00625-007 ) which discussed the intellect of Thomas Young. The current author discusses creativity as it relates to curiosity.
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Human beings can be proactive and engaged or, alternatively, passive and alienated, largely as a function of the social conditions in which they develop and function. Accordingly, research guided by self-determination theory has focused on the social-contextual conditions that facilitate versus forestall the natural processes of self-motivation and healthy psychological development. Specifically, factors have been examined that enhance versus undermine intrinsic motivation, self-regulation, and well-being. The findings have led to the postulate of three innate psychological needs--competence, autonomy, and relatedness--which when satisfied yield enhanced self-motivation and mental health and when thwarted lead to diminished motivation and well-being. Also considered is the significance of these psychological needs and processes within domains such as health care, education, work, sport, religion, and psychotherapy.
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Although laypeople and creativity theorists often make the assumption that individual creativity depends primarily on talent, there is considerable evidence that hard work and intrinsic motivation-which can be supported or undermined by the social environment-also play central roles. In this article, the author uses the thoughts and work of the novelist John Irving to illustrate the prominence of nontalent components in the componential model of creativity.
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Examines thinking and research relevant to the self-expansion model of motivation and cognition in close relationships. It begins with an explanation of the key elements of the model, followed by a comment on the utility of a model of this kind in terms of the role of metaphor in science. The chapter then considers 2 key processes suggested by the model, discussing the theoretical foundation and research relevant to each. These 2 processes are, first, that relationship satisfaction is increased through the association of the relationship with self-expansion and, second, that the relationship means cognitively that each partner has included the other in his or her self. Implications of the model for 3 other relationship-relevant issues (selectivity in attraction, motivations for unrequited love, and the effects on the self of falling in love) are considered. Concludes with a brief consideration of other relationship-relevant ramifications of the model. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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It is customary to date the renewal of interest in creativity among psychologists to Guillord’s presidential address to the APA more than 30 years ago (Guilford 1950). Ever since that date, an increasing tide of publications on the subject has been appearing in our journals. Many of these books and articles have tried to answer what has been thought to be the most fundamental question: What is creativity? But no one has raised the simple question that should precede attempts at defining, measuring, or enhancing, namely: Where is creativity?
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Thomas Young is arguably one of the greatest geniuses who ever lived, but most people have never heard of him, though he was renowned in his own era. He did important work in a large variety of scientific disciplines, but that was his downfall. Given the specialization of the present era, physicists do not appreciate how important his work in linguistics was, linguists do not appreciate the importance of his work in psychology, and so on. Despite his obscurity today, Young nicely exemplifies the traits that one finds in a genius of the first order: tendency toward analogical thinking, high intelligence, an amazing capacity for hard work, extremely wide interests, distaste for traditional dogmas, and very high self-esteem.
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This article illustrates how creativity is constituted by forces beyond the innovating individual, drawing examples from the career of the eminent chemist Linus Pauling. From a systems perspective, a scientific theory or other product is creative only if the innovation gains the acceptance of a field of experts and so transforms the culture. In addition to this crucial selective function vis-à-vis the completed work, the social field can play a catalytic role, fostering productive interactions between person and domain throughout a career. Pauling's case yields examples of how variously the social field contributes to creativity, shaping the individual's standards of judgment and providing opportunities, incentives, and critical evaluation. A formidable set of strengths suited Pauling for his scientific achievements, but examination of his career qualifies the notion of a lone genius whose brilliance carries the day.
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Although laypeople and creativity theorists often make the assumption that individual creativity depends primarily on talent, there is considerable evidence that hard work and intrinsic motivation--which can be supported or undermined by the social environment--also play central roles. In this article, the author uses the thoughts and work of the novelist John Irving to illustrate the prominence of nontalent components in the componential model of creativity.
Oscillations and analogies
  • C Martindale
  • C. Martindale
The Curiosity and Exploration Inventory: Theoretical basis and construct validation
  • T B Kashdan
  • P Rose
  • F D Fincham
Curiosity and interest
  • T B Kashdan