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What is creativity?:

What is creativity? The problem with creativity is that we know it when we see it, but it is hard to define. Picasso “Les Demoiselles D’Avignon

Creative stuff:

Creative stuff Frank Lloyd Wright Charles Darwin Michael Jordan

Creativity and Cognition:

Creativity and Cognition Creativity involves generation of new ideas Boden p-creativity: A new idea for a person A person may come to a new realization h-creativity: A new idea historically Novel inventions are h-creative Most of what we think of as creative is an example of h-creativity. h-creativity can be studied historically You do not know when a creative event will happen p-creativity can be studied


H-creativity We saw the dangers of looking at h-creativity when we talked about insight. There are many myths that grow up around great inventions. The significance of inventions is not realized until much later Stories must be told in retrospect. People tend to dramatize the story. Most creative acts are rather mundane Invention is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. -Thomas Alva Edison

Incremental invention:

Incremental invention Sewing machines Invented in 1848

Why is invention incremental?:

Why is invention incremental? How can a creative idea come about? It must be related to existing ideas Otherwise, how would people think it up? How could it be implemented? What does it mean for an idea to be ahead of its time? A creative idea must be comprehensible to others What good is an invention that nobody wants? Suggests that existing ideas may constrain creativity.

New inventions:

New inventions Innovative inventions are often based on known products. Early railroad cars were designed like stagecoaches on tracks. •Engineer and brakeman were not moved inside until later. •Stagecoaches were a good solution to initial problems •Other problems were not discovered until later.


P-creativity In order to understand creative invention better, use college students. The ideas may not be h-creative The same processes may be at work. Questions: Are creative ideas influenced by existing concepts? What will make people more creative? How should creativity be judged?

Creativity and Concepts:

Creativity and Concepts Draw an animal that does not exist. Ward Karmiloff-Smith Novel animals have many properties of real animals •Often have bilateral symmery •Sense organs on head •Similar sense organs to humans.

Where do examples come from?:

Where do examples come from? People select common concepts as examples They seem to use specific items When asked to create novel intelligent beings Animals typically walk upright Animals typically have two arms and two legs People seem to be using humans as a basis. Effect not limited to college students. Even sci-fi authors and movies seem to have the same constraints.

What makes people more creative?:

What makes people more creative? A paradox People access categories when being creative Categories are retrieved on the basis of cues during the creative process The more cues available, the more access More specific situations lead to less creativity. Forcing people into strange situations can lead to higher levels of creativity

An example:

An example Four conditions. Pick a category of invention and pick parts Parts assigned; pick category Category assigned; pick parts Both category and parts assigned Creativity of inventions increases as you move down this list

Social Factors:

Social Factors Creativity is fostered by an environment Creativity must be valued by a community Creativity is shaped by those who evaluate it Creator (the individual) Individuals must be experts Domain (what is being worked on) Field (the collaborators, colleagues, and audience)

Group creativity:

Group creativity Brainstorming Are N minds better than one? Often not Groups often come up with a smaller number of possible solutions than the individuals would alone One person’s output interferes with other people’s memories Growing conformity within a group Sherif studies of the autokinetic effect

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