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Blind variation and selective retention in creative thought as in other knowledge processes

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Abstract

How does man know anything and, in particular, how can we account for creative thought? Campbell posits 2 major conditions: mechanisms which produce wide and frequent variation (an inductive, trial and error, fluency of ideas) and criteria for the selection of the inductive given (the critical function). The ramifications of this perspective are explored in terms of organic evolution and human history, and in terms of psychology and epistemology. This exposition is offered as a pretheoretical model.

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... We know about creativity primarily is based on conceptual studies that seek to answer what creativity is and what leads to creativity? The existing evidence shows that creativity is inherent in all people, but several ingredients contribute to creativity, such as individuals' cognitive ability, social environment, time, and place (Cambell, 1960;Csikszentmihalyi, 1994;Guildford, 1967;Mednickk, 1962;Weisberg, 2006;Woodman et al., 1993). Some research considers creativity to occur step by step over a long period of time (Wallas, 1926). ...
... Taking the Darwinian lens of the eye, Cambell (1960) used the evolutionary epistemology perspective, which views knowledge as the primary function of survival and spreading the genetic codes. Specifically, Campbell argued that knowledge grows depending on 'blind variations' and the number of 'trial and error'; But those ideas that work will be retained and allowed to reproduce something unplanned and without awareness into their quality. ...
... Apart from organizational culture, one of the most essential and empirically relevant findings is the influence of the organizational climate on creativity. One may expect individuals to become more creative under pressure because it might be regarded as survival (Cambell, 1960). The philosopher Ayn Rand (i.e. ...
Article
Employee creativity has become an essential concept in tourism and hospitality literature in the last two decades. Nevertheless, empirical evidence on creativity has developed into a fragmented area of research with a variety of definitions and conceptual lenses. The current study suggests that this discrepancy of extant research impedes theoretical and empirical advancement. This study systematically reviews studies in the tourism and hospitality field to strengthen future work on employee creativity. The study results show that leadership is the most powerful predating and moderating factor in employee creativity. The results also show that positive organizational culture and climate factors greatly influence employee creativity. Finally, this study proposes a combined framework of creative qualities, which can be used as a managerial tool in tourism and hospitality, and other similar service-oriented industries.
... To be sure, Campbell's impact on psychology is largely attributed to his methodological contributions, most notably his work on quasiexperimental designs and the multitrait-multimethod matrix (e.g., Campbell, 1969;Campbell & Fiske, 1959;Campbell & Stanley, 1966). Even so, he made one theoretical contribution that continues to exert an impact on contemporary creativity research, namely, his blindvariation and selective-retention (BVSR) theory published more than six decades ago (Campbell, 1960). Yet at the same time, BVSR theory has undergone major developments over the intervening years (e.g., Simonton, 2011b). ...
... At time of this writing, Campbell's (1960) article on "Blind Variation and Selective Retention in Creative Thought as in Other Knowledge Processes" has received well more than 3000 citations. By comparison, Mednick's (1962) paper on "The Associative Basis of the Creative Process," which was published in the same top-tier journal about the same time, has received more than 5500 citations. ...
... Of the two theories, Campbell's (1960) might have proved the more controversial, with debates on its merits extending over the next half century, and at times the arguments getting intense (Simonton, 2011b). Moreover, given his epistemological emphasis, this controversy engaged philosophers as well as psychologists. ...
... This work has uncovered that novelty on average reduces the likelihood of market success, as typical products tend to outperform more-novel ones (Ward, Bitner, and Barnes, 1992;Veryzer and Hutchinson, 1998;Fleming, 2001;Uzzi et al., 2013;Liu et al., 2017), even in so-called creative industries (Becker, 1982;Martindale, 1990;Interiano et al., 2018). On the other hand, a separate body of research has advocated for an evolutionary view of creativity, focusing on a different dimension of creativity: the variety among creators' own products (e.g., Campbell, 1960;Simonton, 1997Simonton, , 1999Simonton, , 2011. This work highlights a positive relationship between variety and market success, as generating a wider variety of products increases creators' odds of a hit. ...
... Second, in contrast to novelty, variety should be a positive predictor of initial success. This view is consistent with evolutionary theories of creativity and innovation, which posit that given the uncertainty in how new products will perform in the market, generating a wider variety of products should increase the odds of a hit (Campbell, 1960;Simonton, 1984Simonton, , 1997Simonton, , 1999Simonton, , 2011Staw, 1990;Aldrich, 1999). ...
... This research both supports and challenges evolutionary theories of creativity and innovation. Evolutionary theories posit that variety is the key dimension of creativity in predicting market success (e.g., Campbell, 1960;Staw, 1990;Aldrich, 1999;Simonton, 1999). Such theories construe creativity and innovation as part of a Darwinian process in which multiple variants are generated and then relatively few are selectively retained based on their fitness in the environment. ...
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Creative industries produce many one-hit wonders who struggle to repeat their initial success and fewer hit makers who sustain success over time. To develop theory on the role of creativity in driving sustained market success, I propose a path dependence theory of creators’ careers that considers creators’ whole portfolios of products over time and how their early portfolios shape their later capacity to sustain success. The main idea is that a creator’s path to sustained success depends on the creativity in their portfolio at the time of their initial hit—relatively creative portfolios give creators more options for leveraging their past portfolios while adapting to market changes, increasing their odds of additional hits. I tested the proposed theory using an archival study of the U.S. music industry from 1959–2010, including data on over 3 million songs by 69,050 artists, and the results largely support the hypotheses. Artists who reached their initial hits with relatively creative (novel or varied) portfolios were more likely to generate additional hits, but a novel portfolio was less likely to yield an initial hit than was a typical portfolio. These findings suggest that new creators face a tradeoff between their likelihood of initial versus sustained success, such that building a relatively creative early portfolio is a risky bet that can make or break a creator’s career.
... Beyond novelty and appropriateness, variation in expression is also an important characteristic of creative products. The idea of variability contributing to creativity has a long history within creativity research, beginning with Campbell's (1960) assertion that variability in behavior is necessary to discover novel solutions to problems (see also Simonton, 1999). Stokes (2001) has argued that high variability levels are a hallmark of divergent thinking and that variability within a domain can be learned during the early stages of skill acquisition (Stokes, 1999). ...
... Variability is not necessarily just blind variation (cf. Campbell, 1960;Simonton, 1999), however. Rather, constraints are necessary to generate and sustain novelty (Stokes, 2007). ...
... Because variability is a hallmark of creative behavior (Campbell, 1960;Simonton, 1999;Stokes, 1999Stokes, , 2001, we expected to see a wide variety of creative expressions within the programming choices made by the research subjects. In addition, we hypothesized greater variability for the more complex problem. ...
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Products from many domains (art, music, engineering design, literature, etc.) are considered to be creative works, but there is a misconception that computer programs are limited by set expressions and thus have no room for creativity. To determine whether computer programs are creative works, we collected programs from 23 advanced graduate students that were written to solve simple and complex bioinformatics problems. These programs were assessed for their variability of expression using a new measurement that we designed. They were also evaluated on several elements of their creativity using a version of Cropley and Kaufman’s (2012) Creative Solution Diagnosis Scale that was modified to refer to programming. We found a high degree of variation in the programs that were produced, with 11 unique solutions for the simple problem and 20 unique solutions for the complex problem. We also found higher ratings of propulsion-genesis and problematization for the complex problem than for the simple problem. This combination of variation in expression and differences in level of creativity based on program complexity suggests that computer programs, like many other products, count as creative works. Implications for the creativity literature, computer science education, and intellectual property law, particularly copyright, are discussed.
... The way we think of novelty inevitably primes the way we theorize its emergence and legitimation. Under a conceptualization of novelty as a special case of proximity, it is unsurprising that forces and factors favoring the emergence of dissimilarities and differences, such as blind variation (Campbell, 1960), divergent thinking (Guilford, 1957), distant search (March, 1991), and prior related knowledge and diversity of background (Cohen & Levinthal, 1990), have been traditionally invoked as explanations for creativity and innovation. The essential insight is that differences breed differences and similarity begets similarity. ...
... Less common and yet relevant notions of modernity and "the spirit of the times" could be captured examining the simultaneous detachment from the past and conformity to the idiosyncrasies of the present age; inquiries on fads, fashions (Abrahamson, 1991), and cyclical trends (Simonton, 1998) could similarly reveal facets of novelty that are compatible, rather than antithetical to familiarity and similarity to the past. And potentially, it could be even possible to find the meaning of novelty looking forward, analyzing proximity to future instances not only as a metric of impact (Dahlin & Behrens, 2005;Hofstra et al., 2020) but also of "wise anticipation" (Campbell, 1960), of futuristic ideas and premature discoveries, ahead of their time (Stent, 1972). ...
... The GEM cycle is thereby more powerful or 'intelligent' than the blind variation and test strategy described by Campbell (1960). And the cycle gradually becomes more convergent as constraints accumulate. ...
... And some of the processes can involve associations/activations that can be spontaneous, such as finding a relevant schema or analogy (an additional way in which the framework is non-algorithmic.) In going beyond Campbell's (1960) evolutionary theory of creativity as blind variation and selective retention, Simonton (2016Simonton ( , 2018 describes a broadly encompassing model of personal creativity, and argues that considered modifications can be anywhere between totally blind and totally sighted, falling on a spectrum of degrees of sightedness. The features above would put the framework somewhere in the middle, and moving gradually toward the sighted end as constraints accumulate. ...
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Science historians have recognized the importance of heuristic reasoning strategies for constructing theories, but their extent and degree of organization are still poorly understood. This paper first consolidates a set of important heuristic strategies for constructing scientific models from three books, including studies in the history of genetics and electromagnetism, and an expert think-aloud study in the field of mechanics. The books focus on qualitative reasoning strategies (processes) involved in creative model construction, scientific breakthroughs, and conceptual change. Twenty four processes are examined, most of which are field-general, but all are heuristic in not being guaranteed to work. An organizing framework is then proposed as a four-level hierarchy of nested reasoning processes and subprocesses at different size and time scales, including: Level (L4) Several longer-time-scale Major Modeling Modes, such as Model Evolution and Model Competition; the former mode utilizes: (L3) Modeling Cycle Phases of Model Generation, Evaluation, and Modification under Constraints; which can utilize: (L2) Thirteen Tactical Heuristic Processes, e.g., Analogy, Infer new model feature (e.g., by running the model), etc.; many of which selectively utilize: (L1) Grounded Imagistic Processes, namely Mental Simulations and Structural Transformations. Incomplete serial ordering in the framework gives it an intermediate degree of organization that is neither anarchistic nor fully algorithmic. Its organizational structure is hypothesized to promote a difficult balance between divergent and convergent processes as it alternates between them in modeling cycles with increasingly constrained modifications. Videotaped think-aloud protocols that include depictive gestures and other imagery indicators indicate that the processes in L1 above can be imagistic. From neurological evidence that imagery uses many of the same brain regions as actual perception and action, it is argued that these expert reasoning processes are grounded in the sense of utilizing the perceptual and motor systems, and interconnections to and possible benefits for reasoning processes at higher levels are examined. The discussion examines whether this grounding and the various forms of organization in the framework may begin to explain how processes that are only sometimes useful and not guaranteed to work can combine successfully to achieve innovative scientific model construction.
... Over the last two decades, creative cognition has attracted a lot of research interest (Beaty et al., 2014;Finke et al., 1996). Following historical theories of creativity such as the associative theory (Mednick, 1962), the blind variation model (Campbell, 1960), or the SIAM model (Nijstad & Stroebe, 2006), creative ideas are assumed to emerge when ideators build on prior ideas. Thus, the effectiveness of building on ideas is widely accepted (Dugosh et al., 2000;Osborn, 1953;Parnes & Meadow, 1959;Paulus & Nijstad, 2003). ...
... These findings are consistent with integrated creativity frameworks such as the creative synthesis model (Harvey, 2014). Breaking with the dominant view that creativity is structured along two distinct phases of idea generation and idea selection (Campbell, 1960), the creative synthesis model is a dialectic and iterative process enabling ideators to integrate their diverse ideas and recognize the creative ideas when they arise (Hargadon & Bechky, 2006;Harvey & Kou, 2013;Hua et al., 2022). Our study contributes to a better understanding of how organizations can achieve such creative synthesis. ...
Article
Long-standing wisdom holds that building on ideas is beneficial for group creativity. We empirically verify this recommended practice. We analyse creativity sessions of nine groups of professionals tasked to synthesize new ideas into one final creative concept. Linkography and quantitative analysis are used for analysing the impact of building on ideas on group creativity. First, the results indicate that building on ideas does not lead to more novel, feasible, or useful ideas. Second, our study shows that building on ideas is beneficial only if the ideators build upon the “right” ideas. Ideators generate more novel ideas only when they build on novel ideas. Moreover, our research reveals a trade-off: Building on novel ideas leads to more novel but less feasible ideas while building on familiar ideas leads to less novel but more feasible ideas. Finally, we find that stimulus ideas (i.e., ideas that are built upon) are more likely to be selected and integrated into the final concept. Taken together, our results indicate that building on novel ideas enhances the generation and selection processes. Implications for theory and research on creativity in organizations are discussed.
... I will explain this using the theoretical work of Campbell (1965) and Arthur (2009). Though unknown to each other, Arthur's work on technological change is a perfect application of Campbell's more general account of how knowledge advances. ...
... What separates Campbell's and Arthur's work from endogenous technological change is that, whereas ETC leaves 'ingenuity' as a vague and uninterrogated concept, the former supplies the process by which the creative act takes place: blind variation and selective retention, to use Campbell's terminology (Campbell, 1965). Blind variation means trial-and-error. ...
Article
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Green political theory has a problem: it fails to account for human ingenuity. As a result, it has always struggled to refute the technologically optimistic notion that, in an era of rapid technological development, new technologies will materialise to resolve environmental ills. From ecologism’s first emergence, this idea has been its opponents’ ultimate recourse. It is especially significant because it denies the constitutive claim of ecologism that environmental problems require political solutions. It is in this claim that the green alternative to modernity and its ideologies is advanced. Yet, green scholars have never successfully refuted technological optimism; indeed, ecologism has always lost the scholarly battles over technological change, even as technology has failed to mitigate environmental catastrophe in the real world. This article’s green theory of technological change alters this: it shows that the green belief that technological development is unpredictable is in fact well-founded. In so doing, it buttresses the green challenge to modern political ideologies and justifies the movement for ecologism in the world. In short, it reasserts the claim that the natural is political and reinforces the need for a distinctly green version of political theory.
... Whether the creative process is a Darwinian mechanism is a matter of debate (Campbell, 1960;Gabora, 2005Gabora, , 2013Simonton, 1999), but there is no question that creative exploration is a highly selective process (Simonton, 1999) in which the best solutions move forward and the worst ones are filtered out through a process of optimization, just as in general problem solving (Weisberg, 2020) and operant conditioning (Stahlman, Leising, Garlick, & Blaisdell, 2013). Because creative work generally produces a set of interim sketches and products (e.g., Weisberg, 2004), a better metaphor for creative work than biological evolution (Campbell, 1960;Simonton, 1999) is cultural evolution. ...
... Whether the creative process is a Darwinian mechanism is a matter of debate (Campbell, 1960;Gabora, 2005Gabora, , 2013Simonton, 1999), but there is no question that creative exploration is a highly selective process (Simonton, 1999) in which the best solutions move forward and the worst ones are filtered out through a process of optimization, just as in general problem solving (Weisberg, 2020) and operant conditioning (Stahlman, Leising, Garlick, & Blaisdell, 2013). Because creative work generally produces a set of interim sketches and products (e.g., Weisberg, 2004), a better metaphor for creative work than biological evolution (Campbell, 1960;Simonton, 1999) is cultural evolution. Creative work proceeds at the local level of the creative group in a very similar manner to cultural evolution at the culture-wide level, resulting in a progressive change in the stylistic features of the product over time. ...
Article
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One of the central questions about the cognitive neuroscience of creativity is the extent to which creativity depends on either domain-specific or domain-general mechanisms. To address this question, we carried out two parallel activation likelihood estimation meta-analyses of creativity: 1) a motoric analysis that combined studies across five domains of creative production (verbalizing, music, movement, writing, and drawing), and 2) an analysis of the standard ideational task used to study divergent thinking, the Alternate Uses task. All experiments contained a contrast between a creative task and a matched non-creative or less-creative task that controlled for the sensorimotor demands of task performance. The activation profiles of the two meta-analyses were non-overlapping, but both pointed to a domain-specific interpretation in which creative production is, at least in part, an enhancement of sensorimotor brain areas involved in non-creative production. The most concordant areas of activation in the motoric meta-analysis were high-level motor areas such as the pre-supplementary motor area and inferior frontal gyrus that interface motor planning and executive control, suggesting a means of uniting domain-specificity and -generality in creative production.
... Evaluative skill refers to the ability to accurately judge an idea or product in terms of originality or creativity (Grohman et al., 2006;Runco & Smith, 1992;Silvia, 2008). Many researchers have recognized the importance of the evaluative component of creative processes, though by different names, such as verification (Wallas, 1926), selective retention (Campbell, 1960;Simonton, 1999a), adoption criteria (Rodgers & Adhikarya, 1979), discernment (Silvia, 2008) and evaluative skill (Runco & Smith, 1992). Another relevant concept is creative metacognition (Kaufman & Beghetto, 2013), which refers to one's creative knowledge about the self (e.g., creative self-efficacy) as well as the context (e.g., when to be creative). ...
... Furthermore, Runco and Vega (1990) asked parents and teachers to rate children's ideas and revealed a positive relationship between DT and evaluative skill. One explanation for this positive link was that most creativity process models include both the stages of idea generation and idea evaluation (Campbell, 1960;Lubart, 1994;Mumford et al., 1991;Rodgers & Adhikarya, 1979;Runco & Chand, 1995;Simonton, 1999a;Wallas, 1926). Similarly, Runco and Chand (1994) argued that highly divergent people may be experts at generating ideas and are more sensitive to the production process; thus, they can more accurately judge creativity. ...
Article
Evaluative skill, the ability to accurately assess ideas in terms of originality or creativity, is a critical component of creativity. It involves discarding bad ideas and discerning ideas that are worthwhile to pursue. In light of the growing research on the association between individuals’ evaluative skill and divergent thinking (DT), a research synthesis is needed to clarify discrepant results. Therefore, we examined the relationship between DT and evaluative skill with a three‐level meta‐analytic approach. Based on 96 effect sizes in 20 studies with a total sample of 3,019 participants, results indicated that DT was positively associated with evaluative skill, r = .13 (95% CI [.07, .20], p < .001). Follow‐up moderator analyses revealed that the type of DT tests, the source of ideas, and the type of evaluation tasks were significant moderators. Compared with Instances, Line Meanings, and Consequences, the relationship was (a) weaker when the Uses task was used as the DT test, (b) stronger when the evaluation task was based on Uses, and (c) stronger when people rated their own ideas than when they rated others. The findings implied that DT and evaluative skill are conceptually distinct but interrelated and suggested ways to enhance evaluative skill.
... (2) Collective creativity can be seen as an evolutionary process arising from the interaction of individual thinking (Brown et al., 1998;Campbell, 1960;Fauconnier & Turner, 2003;Mednick, 1962;Schilling, 2005;Simonton, 2003;Simonton, 2010). (3) Analyzing the collective dynamics of ideation trajectories for a group or community can reveal many important features of the process, such as fixation, oscillation, preferential attention, etc., which can be augmented further by including feedback from the thinking agents. ...
... We model ideation as a fundamentally dynamical and combinatorial process, where semantic elements, or concepts, are combined into ideas. This view of ideation, inspired in part by biological evolution, is also consistent with a broad consensus among creativity researchers (Brown et al., 1998;Campbell, 1960;Fauconnier & Turner, 2003;Mednick, 1962;Schilling, 2005;Simonton, 2003;Simonton, 2010), and the experience of creative individuals (Mednick, 1962;Simonton, 2003). ...
Chapter
The creative process typically involves a series of phases including the divergent process of generating many ideas and the convergent process of idea evaluation and selection for further development. Only limited research has examined the convergent process and the relationship between the divergent and convergent processes. This research suggests that often the most novel ideas tend not to be selected for further development. We examine this research literature and present a model of the various factors that influence the links between the divergent and convergent phases. We describe the development and potential implementation of computer-based feedback system that may enhance the linkage between the quality of the divergent and convergent processes.
... Longstanding theories in the creativity literature emphasized the role of unconscious processes in creative cognition (see Abraham, 2018;Campbell, 1960;Martindale, 2007;Mednick, 1962;Mendelsohn, 1976;Wallas, 1926), particularly with respect to insight problem solving. On this view, cognitive control plays a minimal role-and in some cases, even a detrimental role-in solving creative problems. ...
... On this view, cognitive control plays a minimal role-and in some cases, even a detrimental role-in solving creative problems. In a similar vein, the Blind Variation and Selective Retention (BVSR) theory of creativity (Campbell, 1960;Simonton, 2011) posits that creative idea generation is largely spontaneous and unpredictable (i.e., blind). Likewise, several theories propose that cognitive disinhibition (or defocused attention) supports creative performance by "releasing" attentional control (Martindale, 2007;Mendelsohn, 1974), allowing diffuse semantic activation and extraneous sensory information to be entertained when thinking creatively (Zabelina et al., 2016). ...
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Researchers have been studying creativity for decades, and yet controversy still surrounds the cognitive basis of creative thought. A longstanding question in the creativity literature concerns the role of memory in creative cognition. Increasing evidence suggests that specific memory systems (e.g., episodic vs. semantic) may support specific creative thought processes. However, a number of inconsistencies in the literature remain with respect to the strength and direction of the relationship between memory and creativity, and key questions persist concerning the influence of specific memory types (semantic, episodic, working, and short-term) and creativity (divergent and convergent thinking) as well as external factors (age, stimuli modality) on this purported relationship. In this meta-analysis, we examined 525 correlations from 79 published studies and unpublished datasets, representing data from 12,846 individual participants. We found a small but significant (r = .19) correlation between memory and creative cognition. Among semantic, episodic, working, and short-term memory, semantic memory—particularly verbal fluency, the ability to strategically retrieve information from long-term memory—was found to drive this relationship. Further, working memory capacity was found to be more strongly related to convergent than divergent creative thinking. We also found that within visual creativity, the relationship with visual memory was greater than that of verbal memory, but within verbal creativity, the relationship with verbal memory was greater than that of visual memory. Finally, there was no overall impact of age on the overall effect size, though the memory-creativity correlation was larger for children compared to young adults. These results help to resolve over a half century of research on memory and creativity, with three key conclusions: 1) semantic memory supports both verbal and nonverbal creative thinking, 2) working memory supports convergent creative thinking, and 3) the cognitive control of memory is central to performance on creative thinking tasks.
... Benedek et al. 2012). Indeed, in the Chance-Configuration Theory (Campbell 1960), creativity results from the generation of potential mental hypotheses and their elaboration by reasoning, logic, and critical thinking. Similarly, the twofold model of creativity (Kleinmintz et al. 2019) states that creativity relies on a cyclic motion between the idea generation and its evaluation in terms of usefulness. ...
... These findings align with the assumption that DT and creativity require controlled mental processes (Benedek and Jauk 2018). Following the Chance-Configuration Theory (Campbell 1960), creativity requires two main steps. During the first step, people generate mental blind variations that determine a set of configurations or potential hypotheses. ...
Article
Divergent thinking is widely recognised as an individual creative potential and an essential factor in fostering creativity since the early stages of life. Albeit previous research revealed that creativity could be pursued through controlled mental processes (e.g. reasoning), the debate about the impact of children's reasoning on divergent thinking and, ultimately, creativity is still open. The present study sought to deepen the relationships between probabilistic reasoning and divergent thinking in a sample of 106 Italian children (meanage = 8.64, SDage = 1.34; 58 F). The Beads Task was used to evaluate probabilistic reasoning, whereas the Alternative Uses Task was administered to assess divergent thinking. Results revealed that analytical, slow, and effortful forms of thought underpinned by high probabilistic competencies predict children's divergent production. These findings suggest that a higher score for divergence of thinking depends on a high involvement of reasoning style, which in this study relies on the ability to make probabilistic decisions in ambiguous situations. Future research directions were discussed.
... The association between creativity and divergent thinking as well as between fluid intelligence and convergent thinking, however, is oversimplified, especially when looking at the intermediate steps of the creative process itself. The creative process starts with the generation of several ideas, which need to be selected and evaluated later based on their "fitting" to the desired outcome (Campbell, 1960;Ellamil, Dobson, Beeman, & Christoff, 2012;Jaarsveld & van Leeuwen, 2005). This means that creativity does not only involve divergent thinking (i.e., idea generation), it also requires convergent processes to fulfill the demands of creative problem solving (i.e., evaluation and selection; see also Getzels & Csikszentmihalyi, 1976;Smilanski & Halberstadt, 1986;Smilansky, 1984). ...
Article
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Although the relationship between creativity and fluid intelligence has been studied extensively with divergent and convergent thinking tasks, the underlying neural mechanisms of this relationship are still under debate. As both have been associated to working memory (WM), the question arises if there are shared underlying mechanisms for creativity and fluid intelligence other than WM-related activity. The present study examined how creativity and fluid intelligence, as measured by the creative reasoning task (CRT) and Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM), respectively, are characterized by modulations in the upper alpha band (10–12 Hz) and if they share common mechanisms beyond the requirement to maintain information in WM. Hence, we subtracted WM-related activity, measured within the same knowledge domain and by using highly comparable stimulus material, from both divergent and convergent thinking activity. Furthermore, to account for the temporal variability in the creative process, we investigated divergent and convergent thinking at early, intermediate and late stages. By introducing this methodological approach, we provide evidence for a higher fronto-parietal alpha synchronization in divergent relative to convergent thinking, especially towards the end of the thinking phase. Furthermore, we provide evidence that creativity and fluid intelligence share underlying mechanisms above and beyond task demands that rely on WM processes.
... 74,75 That view of the brain enabled Guilford to systematize creativity into a rational science that was clear, teachable, and assessable; so, even though the Structure of Intellect theory was dismissed by later psychologists as an "eccentric aberration," 73 Guilford's general commitment to reducing creativity to a set of logical tasks that ran on symbolic data was adopted in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s by Alex F. Osborn (the inventor of brainstorming), Sarnoff Medick (the author of the Remote Associations Test), William J. J. Gordon (an advocate of conceptual transposition and defamiliarization), and D.T. Campbell (a theorist of blind variation and selective retention) and has, over the past half-century, become foundational to the academic field of creativity studies and its most well-known subfield, design. [76][77][78][79][80] This computational approach to analyzing and measuring creativity has had many practical gains in both creativity training and assessment. In training, it has led to exercises that increase divergent thinking by expanding working memory, fostering analogical thinking, improving associational fluency, promoting diverse mix-and-matching from mental sets, nurturing combinatorial play, and leveraging brainstorming into focused output via convergent thinking, critical thinking, causal winnowing, and problem solving. ...
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Creativity is a major source of innovation, growth, adaptability, and psychological resilience, making it a top priority of governments, global corporations, educational institutions, and other organizations that collectively invest hundreds of millions of dollars annually into training. The current foundation of creativity training is the technique known as divergent thinking; yet for decades, concerns have been raised about the adequacy of divergent thinking: it is incongruent with the creative processes of children and most adult creatives, and it has failed to yield expected downstream results in creative production. In this article, we present an alternative approach to creativity training, based in neural processes different from those involved in divergent thinking and drawing upon a previously unused resource for creativity research: narrative theory. We outline a narrative theory of creativity training; illustrate with examples of training and assessment from our ongoing work with the U.S. Department of Defense, Fortune 50 companies, and graduate and professional schools; and explain how the theory can help fill prominent lacunae and gaps in existing creativity research, including the creativity of children, the psychological mechanisms of scientific and technological innovation, and the failure of computer artificial intelligence to replicate human creativity.
... In its general definition, also known under the general label of Universal Darwinism, evolution is instantiated by the processes of variation, selection and retention-processes that account for the diversity that composes natural and cultural systems (cf. Campbell, 1960;Lewontin, 1970;Dawkins, 1983;Hodgson, 2005). ...
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The literatures on bounded and ecological rationality are built on adaptationism-and its associated modular, cognitivist and computational paradigm-that does not address or explain the evolutionary origins of rationality. We argue that the adaptive mechanisms of evolution are not sufficient for explaining human rationality, and we posit that human rationality presents exaptive origins, where exaptations are traits evolved for other functions or no function at all, and later co-opted for new uses. We propose an embodied reconceptualization of rationality-embodied rationality-based on the reuse of the perception-action system, where many neural processes involved in the control of the sensory-motor system, salient in ancestral environments have been later co-opted to create-by tinkering-high-level reasoning processes, employed in civilized niches.
... In its general definition, also known under the general label of Universal Darwinism, evolution is instantiated by the processes of variation, selection and retention-processes that account for the diversity that composes natural and cultural systems (cf. Campbell, 1960;Lewontin, 1970;Dawkins, 1983;Hodgson, 2005). ...
... The generation of ideas takes place in the creator's mind (Campbell, 1960). Accordingly, many researchers associate this stage with the concept of creativity (West, 2002;Baer, 2012;Perry-Smith, 2014). ...
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Although only implemented creative idea represents value for the organization and becomes an innovation, there is surprisingly little knowledge on the factors facilitating the implementation of innovations, particularly on an individual level. This study attempts to close this gap by developing an integrated framework for the idea implementation stage of the innovation process on an individual level. The research is qualitative and exploratory in nature and is based on two methods: (1) structured literature review conducted for deriving the framework and (2) validation by the expert panel of innovation professionals in academia from eight countries. The completed framework consists of 18 individual-level factors spread across four categories (Expertise, Motivation, Social skills and Personality traits) and can be used for the development of tools and methods for HR and managerial practices aiming at the improvement of the effectiveness of innovation implementation in organizations.
... ¿Se opone o contradice la concepción heurística del descubrimiento a la concepción campbelliana de la creatividad científica? Esta pregunta no es nueva, hace ya más de 40 años se la hacía el propio Campbell en su célebre trabajo "Blind variation and selective retention in creative thought as in other knowledge" (CAMPBELL, 1960). ¿Qué tiene de nuevo volver sobre ella? ...
... As he explains, this kind of view is generally inspired by an analogy to evolutionary processes in biology: just as new adaptive biological features arise through random genetic mutations, so are original and useful concepts supposed to arise through mutation or blind variation on prior versions of individual concepts. A more specific target of Thagard's (2012) criticism is the view developed by Simonton (2010) as a reworking of Campbell's (1960) blind-variation and selectiveretention (BVSR) model of creativity (refer to, e.g., Simonton, 1999Simonton, , 2011Simonton, , 2013Simonton, , 2018. After examining Simonton's model, Thagard suggests that, even accounting for the role of serendipity and unforeseen developments, scientific discoveries can never be entirely blind. ...
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An intuitive view is that creativity involves bringing together what is already known and familiar in a way that produces something new. In cognitive science, this intuition is typically formalized in terms of computational processes that combine or associate internally represented information. From this computationalist perspective, it is hard to imagine how non-representational approaches in embodied cognitive science could shed light on creativity, especially when it comes to abstract conceptual reasoning of the kind scientists so often engage in. The present article offers an entry point to addressing this challenge. The scientific project of embodied cognitive science is a continuation of work in the functionalist tradition in psychology developed over a century ago by William James and John Dewey, among others. The focus here is on how functionalist views on the nature of mind, thought , and experience offer an alternative starting point for cognitive science in general, and for the cognitive science of scientific creativity in particular. The result may seem paradoxical. On the one hand, the article claims that the functionalist conceptual framework motivates rejecting mainstream cognitive views of creativity as the combination or association of ideas. On the other hand, however, the strategy adopted here—namely, revisiting ideas from functionalist psychology to inform current scientific theorizing—can itself be described as a process of arriving at new, creative ideas from combinations of old ones. As is shown here, a proper understanding of cognition in light of the functionalist tradition resolves the seeming tension between these two claims.
... Но как? Под видом явлений Дарвин имел в виду «наследственное преемство с модификациями», позднее описанное Дональдом Кэмпбеллом как «слепая изменчивость с селективной ретенцией» [Morgan, 2010, p. 4;Campbell, 1960]. ...
... Due to its complexity and multi-dimensional nature, various definitions of creativity have been proposed (e.g., Mayer, 1999). For example, Guilford (1950) defined creativity as the mental abilities involved in creative achievement, while Campbell (1960) saw creativity as dependent upon blind variation and selective retention. Despite the differences and challenges in defining creativity, there seems to be agreement that creativity involves both novelty (or originality) and acceptability (or usefulness) (Mumford, 2003). ...
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Creative thinking is an essential contributor to success across all academic disciplines and therefore has long been a focus of educators. This guidebook offers insights into the current pedagogy on creative thinking skills and equips readers with the knowledge to teach them.
... Another heuristic (for defining problems) is the considering of specific problems as a "starting point" for some research and letting it shift according to experimental (physical or mental) results (Lakatos, 1976). This means that if researchers are unable to solve problem A, they can turn to the solving of problem B, and while studying this problem with little chance of success, they may suddenly come across (run into) the solution to problem C (Campbell, 1960). However, as evidenced by the review of the invention of JAVA -technological and business innovation, the effectiveness of this decision-making strategy is not just limited to science. ...
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... In this regard, visual creativity represents the production of novel and useful visual forms (Dake, 1991), and it is crucial for painting, photography, sculpture, and architecture (Aziz-Zadeh et al., 2013). Many theories consider creativity a two-stage process of idea generation and evaluation (Campbell, 1960;Finke et al., 1992). The creative process would begin with generating many possible ideas and associations, followed by their evaluation to choose the most useful and appropriate solution (Finke et al., 1992). ...
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... Yet, as noted earlier, any treatment of creativity that omits this prior knowledge value can be shown to be both logically and psychologically incomplete (Simonton, 2013;Tsao et al., 2019). For instance, the standard definition cannot be easily reconciled when creativity is said to require what is variably labelled trial and error, illumination and verification, generate and test, or blind-variation and selective-retention (BVSR; Campbell, 1960). These all posit that an original combination requires a subsequent utility evaluation because no procedure or process can guarantee utility. ...
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Chapter
This chapter describes a computational model that aims to explore the neural basis of idea generation in individuals through computational connectionist modeling, and to use the resulting framework to study broader aspects of higher level cognition. The model is called Context-Adaptive NeuroDynamical IDeation (CANDID). While there have been other models of ideation, CANDID attempts to incorporate known information about the actual structures and processes of the brain—at least at an abstract level. Following widely accepted theories of ideation, the model postulates that ideas are conceptual combinations, and that the combinations arise naturally from the dynamics of the neurocognitive system under the influence of contextual information. The proposed mechanism for the generation of ideas involves three concurrent and interacting processes: (1) Selecting a context-specific subspace of the overall concept space within which ideas are sought; (2) Searching productively through this subspace via itinerant neural dynamics; and (3) Modulating and reconfiguring the search process through learning based on evaluative feedback.
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