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Creativity. History of Psychology. Blend of diligent research and Accidental discoveries Researchers surprised by findings Shift their thinking. Historians of science call these Paradigm shifts. Ivan Pavlov. 1849-1936 Nobel prize in 1904 for studies on the digestive system

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history of psychology
History of Psychology
  • Blend of diligent research and
  • Accidental discoveries
  • Researchers surprised by findings
  • Shift their thinking.
  • Historians of science call these
  • Paradigm shifts
ivan pavlov
Ivan Pavlov
  • 1849-1936
  • Nobel prize in 1904 for studies on the digestive system
  • Classical conditioning
  • Learned reflex
ivan pavlov1
Ivan Pavlov
  • Research during Russian Revolution
  • Inner lab insulated from noise.
  • Assistant bringing in food had to ring bell.
  • Dogs started to salivate before food entered room.
  • Hmmm.. What’s going on?
pavlov s classic experiment
Pavlov’s Classic Experiment

Before Conditioning

UCS (food

in mouth)








During Conditioning

After Conditioning

UCS (food

in mouth)








CR (salivation)

  • John B. Watson

>Impressed by Pavlov’s work

>Good model for experimentation

>psychology as objective science

Birth of psychology as a science

  • Accidental fortunate discoveries
  • “The Three Princes of Serendip”
  • Persian princes who stumble into a fortune due to their discoveries.
  • Find a maiden in the forest.
  • Take her to nearest castle where she is greeted as missing princess.
  • Receive huge reward for her safe return.
example 1 cockleburs
Example 1: Cockleburs
  • The story of the discovery of hook and loop fasteners begins with George de Mestral taking a walk through the countryside.
  • The Swiss engineer enjoyed hunting. One morning in 1941, while returning from the fields with his dog, he noticed how difficult it was to detach the flowers of the mountain thistle from his trousers and his dog’s fur.
  • Invention?
example 2 pager markers
Example 2: Pager markers
  • Art Fry worked for 3M in product design of new tapes (Scotch brand) and adhesives. He came upon this discovery out of frustration when his scrap paper bookmarks kept falling out of his church choir hymnal. In a moment of pure "Eureka," Fry realized that new adhesive from 3M could be applied to paper and make a wonderfully reliable bookmark that wouldn’t damage his hymnal.
  • Invention?
example 3 airy soap
Example 3: “Airy” Soap

A large batch of White Soap was mixing when a workman at the factory went to lunch and left the machinery running.  When he returned, he found that air had been worked into the mixture. he decided not to discard the batch of soap because of such a small error, and he poured the soap into the frames.  The soap hardened and it was cut, packaged, and shipped.

floating soap a hit
Floating soap a hit!

A few weeks later, letters began arriving at Procter & Gamble asking for more of the soap that floated.  The workman\'s error had turned into a selling point!  Harley Procter came up with the name "Ivory" while listening to a bible reading at church one morning in 1879.

new idea and hard work
New idea and hard work.
  • Thomas Edison
  • To develop light bulb, gathered group of engineers.
  • Tested and retested materials.
  • Thousands of hours.
  • “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”
creativity in the arts
Creativity in the arts
  • Product doesn’t have to have commercial success to show signs of creativity.
  • Arts creative by their very nature.
  • Often the most creative works are not well received by first audiences.
  • Controversial artwork
  • Music that breaks conventions.
  • Early 1900’s conventional music.
what the audience expected
What the audience expected.
  • Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921)
  • Popular and successful composer.
  • “The artist who does not feel completely satisfied with elegant lines, by harmonious colors, and by a beautiful succession of chords does not understand the art of music.”
stravinsky s rite of spring 1913
Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring(1913)
  • Hardly had the performance begun when Camille Saint-Saens rose in his seat, made a bitter remark about the music and left the theater with indignation. The complex music and violent dance steps depicting fertility rites first drew catcalls and whistles from the crowd, and there were loud arguments in the audience between supporters and opponents of the work, and were soon followed by shouts and fistfights in the aisles. The unrest in the audience eventually degenerated into a riot. The Paris police arrived by intermission, but they restored only limited order. Chaos reigned for the remainder of the performance, and Stravinsky himself was so upset due to its reception that he fled the theater in mid-scene.

motivation for creativity
Motivation for creativity
  • Find new ways to explore perception: vision and sound.
  • Express new ideas: Challenge convention
  • Find new solutions to problems
  • Perhaps practical but not necessarily so
  • Creativity is tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives or possibilities.
  • Good example: planning communities
redesigning neighborhoods
Redesigning Neighborhoods
  • Most towns have been modified to adapt to cars.
  • Wider streets laid out in grids.
  • Home distant from work.
  • New design more friendly to bikes and pedestrians than to cars.
neo traditional
  • Traditional neighborhoods are more compact communities designed to encourage bicycling and walking for short trips by providing destinations close to home and work, and by providing sidewalks and a pleasant environment for walking and biking. These neighborhoods are reminiscent of 18th and 19th century American and European towns, along with modern considerations for the automobile.
measures of creativity
Measures of creativity
  • Want to recognize and nurture creativity.
  • Gifted and talented programs.
  • Need to develop valid measures.
  • Creativity is a subjective quality.
  • General agreement among experts and public.
word associations
Word Associations
  • Cue word: moon
  • Free responses: unique are better.
  • Or see associations:
  • Cue words: mouse, blue, cottage
  • Single response associated with all three?
mosaic designs
Mosaic Designs
unusual uses
Unusual Uses
  • Give subject a common object.
  • Shoe lace
  • Get points for unusual, practical uses.
productive thinking
Productive thinking

Task: tie ropes together

just for fun
INSTRUCTIONS: Each question below contains the initials of the words that will make it a correct phrase. Find the missing words.

FOR EXAMPLE: 7=D in a W.

ANSWER: 7= Days in a Week.

26=L of the A

7=W of the W

1001=A N

12= S of the Z

54=C in the D[with the J]

9=P in the SS

88=P K

13=S on the A F

8=S on a S S

3= B M [S H T R]

4= Q in a G

24= H in a D

1= W on a U

5= D in a Z C

57= H V

11= P on a F T

1000= W that a P is W

29=D in F in a L Y

64= S on a C

200= D for P G in M

32= D F at which W F

18= H on a G C

Just for fun

Enchanted Mind - Creativity Test - Answers

creativity hard to measure
Creativity hard to measure
  • Particularly when move into area of expressive arts.
  • Music, dance and painting.
  • Unconventionality plays strong role.
  • Most people find comfort in regular things.
brain likes convention
Brain likes convention
  • Brain works most easily with sameness.
  • Behaviors become habitual and automatic.
  • Semi-conscious autopilot for the routines of everyday life (theory of Ellen Langer).
  • Driving to CCSU and parking your car.
  • Remember little of the trip.
  • Brain free to concentrate on other things.
victims of convention
Victims of convention
  • Easier and more comfortable
  • Less risky
  • Routine can become a rut.
  • Fail to see possibilities.
  • Land of steady habits.
creative people
Creative People
  • Maslow in study of self-actualizers.
  • Many very creative people.
  • Characteristics: broad interests, like complexity, high energy, like to work, high achievement, independent, confident.
  • Can tolerate conflict
  • Open to new experiences.
fostering creativity
Fostering creativity
  • Families place high value on intellectual development.
  • Allow more independence.
  • Open to letting children experience new things.
  • Foster development of self-esteem.
birth order may play a role
Birth order may play a role
  • Frank Sulloway
  • Firstborns tend to be more conventional, little versions of their parents, enforce rules.
  • Laterborns more likely to rebel against convention.
  • Find other ways to get rewards and recognition
  • More adventurous
social and political changes
Social and Political Changes
  • Firstborns support the status quo.
  • Laterborns join the movement.
  • Support radical ideas.
  • Sulloway drew conclusions from historical records and writings.
  • Laterborns 18X more likely to be burned at the stake for rebelling against religious dogma.
  • However, benefits if the movement succeeds.
  • But Luther was oldest son of abusive father.
csikszentmihalyi on creativity
Csikszentmihalyi on creativity
  • Creativity as the result of interaction between the individual, the domain, and the field.
  • Domain is set of symbolic rules and procedures.
  • Examples: Mathematics, music, experimental methods.
  • Masters the domain, know how to do the craft.
  • Studies all that went before him/her in domain.
  • Person cannot be creative in a domain to which he or she is not exposed. Child could have great gift for mathematics but still needs to learn the rules in order to contribute to the domain.
  • Creativity is not a private enterprise but occurs only when an individual, who has mastered his subject matter is acknowledged by the gatekeepers of his domain.
  • These gatekeepers (people) are called the field.
  • Their job is to decide whether a new idea should enter into the domain.
  • In music, the field might be the critics.
  • In psychology, other psychologist who conduct peer review as part of the publication process.
internet age changed field
Internet age changed field
  • No longer control access to the domain through print media.
  • In past only way to enter the domain was through acceptance to a printed article.
  • Now online journals, postings, internet searches.
  • Who are the gatekeepers?
  • What info deserves to enter domain?
creativity over time
Creativity over time
  • Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
  • Greatest musician of all time.
  • Forgotten by the music world after his death.
  • His music was considered old-fashioned.
  • Manuscripts used as scrap paper by butchers.
  • Rediscovered when Felix Mendelssohn resurrected Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion (in 1829).
  • Creativity reassessed by the field over time.
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
  • Recognized today as a genius in his domain.
  • Rejected by his field during his lifetime.
  • A disturbed man who painted strange canvases.
  • According to Csikszentmihalyi, van Gogh’s creativity came into being when a sufficient number of art experts (the field) started to recognize his contribution to the domain.
  • In this view, you’re only creative when so recognized by your peers.
will it play in peoria
Will it play in Peoria?
  • The saying, "Will it play in Peoria?" is traditionally used to ask whether a given product, person, or event will appeal to mainstream America.
  • The phrase initially came into fashion during the Vaudeville era, believed to have been first asked by Groucho Marx when putting together a new act. The belief was that if a new show was successful in Peoria, it would work anywhere in America.
  • Just because the critics like it, doesn’t mean the general public will as well.
public needs to be considered
Public needs to be considered.
  • Field may be the gatekeepers but letting something through the gate doesn’t assure acceptance.
  • Field may find a new piece of art or music is daring and creative.
  • Public might find it boring and offensive.
  • Critics rave about a new musician but the CD’s don’t sell.
  • New movie looking for a distributor in order to reach a larger audience.
doug block
Doug Block
  • Independent film maker.
  • Film school at Cornell. Learned domain.
  • Several previous films. Practiced craft.
  • 51 Birch Street is story of his parents reflecting back after his mother’s death and father’s remarriage.
  • Great story, wonderfully edited.
  • Critical acclaim (gatekeepers for the field).
  • Featured at several film festivals.
  • Birch Street (website for film)
process of creativity
Process of creativity
  • 1. Delineating the problem.
  • 2. Developing knowledge base.
  • 3. Synthesis (putting the elements together).
  • 4. Withholding judgment during process.
delineating the problem
Delineating the problem
  • Not going to search for a solution unless you see a problem or an opportunity.
  • Concern over global warming.
  • Need creative solutions and very soon.
  • Need to consider all the possible areas of study and impacts.
developing knowledge base
Developing knowledge base.
  • Need well-developed information.
  • Gathered by intelligent folks.
  • “Global average surface temperatures pushed 2005 into a virtual tie with 1998 as the hottest year on record. For people living in the Northern Hemisphere—most of the world\'s population—2005 was the hottest year on record since 1880, the earliest year for which reliable instrumental records were available worldwide.”
  • Putting elements together.
  • Many different impacts all around the world.
  • May seem unconnected but creative people can pull together the elements and see the relationships.

Alpine and polar glaciers have retreated since 1961, and the amount of ice melting in Greenland has increased since 1979.

withholding judgment
Withholding judgment
  • Making judgments will stop the creative process.
  • Suspend judgment for a time.
  • People with strong opinions have tendency to make premature decisions.
  • People need to set aside their preconceptions.
  • A mind is like a parachute.
  • It works best when it is open.
global warming solutions
Global warming solutions
  • “We have the technology and ingenuity to reduce the threat of global warming today. Solutions are already available that will stimulate the American economy by creating jobs, saving consumers money, and protecting our national security. By investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and increasing the efficiency of the cars we drive, we can take essential steps toward reducing our dependence on oil and other fossil fuels that cause global warming.”
  • Global Warming Solutions