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What is Creativity ?. The ability to produce original, imaginative and unique ideas. ‘LATERAL THINKING ?’. What is Creativity?. A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something. Frank Capra INTUITION. What is Creativity?. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

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what is creativity

What is Creativity ?

The ability to produce original, imaginative and unique ideas.


what is creativity1
What is Creativity?
  • A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something. Frank Capra
what is creativity2
What is Creativity?
  • Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein
creativity and decision making
Creativity and Decision Making
    • Phases of Creativity
  • Theories of Creativity
  • Blocks to Creativity
  • Creativity Enhancing Techniques
  • Value-Focused Thinking Approach
  • Quality Tools for Creativity
  • Better decisions requires better alternatives
    • Bad alternatives will lead to bad decisions
  • How do we obtain these better alternatives?
    • Extend beyond current “the box”
    • Find ways to achieve objectives in new ways
    • These new alternatives have elements of novelty and effectiveness
  • But I’m not creative enough!!
    • There are techniques and tools to enhance creativity
    • These tools guide the formation and flow of ideas in the mind
    • You can be an expert in your field, and that will help the creative process
    • You can expand your cognitive process to become more creative
    • Other experiences, puzzles, reading, etc
  • We want to have “fluency” and “flexibility”
    • Quickly generate many ideas across a wide range
psychological theories of creativity
Psychological Theories of Creativity
  • Well studied area; very rich literature
  • Psychoanalytic Theory
    • Creative thought is the product of brain processing not accessible to conscious thought
  • Behavioral Theory
    • Creative behavior results from environmental stimuli
    • Appropriate awards can lead to creative behavior
  • Cognitive Approach
    • Creative behavior stems from a capacity for making unusual and new mental associations of concepts
    • Creative people create more “variations”
psychological theories of creativity1
Psychological Theories of Creativity
  • Self-Actualization
    • Able to perceive reality accurately
    • Compare cultures objectively
    • Can look at things in a fresh, naïve, simple way
    • Be happy and thus be creative!
phases of creative process
Phases of Creative Process
  • Preparation
    • Learn about the problem
    • Examine problem from various perspectives
    • Similar to structuring the problem
    • Understanding the structure of the problem and how elements relate to one another is preparation for the creative process
phases of creative process1
Phases of Creative Process
  • Incubation
  • Preparation
    • Explore new paths and alternatives
    • Many include unconscious processing of information
      • Find solutions to problems in a dream
    • Position of pieces of information yields a creative solution
    • How many have wanted to “think about it for a while?”
phases of creative process2
Phases of Creative Process
  • Preparation
  • Incubation
  • Illumination
    • When all the pieces come together
  • Verification
    • Does the solution have merit?
    • Return to the hard logic of the problem
    • Are all constraints being satisfied?
    • How well does it perform with respect to the fundamental objectives?
blocks to creativity
Blocks to Creativity
  • A “block to creativity” interferes with creativity
  • Why should we be concerned about them?
    • They hinder our decision analytical process
    • If we understand what they are, and why they hinder the process, we can hopefully avoid them
  • Framing and Perceptual Blocks
    • Arise in the ways we tend to perceive, define, and examine the problem
perceptual blocks
Perceptual Blocks
  • Stereotyping – fit into some standard category
  • Tacit assumptions – impose artificial constraints
  • Saturation
    • Focus too quickly on “obvious” problem
    • Focusing to much on details
    • Getting overwhelmed with data
  • Inability to see problem from other viewpoints
    • Multiple objectives will be at play
    • Must understand other’s values and objectives
emotional or value based blocks
Emotional or Value-based Blocks
  • Fear of taking a risk
    • Risk aversion is a key decision analysis concept
    • May be counterproductive to not offer “wild” ideas
  • Status quo bias
    • Various levels of bias to current state of affairs
    • Change can be hard to accept
  • Reality versus Fantasy
    • Some people only want realistic solutions
    • Such people are comfortable “in their box”
emotional or value based blocks1
Emotional or Value-based Blocks
  • Judgment and Criticism
    • Do not apply your values too soon in creative process
    • Need to let ideas flow freely
  • Inability to Incubate
    • Not well understood
    • Accepted as a phase
    • Are we always given time to incubate an idea?
cultural blocks
Cultural Blocks
  • Taboos
    • Views of culturally accept behavior may block ideas
  • Humor
    • Good ideas can be obtained in an informal setting
    • Often want to let the joking free-wheel for a time
  • Reason and Logic prevails
    • Overly analytical thinking (even though it is important)
  • Tradition and change
    • Often a strong resistance to changes
    • The status quo got the decision maker where they are
environmental blocks
Environmental Blocks
  • Non-supportive environment
  • Environment that dissuades humor and playfulness
  • Organization is overly structured and routine
  • Strictly hierarchical structure
  • Autocratic bosses
    • Bosses that have all the answers
  • Over focus on awards, competition and oversight
  • Strict timelines
    • Often a tight suspense can lead to good results
  • Introduced in 1930s by Osborn
  • Based on idea of eliminating perceptual blocking filters
  • Two Principles:
      • Defer judgment
      • Quantity breeds quality
  • Four rules
      • Rule out criticism
      • Welcome freewheeling
      • Seek large quantities of ideas
      • Encourage combination and improvement of ideas
  • Works due to its synergistic effect
    • Among participants
    • Combining of ideas is not just additive
    • Combine pairs, triples, etc of ideas to get new ideas
  • Generally regarded as a group technique based on a specific objective
    • Specificity focuses the efforts
  • Useful in situations calling for idea generation rather than judgment
  • Gordon in 50s found novel ideas expressed as analogies
    • Research suggested use of analogies a key insight
  • Reduce problem to barest essentials and search for a natural analogy
  • Two distinguishing characteristics
    • Attack of the underlying concept of the problem
    • Examination of problem from many angles
  • Three types of analogy (metaphorical thinking)
    • Fantasy – idealistic versus realistic
    • Direct – find personal parallel experiences
    • Personal – place yourself in role of problem
  • Very simple means of generating ideas
  • Ask and list answers to series of questions. For instance
    • Are there other uses?
    • Can something be adapted?
    • Can something be modified?
    • Can components be re-arranged?
    • Can components be combined?
    • Can some substitution be made?
  • Osborn (1963) offered a series of idea spurring questions.
obsorn s questions
Obsorn’s Questions
  • Put to other uses?
    • New ways to use as is
    • Other uses if modified
  • Adapt?
    • What else is like this?What other idea does this suggest?
    • Does the past offer a parallel?
    • What could I copy?
    • Whom could I emulate?
obsorn s questions1
Obsorn’s Questions
  • Modify?
    • New twist?
    • Change meaning, color, motion, sound, odor, form shape?
    • Other changes?
  • Magnify?
    • What to add?
    • More time? Greater frequency? Stronger? Higher?
    • Longer? Thicker? Extra value? Plus ingredient?
    • Duplicate? Multiply? Exaggerate?
obsorn s questions2
Obsorn’s Questions
  • Minify?
    • What to subtract? Smaller? Condensed? Minature?
    • Lower? Shorter? Lighter? Omit? Streamline?
    • Split up? Understate?
  • Substitute?
    • Who else instead? What else instead? Other ingredient? Other material? Other process?
    • Other power? Other place? Other approach? Other tone of voice?
obsorn s questions3
Obsorn’s Questions
  • Rearrange
    • Interchange components? Other pattern? Other layout? Other sequence?
    • Transpose cause and effect? Change pace? Change schedule?
  • Reverse?
    • Transpose positive and negative? How about opposites?
    • Turn it backward? Turn it upside down? Reverse roles?
    • Change shoes? Turn tables? Turn other cheek?
obsorn s questions4
Obsorn’s Questions
  • Combine?
    • How about a blend, an alloy, as assortment, an ensemble?
    • Combine units?
    • Combine purposes?
    • Combine appeals?
    • Combine ideas?
forced relationships
Forced Relationships
  • Generate ideas by relating seemingly unrelated ideas
    • Use combining concept from brainstorming
    • Ideas may be related yielding more mundane solutions
  • Use ideas related to the problem and possible to each other if more practical ideas are required
    • Less effort validating the ideas
  • Start with the more general ideas and increase the specifics used later
  • Somewhat related is “Attribute Listing”
morphological analysis
Morphological Analysis
  • Develop a grid of attributes along several dimensions
  • Examine combinations of attributes
  • Try to determine a solution/alternative to each combination
  • Really provides a framework within which to screen all combinations and determine the most appropriate combinations
  • Strategy-generation table is closely related
strategy generation table
Strategy-generation Table
  • Strategy
  • Inputs
  • Process
  • Outputs
factors for creativity
  • Mastery of the Subject
  • Curiosity
  • Divergent Thinking
  • Take Risks
  • Motivation and Persistence
  • Serendipity
the creative process
  • Preparation
  • Incubation
  • Insight
  • Evaluation
  • Elaboration
  • Amabile, T.M. (1983). The social psychology of creativity. New York:Springer-Verlag New York Incorporated.
  • Amabile, T.M. (1999). How to kill creativity. Harvard Business Review, september-october, 1998, 77-87.
  • Creativity in Education. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2004, from http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/creativity/
  • Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity: flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. New York: Haper Collins.
  • Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1999). Implications of a systems perspective. In R.J. Sternberg (ed.) Handbook of Creativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • De Souza Fleith, D. (2000). Teacher and student perceptions of creativity in the classroom environment. Roeper Review, 22(2), 148-158.
  • Driver, Michaela (2001). Fostering creativity in business education: developing creative classroom environments to provide students with critical workplace competencies. Journal of Education for Business, 77 (1), 28-33.
  • Finke, R.A., Ward, T.B., & Smith, S.M. (1992). Creative cognition. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Galloway, C.A. (2001). Vygotsky's learning theory. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology [Electronic version]. Retrieved April 29, 2004 from Website: http://www.coe.uga.edu/epltt/vygotskyconstructionism.htm
  • Glover, J.A., Ronning, R.R., & Reynolds, C.R. (Eds.). (1989). Handbook of creativity. New York: Plenum Press
  • Learning and Teaching Scotland (2004). Creativity counts: portraits in practice [Electronic version]. Retrieved April 21, 2004, from http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/creativity/files/portraitsofpracticelts2004.pdf
  • Lubart, T.I. (1999). Creativity across cultures. In R.J. Sternberg (ed.) Handbook of Creativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Lubart, T.I. (2000). Models of the creative process: past, present and future. Creativity Research Journal, 13(3/4), 295-303.
  • Mumford, M.D., Mobley, M.I., Uhlman, C.E., Reiter-Palmon, R., & Doares, L.M. (1991) Process analytic models of creative capacities. Creativity Research Journal, 4, 91-122.
  • Nickerson, R. S. (1999). Enhancing creativity. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Handbook of Creativity. Cambridge: Cambridge Press.
  • Simonton, D. K. (2000). Creativity: cognitive, personal, developmental, and social aspects. American Psychologist, 55(1), 151-158.
  • Sternberg, R.J. (2001). What is the common thread of creativity: its dialectical relation to intelligence and wisdom. American Psychologist, 56, 360-362.
  • Sternberg, R.J. & Lubart, T. (1995a). Defying the crowd: cultivating creativity in a culture of conformity. New York: Free Press
  • Sternberg, R.J. & Lubart, T. (1995b). An investment approach to creativity. In S.M. Smith, T.B. Ward, and R.A. Finke (eds.) The Creative Cognition Approach. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Sternberg, R.J. & Lubart, T. (1996). Investing in creativity. American Psychologist, 51(7), 677-688.
  • Amabile, T.M. (1983). The social psychology of creativity. New York:Springer-Verlag New York Incorporated.
  • Amabile, T.M. (1999). How to kill creativity. Harvard Business Review, september-october, 1998, 77-87.
  • Creativity in Education. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2004, from http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/creativity/
  • Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity: flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. New York: Haper Collins.
selected online resources
Selected Online Resources
  • http://www.apa.org/monitor/nov03/creativitytoc.html Articles from American Psychological Association
  • http://www.erz.uni-hannover.de/~urban/compmod.htm URBAN's Components Model of Creativity
  • http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/1996sternberg/intro.html Introduction: Theory of Creativity
  • http://www.buffalostate.edu/library/creative/ E. H. Butler Library - Creative Studies Library
  • http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/creativity/ Creativity in Education - Learning and Teaching Scotland
  • http://www.ncaction.org.uk/creativity/ Creativity: find it; promote it - National Curriculum in Action
questions comments
  • Philomena Bernard
  • School Counselor
  • Central Middle School
  • 457-5895
  • Highland Elementary
  • 457-5161
  • pmb2809@slp.k12.la.us