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The 4P’s Creativity Model and its application in different fields.


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The aim of this chapter is to introduce the 4P’s Model of Creativity (Rhodes, 1961) and to review its practical implications in different fields, including education, business, engineering, and others. According to this model, creativity can be viewed from four different perspectives: product, process, person and press of the environment. Thus, the main question tackled here is how creativity can be stimulated by attending to each of these components.
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Chapter 3
The 4P’s Creativity Model
and its Application
in Different Fields
Aleksandra Gruszka and Min Tang
3.1 Introduction
Over the past few decades, a growing recognition of the importance of creativity and
innovation can be observed. In his bestseller, The Rise of the Creative Class, noted
American economist and sociologist Richard Florida (2002, 2012) stated that we are
living in the creative age, in which creativity has become a major driving force behind
economic growth. According to his research, a new segment of knowledge workers,
intellectuals and artists — the Creative Class — is growing rapidly both in the USA
and in Europe. This class is characterized by three attributes — the 3 T’s of economic
development: talent, tolerance and technology. The members not only contribute to
economy but also change preferences related to a lifestyle, which in their case “is driven
by much thinking and the will of doing something active to switch off the brain
(Florida, 2002, p. 169). People belonging to the creative class transform big cities they
live in. In a similar vein, related and partly overlapping phenomena — “creative indus-
tries” (Hesmondhalgh, 2007) and “creative economy” (Howkins, 2007) — have been
recently introduced to denote businesses originating from individual’s creativity, skill
and talent (including, for example, the arts, motion pictures, radio and television, and
printing and publishing).
In an attempt to respond to these general expectations, scientists keep trying to
deepen our understanding of creativity. The modern era in creativity research began in
1950 when Joy Paul Guilford gave his influential presidential address at the American
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Psychological Association. He argued that understanding creativity is of particular
importance in the context of education. Since then, the field is developing rapidly.
Some authors have even proclaimed the emergence of creatology — a new interdisci-
plinary science of creativity (Aleinikov, 2013) aimed at better understanding of the
phenomenon and at improvements in related practices.
The aim of this chapter is to introduce the 4P’s Model of Creativity (Rhodes,
1961) and to review its practical implications in different fields, including education,
business, engineering, and others. According to this model, creativity can be viewed
from four different perspectives: product, process, person and press of the environ-
ment. Thus, the main question tackled here is how creativity can be stimulated by
attending to each of these components.
3.2 Psychology of Creativity: Research and Application
At the very beginning, practical expectations had a strong impact on modern psychologi-
cal studies on creativity (Guilford, 1950). Nowadays, the vast majority of academic work
makes both theoretical and practical contributions. Thus, studies on creativity can be
seen as representing a certain continuum from most basic to most applied. However, for
the purpose of this chapter, we propose to arbitrarily distinguish four levels of questions
research generalizability/applicability on the basis of research questions (general questions
vs. context-specific questions) and aims (understanding vs. improvement) (see Fig 3.1).
The first and most basic level includes studies related to general questions in the
field. These studies are undertaken in order to build a new model or refine the exist-
ing theoretical accounts. Typical questions are: “what is creativity?” or “what are the
Figure 3.1. Four levels of research generalizability/applicability on the basis of the types of questions
and aims.
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characteristics of the creative process?”. These studies use rigorous designs and quite
often examine general population.
The second level refers to studies that are also related to general questions, but
embodied into a specific context, i.e., contextualized. Research of this type also deals
with general questions, but uses specific context as a means to discern the answers (e.g.,
searching for characteristics of creative person by studying creators from various domains
(contextualization). For the researchers who advocate a domain-specific view on creative
abilities (Baer, 1998, see also Plucker & Beghetto, 2004; Silvia, Kaufman, & Pretz,
2009), contextualization is the only solution. Such studies can certainly provide further
refinement of the existing models, and sometimes they can inspire novel approaches.
The third level refers to the studies focusing on questions related to context spe-
cifics. Research of this sort deals with issues pertaining to a particular and domain-
specific context or situation, depicting typical mediator and moderator variables.
They are often focused on improving our everyday practices and discerning specific
interventions that enable us to foster creativity in different settings, i.e., in education,
business, advertising, engineering, and many others.
Finally, the fourth level deals with context-specific solutions. The studies are
aimed at answering specific questions pertaining to the detailed problems, particular
tasks or situations relevant to the entity they are running for.
Studies also differ in terms of generalizability of their results. Research from levels
I and II offers very broad implications, but since these studies are heavily decontextual-
ized, even most rigorous design, sufficient sample size, and most relevant methodo-
logical solutions may not make results applicative directly to specific practical
conditions (populations, types of problems or situations). In other words, although
these studies are characterized by high “internal validity” (they provide a good proof
of links between variables under investigation), they may suffer from low “ecological
validity” (their results can be hardly generalized to real-life settings). In turn, outcomes
of research levels III and IV are of particular relevance to specific domains, research
populations or even funders, local decision makers, stakeholders, etc., under certain
practical conditions. Level IV provides particularly unique, highly specific, but mostly
non-generalizable knowledge.
One implication of the proposed framework is that it can be used to guide read-
ers’ attention to the studies most relevant to their interests. Thus, it is used in this
chapter for communicational purposes. In the next sections, when talking about basic
research on the 4P’s of creativity, we will be basically addressing the research levels I and
II, and while talking about applications of the 4P’s model, we will be mainly referring
to research levels III and IV. The chapter will firstly present the typical characteristics
of creative product and discuss controversies around it in different fields. Then it will
describe typical characteristics of creative process and corresponding studies on crea-
tive thinking techniques. In the next part of the chapter, both dispositional traits and
state characteristics of creative person will be described. Finally, the chapter will move
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on to the notion of “press” (environment). The chapter will conclude by briefly pre-
senting confluence approaches and explaining how much, in practical terms, can be
gained from attending to each of the 4P’s.
3.3 How Many P’s of Creativity Do We Have?
There is something really touching when we think that the very inspirational idea of
looking at creativity from four different perspectives was introduced over 50 years
ago. In the paper that subsequently became one of the most popular references in the
creativity literature ever, Mel Rhodes wrote: “The word creativity is a noun naming
the phenomenon in which a person communicates a new concept (which is the prod-
uct). Mental activity (or mental process) is implicit in the definition and of course no
one could conceive of a person living or operating in a vacuum, so the term press is
also implicit. The definition begs the questions as to how new the concept must be
and to whom it must be new” (Rhodes, 1961, p. 305). Current definitions of creativity
highlight one more aspect — the value of the product. Thus, the creative product
must be both novel and appropriate. In other respects, our thinking about creativity
remained largely unchanged.
Since Rhodes’ (1961) publication, several attempts have been made to extend his
model. Simonton (1995) added persuasion, arguing that creative people are essentially
leaders who can influence others, therefore, creativity might be seen as a form of
leadership. Runco (2007) subsequently suggested reorganizing the main framework
into a hierarchical structure with a distinction between the creative potential as
opposed to the creative performance. The creative potential is composed by the creative
process, person and press influences, while the creative product and persuasion belong
to the category of performance. Due to the scope of the current chapter, we will not
go deeper into the extended model of the P’s. Instead, we will follow the classic
Rhode’s (1961) 4P’s model to synthesize the seminal theories of creativity.
3.3.1 Product-related Approaches
It seems that out of the four P’s, the creative product — an idea, process, or physical
object — plays a superior role. From a common sense perspective, creativity amounts
to the product; if someone were asked “what is creativity?”, the instinctive answer
would be: “the creative product”. In a way, this thinking is implemented in the stand-
ard definitions of the creative process, person and environment: they are considered
creative if they are associated with the creative product. Therefore, when one studies
creativity, creative outcomes are usually treated as dependent variables (i.e., as meas-
ures of creativity), while characteristics of the person, process or press are usually
treated as independent variables (i.e., as representing influences on the creative
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products). The product approach can also be seen as the most objective approach to
creativity as it deals with tangible objects available for measurement (Kozbelt,
Beghetto, & Runco, 2010).
Studies on creative products are focused on exploration of relevant criteria,
including factors affecting the process of creativity judgements, and development of
diagnostic tools and methods. There is an ongoing discussion on how many criteria
are necessary in order to obtain reliable assessment of the creative products. Nowadays,
both researchers and practitioners widely accept the view that the creative product
must be both novel and useful (Sternberg & Lubart, 1999). These two criteria con-
stitute the bipartite definition of creativity, regarded as “golden standard” (Runco &
Jaeger, 2012) in the field, that can be traced back to Stein (1953) and Barron (1955,
as cited Runco & Jaeger, 2012).
Although seemingly simple, these criteria have proven to be highly problematic.
Both “novelty” and “usefulness” are relative in nature, depending upon the actual
personal, social, cultural, and historic contexts in which the product emerges. In dif-
ferent circumstances, pieces of work become creative and may lose this attribute.
Therefore, researchers have been trying to discern the objective and subjective indica-
tors of creativity (Simonton, 2012). Theoretically, the criterion of newness or uncom-
monness can be assessed by the objective calculation of rarity (e.g., <1% rarity as
extremely original). For example, Simonton (1980) used a computerized analysis of
strings of notes probabilities to operationalize melodic originality of classic musical
themes relative to both the repertoire and the Zeitgeist at the time of composition.
To define the fame of the themes, he used a citation measure. Similarly, domain-
specific impact in science can be assessed with an indicator of total productivity of a
scientist (e.g., Lehman, 1958), peer-rated eminence indexed by total citations in the
literature (Simonton, 1997), or product’s historical impact (Simonton, 2009).
Some authors suggest the necessity to simply add more criteria to measure crea-
tivity. For example, Simonton (2012) made a very strong case for “surprise” as the
third definitional criterion.
Unfortunately, purely objective approach to originality or usefulness is severely
limited to experimental settings. It is relevant only when a product is assessed against
ideas belonging to a fairly well-defined group or population under investigation (i.e.,
we compare the originality of a product to the so-called group or population norms).
It is simply unfeasible in many cases of real-life products. Moreover, some seemingly
objective indicators, for example, citation index in science, reveal the subjective opin-
ions of the recipients. “Surprise” can be seen as the subjectively perceived originality
of the creative product. Thus, even the “objective” measures of creative products may
often rely on social acceptance.
The above-mentioned criteria of the creative product are usually discussed in a
domain-general context as typical for studies of levels I and II in the proposed
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framework. The issues related to creativity judgements seem even more complicated
if we look at domain-specific contexts, such as assessment of the quality of art works
or consumer goods, or simply a comparison of several problem solutions. In all these
cases, a social aspect of a judgement seems crucially important. This work is best
exemplified by the studies on commercial products (research levels III or IV).
Outcomes of these studies usually emphasize different or additional criteria (Besemer &
O’Quin, 1999; Cropley, Kaufman, & Cropley, 2011).
Creativity is a key factor in product development. Although novelty alone does
not motivate the average consumer (Besemer, 2010), a lack of inventiveness leads to
new product failures (Crawford, 1977). At the same time, development of novel com-
mercially successful invention is very costly. According to the study by Stevens, Burley
and Divine (1999), it takes about 3000 raw ideas to produce one new successful
industrial product. Thus, understanding the criteria of product creativity judgements
seems to be crucial in managing innovation in organizations.
However, as Cropley and colleagues (2011) note, there are surprisingly few stud-
ies pertaining to the evaluation of engineered artifacts or manufactured consumer
goods. According to Vissers and Dankbaar (2002, p. 31), managers usually assume
that creative and uncreative products can be distinguished easily and “little is known
about the dynamics of “newness reception” in organizations”.
In order to address this gap, Cropley and Cropley (2010) (see also Corpley,
Kaufman, & Cropley, 2011) developed the notion of functional creativity that per-
tains to novel products aimed at serving some useful social purpose. They suggest that
necessary prerequisites for a functional product or solution to be regarded creative
include relevance, effectiveness and novelty. Novelty adds value to an effective
solution. Once these two conditions are fulfilled, additional criteria of elegance and
generalizability are applicable and further influence the overall value of a product.
A similar conceptual framework that pertains to functional creativity, the Creative
Product Analysis Model (CPAM) proposed by Susan P. Bessemer and colleagues
(Besemer & O’Quin, 1999; O’Quin & Besemer, 2006) consists of three dimensions
characterising innovative products: novelty (originality, incentive, transformational
effect), resolution (appropriateness or feasibility, logic, relevance, usefulness) and
synthesis and elaboration (style characteristics, i.e., elaboration, complexity, organic,
well-craftiness, elegance).
Researchers focusing on functional creativity are also concerned with tools for
measuring product creativity useful for managing innovation, designing new prod-
ucts, improving the existing ones, enhancing advertisements or testing market prefer-
ences. For example, Cropley and colleagues (2011) devised the Creative Solution
Diagnosis Scale. Besemer and O’Quin (1999) also developed the Creative Product
Semantic Scale, a diagnostic tool derived from CPAM. Both scales have been proven
to be reliable and valid instruments.
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So far, we have discussed criterion-based measurement of creative products.
Other approaches include a use of indirect measurement or global judgment. On the
basis of the assumption that a product or behavior is creative simply if appropriately
chosen observers agree on that, Teresa Amabile (1983) has developed the Consensual
Assessment Technique (CAT; for a summary, see Amabile, 1996). The CAT involves
asking a group of experts in the product-related field to rate independently the product
creativity. The judges use their own subjective criteria without any need for explica-
tion or explanation. The CAT has been validated in many settings. Available data
suggest that obtained judgments are usually reliable and valid (Hennessey, Amabile, &
Mueller, 2011).
To summarize, resolving the issue of elusive criteria of creativity relies upon the
integration of several perspectives, including its objective and subjective components.
Such a multi-layered perspective on the creative product assessment was offered
recently by Glăveanu (2011). According to this proposal, a product will be assessed
as creative if it represents novelty and originality, but subjectively perceived as valua-
ble or useful. However, these subjective personal judgements are embodied in the
broad cultural context, in which the product emerges. Research on functional creativ-
ity advances theoretical understanding of the creative products not only by proliferat-
ing and specifying the criteria but also by revealing that different products can display
different qualities of creativity (Cropley et al., 2011).
3.3.2 Process-related Approaches
Research and theories focused on the creative process can be loosely divided into two
approaches. The first approach is represented by levels I and II of our framework and
conceptualizes the creative process and problem solving in terms of underlying cogni-
tive processes or mechanisms. Models stemming from the first approach generally
describe how things actually work (how the creative process is organized). The second
approach pertains to the studies at levels III and IV of the proposed framework and
focuses more on creative problem solving in the field of functional creativity. Models
originating from the second approach are quite often normative or prescriptive, sug-
gesting how thinking should be organized in order to achieve better result.
The first general approach distinguished above is strongly related to the tradition
of cognitive psychology and tries to delineate the mental mechanisms that occur
when a person is engaged in creative activities. Of the various cognitive models of
creativity, Wallas’ four-stage model (Wallas, 1926) and Finke and colleagues’
Geneplore model might be the most influential (Finke, Ward, & Smith, 1992). The
four stages of Wallas’ (1926) model are preparation, incubation, illumination, and
verification. Preparation involves a preliminary analysis of a problem, defining and
setting up the problem. It involves conscious work and draws on ones education,
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analytical skills, and problem-relevant knowledge. During incubation, there is usually
no conscious mental work on the problem, but the mind continues to work on the
problem, forming a variety of associations. The third phase is called illumination,
which occurs when the promising idea breaks through to conscious awareness.
Following the illumination begins a phase of conscious work called verification,
which involves evaluating, refining, and developing one’s idea. Wallas (1926) noted
that during creative problem, solving a person could return to earlier phases in the
process for another aspect of the problem.
The Geneplore model (Finke, Ward, & Smith, 1992) consists of two phases of
cognitive processes: a generative phase and an exploratory phase. In the generative
phase, an individual constructs different kinds of mental representations related to the
problem. A variety of cognitive processes are involved in this phase, including retrieval
(Perkins, 1981), associative thinking (Mednick, 1962), combination (Mobley,
Doares, & Mumford, 1992), synthesis (Thompson & Klatzky, 1978), transformation
(Shepard & Feng, 1972), analogical transfer (Gentner, 1989), and categorical reduc-
tion (Finke, Ward, & Smith, 1992). In the exploratory phase, an individual employs
not only cognitive but also meta-cognitive processes such as evaluation to search for
solutions and make practical decisions.
Another approach to the creative process and problem solving is deeply rooted in
practice. It can be best exemplified by the research of the Father of Brainstorming,
Advertising Executive and the Co-founder of the BBDO agency Alex F. Osborn, who
published several books on creativity (Osborn, 1952). On the basis of observations of
how art directors and copywriters tackled problems in his own agency, he proposed
the Creative Problem Solving (CPS) model (Osborn, 1952), subsequently refined by
others (Parnes (1967) and Isaksen and Treffinger (1985), see Isaksen & Treffinger,
2004 for a review). The six steps of the CPS are Objective Finding, Data Finding,
Problem Finding, Idea Finding, Solution Finding and Acceptance Finding. The
model is still very successful (Isaksen & Treffinger, 2004).
Much of the conceptual work and research on the creative process is focused
specifically upon problem-solving and creative thinking techniques. Defined as
“a plausibly effective prescription” (Smith, 1998, p. 109), the techniques have
been repeatedly shown as promoting creative solutions in many settings (Scott,
Leritz, & Mumford, 2004a, 2004b; Tsai, 2013) although not unequivocally
(Laakso & Liikkanen, 2012). Creative thinking techniques are based on heuristics.
Therefore, in opposition to algorithms, they do not guarantee a success (creative,
satisfactory outcomes), but are applicable to broader classes of problems. In order
to be effective, a technique must affect user’s thinking. It does so through active
ingredients (Smith, 1998), i.e., devices producing a desired mental shift (e.g., they
employ certain strategies for habit-breaking, analysis or search for additional
information, etc.).
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There are numerous techniques described in the literature. Out of 170 methods
reviewed, Smith (1998) considered about 70 as particularly powerful. However,
according to this author, most of the techniques are in fact based on a limited range
of “tricks” or “active ingredients”: strategies, tactics, and enablers. Strategies — the
most numerous and significant tools are active means for generating ideas, which
usually refer to specific mental operations (e.g., analytical strategy, search strategy or
imagination-based strategy). Tactics work within a strategy providing stimulatory
tools that support strategies (e.g., elaboration tactic that requires a problem solver to
mentally enrich the problem situation). Finally, enablers are passive means of promot-
ing idea generation (e.g., motivational enablers, anti-inhibition enablers). Rather than
directly inspiring creative output, they set conditions that facilitate thinking and
problem solving (i.e., working in friendly atmosphere).
Organizations and educational institutions invest substantial resources in creativ-
ity and problem-solving training. Meta-analytic studies run by Scott and colleagues
(Scott et al., 2004a, 2004b) provide compelling evidence that interventions aiming at
problem solving and creative thinking are powerful tools for fostering creativity and
innovation. More successful programs are focused on the development of cognitive
skills and heuristics involved in skill application and use realistic exercises appropriate
to the domain at hand.
3.3.3 Personality-related Approaches
For the past decades, numerous studies have been carried out to depict the personality
traits related to creativity. Several strands of research can be identified here. First of
all, these studies are focused either on the creative personality or on the personality of
eminent creators (NĊcka, 2001). Research focused on creative personality represents
the first level of our framework. Here, studies usually examine general population
(i.e., people who have not reached the levels of recognition that characterize highly
creative individuals) in order to unravel correlations between creativity and normative
traits or characteristics (e.g., extraversion, neuroticisms, intelligence). Studies on per-
sonality of eminent creators are naturally focused on high-achieving individuals from
various fields, i.e., they represent the second level of the framework. Finally, a separate
research is devoted to characteristics of professionals (i.e., managers) for whom crea-
tivity remains an important tool for dealing with their everyday tasks. These studies
can be seen as representing the third level of the proposed framework. Although very
dissimilar in terms of the their research aims and methodologies, all these studies
seem to converge in their findings.
Several traits are identified as important attributes of creativity such as intrinsic
motivation, broad interests, independence of judgement, creative self-concept, etc.
(Barron, 1969; Barron & Harrington, 1981). Among the widely used Big Five
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personality traits, except the somewhat consistent result of the positive correlation
between openness and creativity (e.g., Feist, 1998; Karwowski & Lebuda, 2016;
Werner et al., 2014), the relationships between other big five personality traits and
creativity are mixed (see Guastello, 2009 for a review). In most cases, any given trait is
conducive or inhibitive to creativity depending on the domain-specific context. For
example, successful and possibly creative managers and leaders tend to be emotionally
stable (Barrick & Mount, 1991), whereas neuroticism is usually paced higher in artistic
populations (Feist, 1998). Conscientiousness seems to contribute to scientific excel-
lence but not so much to artistic performance (Feist, 1998). From the developmental
psychological perspective, a 44-year longitudinal study of about 80 male graduates
found tolerance and psychological mindedness resulted in a significant increase in vari-
ance that explained 20% over and above potential and intellect (Feist & Barron, 2003).
Also relatively well-researched field of creativity study is motivation. Due to its
strong impact, intrinsic motivation has been identified as one major component of
many creativity theories. For example, “intrinsic motivation” is one of the compo-
nents of Amabile’s (1983) componential model of creativity. In the interactionist
model of creative behavior proposed by Woodman and Schoenfeldt (1990), intrinsic
motivation is also acknowledged as a component that is conducive to an individual’s
creative accomplishment. In the interactive approach, which focuses on the develop-
ment of an individual’s creativity within society, Csikszentmihalyi (1990/2008) and
Gardner (1993) both included intrinsic motivation as a personal characteristic that
contributes to creativity. A growing body of empirical studies about motivation and
creativity came to the same conclusion that intrinsic motivation is conducive to crea-
tivity. Studies of personalities of highly creative people have described them as being
totally absorbed in and devoted to their work (Barron, 1963; Mackinnon, 1962). In
a set of longitudinal studies following people from elementary school through adult-
hood, Torrance (1981; 1987) found that people who were doing what they loved were
more creative in their pursuits. A study of talented youth in math and science
reported that these creative teens displayed higher levels of intrinsic motivation than
their peers (Heinzen, Mills, & Cameron, 1993). Utilizing a case-study approach,
Gruber (1986) also observed that highly creative people possess an intense commit-
ment to their work, manifested as a fascination with a set of problems that sustains
their work over a period of years. Research has also found that creative people are
energized by challenging tasks, a sign of high intrinsic motivation (Perkins, 1988). In
his well-known research, about 91 exceptional individuals of the USA, including 14
Nobel Prize winners and celebrities in various fields such as writers, artists, musicians,
philosophers, physicians, chemists, biologists, economists, etc., Csikszentmihalyi
(1997) described the highly creative persons as highly intrinsically motivated people
who even reached a state of “flow” wherein there are heightened feelings of enjoyment
and a centering of concentration, such that even the passage of time may seem to
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slow. Earlier, Csikszentmihalyi (1990) argued that people involved in creative pursuits
actively seek flow experiences and that creativity is more likely to result from such
While intrinsic motivation seems undoubtedly favorable for creativity, the
opposite — extrinsic motivation undermines creativity — seems to be not always
true. While some studies show that extrinsic motivators such as expected performance
evaluation, competing for prizes or contracting for a reward lead to lower levels of
creativity, a number of studies find the opposite: positive effects of reward on various
aspects of creative performance. It was found that the benefits of reward were most
apparent on the behaviors that could be easily modified using an algorithmic, or step-
by-step approach (Amabile, 1996). When reward was found to enhance originality,
subjects had been explicitly instructed to try to generate unusual responses. The con-
troversial role which extrinsic motivators play in creative behavior raised Amabiles
attention and has led her to a revised view of extrinsic motivation and creativity
(Amabile, 1993, 1996). She differentiated two types of extrinsic motivators: synergis-
tic extrinsic motivators, which provide information or enable the person to better
complete the task and which can act in concert with intrinsic motives, and non-
synergistic extrinsic motivators, which lead the person to feel controlled and are
incompatible with intrinsic motives. Due to its informative nature, the synergistic
extrinsic motivators can be beneficial for creativity. These conclusions can be illus-
trated by a study of Tokarz (1996) who showed that motives such as hubristic motiva-
tion (to enhance self-importance or self-value) facilitated young researchers
performance in science (see also Kozielecki, 1987).
Other person-related studies on creativity focus on the relationship between crea-
tivity and individual differences, variables of cognitive nature, including intelligence,
knowledge, thinking styles, etc. Due to the scope of the current chapter, we just
focused on the mostly studied fields of creativity, personality and motivation, high-
lighting the most consistent findings.
3.3.4 Press-related Approaches
Press refers to “the relationship of human beings and their environment” (Rhodes,
1961, p. 308). These influences — either supportive or constraining in nature — do
not shape the creative outcome directly, but either mediate or moderate it by affecting
variables related to the creative process or person. Research on the press factors focuses
on the physical and social conditions, under which creativity is likely to unfold. As
tackling problems related to characteristics of a context of creativity, they are most
likely to represent levels II or III of the proposed framework.
Runco and Pagnani (2011) pointed out that so far researchers identified at least
six levels of socialization acting as press factors: physical surroundings, family
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upbringing, schooling experiences, workplace environments, cultural traditions, and
the historical milieu in which we happen to have been born. According to these
authors, places, settings and environment constitute the so-called immediate sources
of influence, while evolution, culture and Zeitgeist the distal forces (as exemplified by
Csikszentmihalyi, 2014; Simonton, 1980).
Analyzing the literature on social influences on creativity, Ford (1996) offered a
very useful term “social domains”. According to this author, four primary levels
of explorations of social influences on creativity can be traced in the literature:
(a) groups/subunits, (b) organizations, (c) institutional environments, and (d) mar-
kets. The four levels simultaneously influence individual creativity, interacting with
each other — both across different levels (e.g., organizational resources and market
opportunities) and across domains (e.g., between different groups, organizations,
disciplines, and markets). A “social domain” is emerging as an interaction between an
individual’s actions and the content of specific domains as mediated by the selection
processes personified by members of their respective fields. Some domains are heavily
based on creativity (e.g., creative industries mentioned at the beginning of this chapter)
and these will facilitate people’s creative actions. In contrast, domains that do not rely
on creativity will constrain an individual’s creative activity and encourage
Many factors influence individual creative contributions at the group level.
Reviewing the literature on group creativity, Zhou and Luo (2012) identified three
main areas of psychological studies: (1) group creativity in context; (2) group-level
creative synergy, and (3) strategies for developing group creativity. According to
Paulus (2000), team or group creativity can be enhanced by the use of challenging
goals, structured group interactions, a certain degree of group autonomy, and sup-
portive environments. Sometimes, however, groups fail to reveal their potential due
to tendency to loaf, to evaluate ideas prematurely, to dominate a group process or to
distract from main goals. These problems can be overcome by using techniques that
structure group activity and interactions (see Section 3.3.2). On the basis of a study
of 141 cross-functional product development teams, Sethi, Smith, and Park (2001)
revealed that innovativeness is positively related to the strength of identity of the team
members, encouragement to take risk, customers’ expectations, and active monitoring
of the progress by senior management. A negative effect on innovativeness exerts
social cohesion among team members.
The second level of social domains refers to organizations in which creativity
emerges. Organizational mechanisms refer to the formal approaches and tools present
within the company, which provide resources to encourage novel and creative behav-
iors of the members (as opposed to conformity). In their study including nearly 650
organizations (banking, telecommunications, manufacturing, media, consumer
packaged goods, and healthcare), Bharadwaj and Menon (2000) have shown that in
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organizations, the highest level of performance is related to the interactive presence of
both individual and organizational mechanisms of creativity.
A lot of work has been done on environmental factors conductive to creativity,
which pertains to the third level of social domain — institutional environments
(Ford, 1996). Amabile (1988) and Amabile et al. (1996) have identified eight aspects
of the work environment that stimulate creativity: freedom, challenging work, appro-
priate resources, a supportive supervisor, diverse and communicative co-workers,
recognition, a sense of cooperation and an organization that supports creativity.
Leader support is especially important to creativity among subordinates in the work-
place. A good supervisor can inspire creativity by consulting with her works, recog-
nizing positive performance, and showing social and emotional support. Amabile
et al. (1996) have also pinpointed four environmental characteristics that constrain
creativity at workplace: time pressure, high importance of evaluation, an emphasis on
the status quo, and high involvement in organizational politics. The authors have also
developed and validated an instrument called KEYS aimed at assessing the work
environment for creativity.
Similar conclusions can be drawn from Göran Ekvall’s work on the notion of
“creative climate” seen as an objective attribute of an organization that pertains to
conglomerate of attitudes, feelings and behaviors characterizing life in the organi-
zation (Ekvall, 1996). The author identified 10 dimensions of the climate, which
can be grouped into three main areas of Resources (time for developing ideas,
resource supply and emotional involvement or commitment of employees to work
called challenge), Motivation (trust and openness, playfulness and humor, absence
of interpersonal conflicts) and Exploration (risk-taking, debates about the issues,
freedom). Ekvall developed a 50-item questionnaire named the Creative Climate
Questionnaire (CCQ) which looked at these dimensions. The instrument has
been validated in various organizational settings (Ekvall, 1996; Ekvall &
Ryhammar, 1999).
Finally, a lot of work has been done on the school environments conductive to
students’ creativity. Davies et al. (2013) reported a systematic review of 210 educa-
tional research, policy and professional literature focusing on creative school environ-
ment published between 2005 and 2011. They found evidence to support the
importance of the following factors as facilitative for creative skill development: flex-
ibility in use of space and time resources, availability of appropriate materials, activi-
ties outside the classroom/school, use of “play” or “games” allowing learners a degree
of autonomy, respect between teachers and students, peer collaboration, partnerships
with outside agencies, teachers’ responsiveness to students’ needs, and non-prescriptive
planning (see also Beghetto, 2010; Beghetto & Kaufman, 2014).
In sum, many authors recognize factors related to organizational climate or cul-
ture as fostering or impeding creativity and innovation in organizations. It should be
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noted, however, that some data suggest that the role of climate as a mediator to
innovative behavior may be overstated in the literature (McLean, 2005).
Finally, in terms of the fourth level of social domains — the market — the most
important question concerns consumer preferences (Ford, 1996). Studies in this field
are aimed at identifying qualities that are crucial for a competitive advantage of a
product or service. This area of study can be exemplified by the work of Besemer
(O’Quin & Besemer, 2006) and Cropley and colleagues (2010, 2011) described in
Section 3.3.1.
3.3.5 Confluence Approaches
In order to apply the knowledge on the 4P’s of creativity in any practical settings, we
have to understand their mutual relations first: in what way the creative product,
person, process and press are related to each other. Since 1980s, more and more crea-
tivity researchers agree that multiple components must converge for creativity to
occur (Amabile, 1983; Csikszentmihalyi, 1988; Gardner, 1993; Gruber, 1988; Heller,
1993; Perkins, 1981; Sternberg, 1988, 1996; Simonton, 1988; Weisberg, 1993). The
common consensus is that an excessively individualistic perspective is insufficient to
reveal the complex nature of creativity (Hennessey & Amabile, 2010). Creativity of a
person involves an interaction of multiple factors in and outside the person and can,
therefore, be optimally examined only if both the individual and the environmental
variables are taken into account. This new approach, which we prefer calling the way
Csikszentmihalyi (1988) called it as “systems approach”, has become the new trend in
creativity study. This approach is best represented by the following models: the
Componential Theory of Creativity (Amabile, 1983, 1996), the Systems Theory of
Creativity (Csikszentmihalyi, 1988, 2014), the Investment Theory of Creativity
(Sternberg & Lubart, 1991, 1999), and the Social-Cultural Paradigm of Creativity
(Glăveanu, 2010). However, due to the scope of the current chapter, we refer the
reader to the original sources.
3.4 Conclusion
A natural question that arises is how much can we gain in practice by following the
implications of the studies on the creative product, person, process and press, as
described above. Ma (2009) run a meta-analysis of the effect sizes of variables associ-
ated with the 4P’s of creativity. More specifically, treating creative product “as a
dependent variable”, he tried to compare the relative mean effect sizes of variables
associated with creative person, process and press. The analysis included over 100
studies that reported over 2,000 effects. Effect size is simply a statistical index which
informs how powerful an experimental intervention or manipulation was (how
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strongly it influenced the dependent variable, i.e., the creative outcome in this case).
It is expressed in terms of a standardized metric. As a result, the power of experimental
manipulation in a given study can be understood regardless of the particular way of
measuring a dependent variable. Thus, effect sizes allow researchers to communicate
the practical importance of their findings for everyday settings (Lakens, 2013).
The mean of the 2,013 effect sizes from 112 studies included into the meta-anal-
ysis was 0.73. More specifically, Ma (2009) distinguished four categories of measures
of creativity: verbal creativity, non-verbal creativity, emotional creativity and problem
solving. When analyzed the mean effect sizes of respective personal and environmental
factors, he discovered that the biggest effect sizes were related to problem solving (M =
0.86) and verbal creativity (M = 0.79), and they were significantly larger than those
related to emotional creativity and non-verbal creativity.
How can these results be interpreted? According to Cohen’s (1988) conventional
criteria, an effect size d below or equal to 0.2 is small, d ranging from 0.2 to 0.5 are
considered medium, and those equal to 0.8 or more are considered large. If d = 1, the
two groups’ means differ by one standard deviation (SD); if d = 0.5, the two groups’
means differ by half a SD, and so on. Altogether, it means that conductive configura-
tion of variables associated with the creative personality or press can shift the creative
performance by almost 1 SD.
To put it into a perspective, we can look at career potential of people who differ
in terms of their intelligence (IQ) by 1 SD (Gottfredson, 2008). IQ is known to
predict important life outcomes, including school and academic performance,
income or even death to some extent. In terms of career, potential people with an
average IQ are most likely to belong to one of the following professional groups: cleri-
cal workers, sales workers, skilled workers, craftsmen, and foremen. People having
higher level of intelligence by 1 SD are more likely to become professionals. But those
at the range of 1 SD below the mean are most likely to become unskilled workers.
In sum, it seems that although we are still far from the thorough understanding
of the notion of creativity, its facets and preconditions, the results of creativity research
bring not only the satisfaction that stems from the gain in knowledge but also possible
pragmatic consequences. The 4P’s model of creativity can be effectively used to guide
researcher’s attention to learn more about how to foster creativity in different settings,
e.g., to improve teaching for creativity, to facilitate problem solving in any domain, to
enhance economic development, and so on.
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... Specifically, researchers can better orient the scope of their target phenomenon of creativity, apply suitable ways to measure it, and identify the most relevant factors that match the target levels of creativity (Beghetto & Kaufman, 2016;Kaufman & Beghetto, 2009). For example, when we need to judge whether a chemical experiment design is novel and useful-the so-called gold standard of evaluating creativity (Gruszka & Tang, 2017)-we should differentiate between experiments designed by a middle school student and a former Nobel Prize winner. Also, the factors contributing to a creative design may differ vastly, depending on different levels of creativity. ...
... Individuals in a supportive environment are more likely to gain creative confidence and thus are encouraged and motivated to act on creative behaviors that lead to creative achievements. In other words, there is ample evidence supporting the mediating role of creative self-efficacy between environmental factors and creative outcomes (for a review see Farmer & Tierney, 2017;or Tang et al., 2017). As a result, this study attempts to understand creative confidence's mediating role in environmental responsiveness and creative achievement through a close examination of the relationship between creative confidence, creative behavior, motivational, and environmental factors. ...
... Previous studies have tested the mechanisms that explain how a supportive social environment may contribute to creative behaviors by influencing personal motivational aspects. Some of these studies have confirmed the mediating role of motivational aspects like self-efficacy (for a review see Tang et al., 2017) and intrinsic motivation (Paramitha & Indarti, 2014;Shin & Zhou, 2003). For example, Paramitha and Indarti (2014) tested the influence that work (support from supervisors and co-workers) and non-work environmental support (support from family) have on employee creativity. ...
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Motivation plays an indispensable role in explaining and developing creativity. Decades of motivation theories and research give us insights into the nature and mechanisms of motivation in creative activities. This dissertation aims to address several theoretical and practical challenges by investigating different motivational aspects of creativity that pertain to personal, environmental, and cultural factors. With the fruitful collaboration of researchers worldwide, we investigated motivational constructs and mechanisms of creativity at different levels regarding motivational concepts (what they are), measurements (how to measure them), and mechanisms (how they work) in various cultural contexts. This dissertation begins by outlining the theoretical and empirical background of the research. In chapter 1, I give a brief overview of the growing importance of investigating and nurturing creativity and motivation. Then, several of the most representative concepts and models of creativity are presented to map modern creativity research. This is followed by a review of the main schools of motivation theories and research. Building on this, I highlight several major challenges the field faces and how my research series attempts to address these challenges and offer potential solutions. Chapters 2 to 5 contain four published empirical papers—papers 1–4. In each chapter, before delving into the article, a sub-introduction lays out a more detailed context and scope of that specific study. Following each article, the discussion part highlights the study’s main findings and contributions and presents its overarching relevance to this dissertation. The first empirical paper (chapter 2) included in this thesis introduced the Social Perception Theory of Creative Persons, which was originally developed and validated among German adolescents. This theory, construct, and the corresponding measurement instrument have been tested and validated on gifted Irish students (Hopp et al., 2019) and Chinese university students (Li et al., 2021; cf. chapter 4). This innovative construct and its cross-cultural validation formed a strong theoretical and empirical foundation for examining social perception as a potential motivational source in later studies. Paper 2 (chapter 3) developed a Creativity Motivation Theory, along with a conceptual construct and measurement scale. It dealt with two major problems in the research: most motivational theories and constructs have no clear clarification of the creative behaviors that they aim to explain, and there is a lack of rigorous cross-cultural validation across multiple countries of the existing motivational constructs and measurements. In fruitful collaborations with researchers worldwide, my coauthors and I conducted research with participants from six nations. This pioneer cross-cultural validation of creativity motivation confirmed that the theory developed, along with its concept and measurement instrument, can be applied across various cultural settings. Paper 3 (chapter 4) further explored the connections between people’s social perception of creative persons (from paper 1), creativity motivation (from paper 2), and creative achievements. First, we verified the motivational and behavioral consequences of the social perception theory of creative persons, as proposed in paper 1. Then, by integrating two implicit beliefs—the growth mindset of the creative self and the stereotype of creative others—we measured and compared their importance in people’s motivation and achievement in creative activities. Finally, the fourth paper (chapter 5) took a more integrated approach and focused on the interplay between individual motivational aspects and social-environmental factors in different cultural contexts. Specifically, we explored the underlying motivational mechanisms of responsive social others on people’s motivational aspects (i.e., creativity motivation, creative self-efficacy, and creative growth mindset) and creative achievements across eight countries and cultural groups. With the cross-cultural comparison, we examined the similarities and differences between the findings in various cultural contexts, thus presenting a more nuanced picture of the psycho-socio-cultural nature of motivation and creativity. The general discussion in chapter 6 summarizes the main findings and contributions of the research presented in this dissertation. The theories and research developed offer several lenses through which we can better understand, explain, and foster different motivational aspects of creativity. After the summary, I outlined the practical implications and provided an outlook for relevant ongoing and future research.
... Current definitions of creativity -of which there are more than 60 3 , with no single authoritative and agreed upon definition (Furnham & Bachtiar, 2008) -also highlight the value of the product. Thus, the creative product must be both novel and appropriate (Gruszka & Tang, 2016). In other respects, our thinking about creativity remains largely unchanged from Rhodes' (1961) early definition. ...
... Furthermore, highly creative people possess an intense commitment to their work, and are energized by challenging tasks (Gruszka & Tang, 2016). ...
... Thus, creativity amounts to the product; creativity is the creative product. Therefore, a person is considered creative if they are associated with the creative product, with creative products usually being tangible enough for objective measurement (Gruszka & Tang, 2016). ...
... The IPOCC model provides initial steps to extend the 4P model of creativity (Rhodes, 1961) to include group-level components of collaborative creativity. As Gruszka and Tang (2017) suggested, research on creativity has widely applied the classic 4P model (Rhodes, 1961). Doyle (2019) stated, "The 4P framework originated in a definition of creativity as encompassing four interconnected strands-taking place when a Person goes through a Process to produce a novel Product in the context of environmental Press" (p. ...
... Moreover, in the 4P model, process refers to (a) practical methods and strategies used or (b) underlying cognitive processes that occur when an individual is engaged in creative thinking (Doyle, 2019;Gruszka & Tang, 2017). The IPOCC model widens the notion of process to capture Group Processes, incorporating joint engagement and coconstruction of ideas and including collective aspects of creativity and the perception of creativity as social and communal processes (Miell & Littleton, 2004;Sawyer, 2012;Sawyer & DeZutter, 2009). ...
... Furthermore, in the 4P model, press refers to the relationship between creative individuals and their environment (Rhodes, 1961) and surrounding conditions under which creative behaviors are likely to exhibit (Csikszentmihalyi, 2014). As Gruszka and Tang (2017) mentioned, individual creative contribution at the group level is generally considered and discussed under the press facet of the 4P model. The idea of press in the 4P model is reflected in the Mediating Factors of IPOCC model. ...
In this study, we examined students’ experiences regarding precollege engineering curricula, classroom environments, and their experiences with the creative process in two engineering courses offered in a university-based summer enrichment program. Applying provisional and open coding to interview data from 16 participants, an Input–Process–Outcome Model of Collaborative Creativity (IPOCC model) was developed. The IPOCC model expands the 4P model of creativity to incorporate more collaborative contexts. The IPOCC model suggests that in K–12 collaborative practice, creativity involves group-level considerations in addition to individual-level components. The IPOCC model offers insights for educators in terms of input components, group processes, and mediating factors that can facilitate learners’ engagement in creative teamwork. The findings of this study indicated that a combination of challenging tasks, open-ended problems, and student teamwork provides a rich environment for learners’ engagement to think creatively.
... To address this issue, we analyzed recent studies on the creative process and VR, and conducted a systematic literature review to classify and summarize these studies, based on the 4Ps (person, process, press, and product) model of creativity (Rhodes 1961). The 4Ps model of creativity was chosen because of its ability to guide researchers exploring creativity in any research field (Gruszka and Tang 2017). Accordingly, we propose a framework for virtual brainstorming (VB) to enhance creativity based on the 4Ps. ...
... The term 'product' means 'an idea becomes embodied into the tangible form' (Rhodes 1961, 309), which can be a sketch, a painting, or other physical objects (Rhodes 1961). Products can be seen as a result of creativity, and play a superior role in creativity: when a product is said to be creative, the related person, process, and press might be considered creative (Gruszka and Tang 2017). Therefore, researchers have explored various criteria to evaluate and measure products, including novelty, usefulness (Sternberg 1999), and originality (Simonton 1980). ...
... Although Guilford's work has represented a milestone in the literature of creativity, researchers have suggested alternative frameworks [5,6], including the Geneplore model [7]. The latter represents one of the most influential developments in the tradition of cognitive psychology [8], and exemplifies a twofold framework in which real-world creative production involves a cyclic motion between generative and explorative phases. The generative phase plays a crucial role in producing pre-inventive structures that are internal prototypes of inventions characterized by different degrees of creative potential and originality [9]. ...
Previous studies explored the relationships between field dependent-independent cognitive style (FDI) and creativity, providing misleading and unclear results. The present research explored this problematic interplay through the lens of the Geneplore model, employing a product-oriented task: the Visual Creative Synthesis Task (VCST). The latter requires creating objects belonging to pre-established categories, starting from triads of visual components and consists of two steps: the preinventive phase and the inventive phase. Following the Amabile's consensual assessment technique, three independent judges evaluated preinventive structures in terms of originality and synthesis whereas inventions were evaluated in terms of originality and appropriateness. The Embedded Figure Test (EFT) was employed in order to measure the individual's predisposition toward the field dependence or the field independence. Sixty undergraduate college students (31 females) took part in the experiment. Results revealed that field independent individuals outperformed field dependent ones in each of the four VCST scores, showing higher levels of creativity. Results were discussed in light of the better predisposition of field independent individuals in mental imagery, mental manipulation of abstract objects, as well as in using their knowledge during complex tasks that require creativity. Future research directions were also discussed.
... For example, in Appendix 4, we initially created the code label 'Motivators' to represent feedback in the form of rewards provided by the teacher. However, we considered that this was quite restrictive considering findings that demonstrate the negative effects of external incentives on intrinsic motivation, which is important for the development of curiosity and creativity (Deci & Ryan, 2010;Gruszka & Tang, 2017;Oudeyer et al., 2016). We therefore agreed that there would be more value in using the term 'Feedforward'. ...
... These models can guide practitioners and researchers to learn more about how to foster creativity in different settings. For example, to improve teaching for creativity, facilitate problem solving in any domain, and enhance economic development (Gruszka & Tang, 2017). ...
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Creativity is a critical human 21st-century skill that allows us to produce novel and valuable ideas. Creative ideas are original and make a unique contribution to any field, but also, they help to solve complex problems that humanity is continuously facing. Creativity is essential at the individual level to solve problems on the job and in daily life. At the societal level, creativity can lead to new scientific findings, new movements in art, and new inventions. Corporations and governments are frequently looking to support and encourage developing creativity as a driver for innovation to promote technological development and economic growth. Educational institutions play a crucial role in this development and in fostering creative thinking. This brief will discuss how creativity has been conceptualized and will share some strategies to foster creativity in a learning environment and the workplace. Also, it will discuss how technology impacts creativity development.
... Rhodes (1961) defined these four distinct aspects of creativity (i.e., person, product, press, and process) that influence the occurrence of creativity and are the essential cornerstones 559 Creative Potential Through Artificial Intelligence: Recommendations for Improving Corporate and Entrepreneurial Innovation Activities Accepted Manuscript for any kind of creativity research. This creativity model still serves today to show where the creative potential lies and explain how to support creativity (Gruszka & Tang, 2017). ...
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This article shows how the creative performance of start-ups or established organizations can be improved through the use of AI-based systems for actively promoting creative processes. With insights from two studies conducted with entrepreneurs, innovation managers and workshop facilitators, we provide recommendations for companies and entrepreneurs on the ability of AI to support creative potential to remain innovative and marketable in the long term. Our studies cover aspects such as AI for entrepreneurial activities or creativity workshops and show how to make use of AI-based systems to enhance the creative potential of the person, the process or the press (environment). Our findings also provide theoretical insights into the perception of AI as an equal partner and call for further research on the design of AI for the future creative workplace.
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Ce travail de recherche prend pour objet d’étude la notion de créativité en éducation physique et sportive. La perspective adoptée est celle de l’approche par l’activité du sujet. La thèse propose une conceptualisation de la notion d’« agir créatif » associant le concept d’expérience (Dewey, 1938) et le paradigme de l’activité (Billeter, 2012). L’agir créatif se caractérise par une instrumentalité authentique au service de l’expérience. Cette notion sert d’outil d’analyse des différentes représentations de la créativité des enseignants d’éducation physique. L’étude se fonde sur une analyse socio-historique et épistémologique de la revue professionnelle d’éducation physique Revue EP&S ainsi que sur une enquête réalisée auprès des enseignants d’EPS. L’analyse met en évidence trois périodes qui structurent les représentations de la créativité en éducation physique, de 1960 à 2020, entre expériences et instrumentalité. Dans la période contemporaine, la créativité est majoritairement associée aux pratiques artistiques. L’enquête fait également ressortir une importante demande en termes de formation artistique de la part des enseignants. Les arts du cirque constituent alors une entrée dans les pratiques artistiques susceptible de favoriser l’appropriation d’un processus de création par les enseignants d’EPS. La notion d’agir créatif peut ici constituer un outil dans le cadre de la formation des enseignants à la créativité.
As you have seen, chapter authors approached the assignment in several different ways. Some of them (such as Baldwin; Hennessey; Piirto; and Richards) talked about their personal journey in discovering creativity in the classrooms. Others used specific, concrete examples of creativity-nurturing curriculum and activities (such as Craft; Fairweather & Cramond; Niu & Zhou; Skiba; Tan, Sternberg, & Grigorenko; and Stokes). Some discussed actually teaching courses on creativity or developing programs to encourage creativity (such as Halpern; Piirto; Plucker & Dow; and Renzulli & de Wet).One recurring theme in the book is the list of numerous (often unintentional) ways in which creativity can be (and has been) discouraged in the classroom. Nickerson offers a marvelously engaging tongue-in-cheek recipe for how the classroom can be a creativity stifling experience – in a way, his chapter serves as a synthesis of key points from the past literature. Our authors proposed a series of specific ideas and practices that can be used to increase student creativity. These range from tips for good practice to cautions to advice on how to use available resources for your advantage. We now offer our own synthesis of twenty key points that personally resonated with us as educators. We then highlight some other important themes and ideas that recur in these chapters.