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Education Creativity
by
James C. Kaufman

Introduction

Although creativity has been debated and discussed by all types of scholars throughout history, it has only been since the 1950s that the topic has emerged as a genuine field of study. Most work on creativity typically revolves around one of the four Ps: process, person, product, or press (environment). In addition, there is typically a distinction made between Big-C (genius level) and little-c (everyday level). The emphasis on how creativity is approached often depends on the domain; most research on creativity in education focuses on little-c. “Hot” topics within the field include best practices for measurement; the question of domain specificity or domain generality (Is creativity one thing or many things?); and the relationship of creativity with other constructs, such as personality, motivation, and intelligence.

General Overviews

Some books take a broad approach to creativity, either reviewing the field or offering a different perspective. Runco 2007 focuses on the history of creativity research, whereas Sawyer 2006 emphasizes group creativity and the sociocultural mechanisms that can aid creativity. Kaufman 2009 takes an individual differences approach, discussing how creative people are alike or different. Weisberg 2006 and Finke, et al. 1992 take cognitive perspectives: Weisberg 2006 emphasizes problem solving and its underlying processes; Finke, et al. 1992 uses cognitive science to study how the mind creates. More all-encompassing reference works include the handbooks Sternberg 1999 and Kaufman and Sternberg 2010, as well as the encyclopedia Runco and Pritzker 1999. These three books have chapters or entries on nearly everything discussed in this bibliography.

  • Finke, Ronald A., Thomas B. Ward, and Steven M. Smith. 1992. Creative cognition: Theory research and applications. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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    Finke, Ward, and Smith’s Geneplore model is presented here. Generation, the “novel” part, is generating many different ideas. Exploration refers to evaluating these possible options and choosing the best one (or ones).

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  • Kaufman, James C. 2009. Creativity 101. New York: Springer.

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    Kaufman offers a primer on recent research in creativity, with an emphasis on individual differences (mental illness, gender and ethnicity, personality, motivation, and intelligence).

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  • Kaufman, James C., and Robert J. Sternberg, eds. 2010. The Cambridge handbook of creativity. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    This handbook is focused both on how creativity has been perceived over time by different areas of study (including recent perspectives such as evolutionary psychology and neuroscience) and on hot topics (such as creativity and mental illness) that are still being debated.

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  • Runco, Mark A. 2007. Creativity: Theories and themes; Research, development, and practice. San Diego, CA: Elsevier Academic.

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    This book is designed to be a textbook of the field, with an emphasis on creativity’s rich history.

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  • Runco, Mark A., and Steven R. Pritzker, eds. 1999. Encyclopedia of creativity. 2 vols. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

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    This two-volume encyclopedia covers a wide array of topics, from specific theories to empirical phenomena to individual creators.

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  • Sawyer, R. Keith. 2006. Explaining creativity: The science of human innovation. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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    Sawyer takes a sociocultural focus, arguing that creativity can be understood only in the social and cultural contexts in which it occurs. According to Sawyer, an idea that is creative in one sociocultural milieu might not be in another.

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  • Sternberg, Robert J., ed. 1999. Handbook of creativity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    This handbook presents many key theories and reviews in the field, including key work by Csikszentmihalyi, Gruber, and Martindale. Even after more than a decade, it is still an outstanding reference.

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  • Weisberg, R. W. 2006. Creativity: Understanding innovation in problem solving, science, invention, and the arts. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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    Weisberg argues that the thinking processes used by the average person when being creative are the same as those used by geniuses. Even if the final product may not be remembered for generations, we are all capable of productive and creative thought.

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Early Scholarship

The galvanizing event that launched the field of creativity is considered to be J. P. Guilford’s APA presidential address (Guilford 1950). He used this occasion to advocate for more creativity research, and the decades that followed saw a huge boom for creativity work. Nonetheless, some pioneering work was published before 1950. Some work was by legendary individuals not known for creativity work. Freud, for example, considered creativity via his psychoanalytic lens (see Freud 1959), and Vygotsky wrote about creativity from his cognitive/developmental perspective (Vygotsky 2004). Some papers were prescient but are now obscure. Cattell, et al. 1918, on aesthetic judgment, preceded Teresa Amabile’s Consensual Assessment Technique (see Amabile 1982, cited under Creativity Assessment). Chassell 1916 included many creativity tests, some similar to divergent thinking measures used today. Creative problem-solving models that were highly influential were proposed in Wallas 1926. Galton 1869 was one of the first works to look at the concept of genius. Cox 1926 followed up on this line of work using historical luminaries, whereas Hollingworth 1942 looked at extraordinarily gifted children.

  • Cattell, Judith, Josephine Glascock, and M. F. Washburn. 1918. Experiments on a possible test of aesthetic judgment of pictures. American Journal of Psychology 29.3: 333–336.

    DOI: 10.2307/1414125Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Since 1990, many researchers have used rated creative products as a measure of creativity. This paper is a very early investigation of some of these concepts.

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  • Chassell, L. M. 1916. Test for originality. Journal of Educational Psychology 7:317–328.

    DOI: 10.1037/h0070310Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This early work created twelve different measures of originality. Many of these measures are directly comparable to current instruments.

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  • Cox, Catharine M. 1926. The early mental traits of three hundred geniuses. Genetic Studies of Genius 2. Edited by Lewis M. Terman. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.

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    Like Galton 1869, Cox focused on genius. Working with IQ pioneer Lewis Terman, Cox’s book was an early treatise on childhood development, IQ, and productivity.

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  • Freud, Sigmund. 1959. Creative writers and day-dreaming. In The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud. Vol. 9. Edited by James Strachey, 141–154. London: Hogarth.

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    Originally published in 1908. Freud’s classic essay takes a psychoanalytic slant as it touches on what might inspire creative writers.

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  • Galton, Francis. 1869. Hereditary genius: An inquiry into its laws and consequences. London: Macmillan.

    DOI: 10.1037/13474-000Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A very early study of genius that was one of the first to use the historiometric method, later perfected by Dean Keith Simonton. Many of Galton’s works are still cited today.

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  • Guilford, J. P. 1950. Creativity. American Psychologist 5.9: 444–454.

    DOI: 10.1037/h0063487Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article was based on the presidential talk that recharged the field. It points to the dearth of research on creativity at the time, and argues its importance.

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  • Hollingworth, Leta Stetter. 1942. Children above 180 IQ Stanford-Binet: Origin and development. Yonkers-on-Hudson, NY: World Book Co.

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    This discussion of profoundly gifted children also addresses their creativity.

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  • Vygotsky, L. S. 2004. Imagination and creativity in childhood. Journal of Russian and East European Psychology 42.1: 7–97.

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    Vygotsky’s ideas about child development and intelligence have had a tremendous influence on many creativity scholars; in this essay, he argues that anything that produces something new is a creative act. Available online. Originally published in 1930.

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  • Wallas, Graham. 1926. The art of thought. New York: Harcourt, Brace.

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    According to this model, creativity problem-solving’s first stage is often called preparation, in which the problem is first considered. Next is incubation, in which one’s mind works on the problem while performing other tasks. Illumination contains an “aha” moment bringing insight; during verification, one expands and tests the ideas.

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Key Concepts

Some key concepts in creativity have influenced a lot of subsequent work. Guilford’s initial work (Guilford 1950, cited in Early Scholarship), calling for more creativity research, is often considered the beginning of the field (see General Overviews). His subsequent book, Guilford 1967, outlined his Structure of Intellect model, which influenced both intelligence and creativity scholars. In later years, Sternberg 1988, an edited book, once again stirred interest in creativity and brought together many key players. Rhodes 1961 is often credited with proposing the four Ps (process, person, product, and press, as discussed earlier). Mednick’s idea on creativity as an associative process led to the Remote Associates Test and other measurements (see Mednick 1962). In addition, Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of “flow” (see Csikszentmihalyi 1996), Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner 1993), and Sternberg’s triarchic theory (Sternberg 1985) have impacted countless scholars.

  • Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. 1996. Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. New York: HarperCollins.

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    Csikszentmihalyi’s work on flow, or optimal experience, was always strongly tied to creativity. This book, featuring interviews with many eminent creators, summarizes and applies the key components of flow. This book is one of the few by prominent creativity researchers and thinkers to reach a large mainstream audience.

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  • Gardner, Howard. 1993. Creating minds: An anatomy of creativity seen through the lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham, and Gandhi. New York: Basic Books.

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    Gardner’s writings on intelligence have had a tremendous impact on the field of creativity; this book applies his multiple intelligence theory specifically to creativity. Each intelligence is illustrated by a case study of a creative genius.

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  • Guilford, J. P. 1967. The nature of human intelligence. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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    This book outlines Guilford’s Structure of Intellect model, the first theory of intelligence to include creativity (defined as divergent thinking) as a key component.

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  • Mednick, Sarnoff A. 1962. The associative basis of the creative process. Psychological Review 69.3: 220–232.

    DOI: 10.1037/h0048850Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Mednick argues here that creativity consists of making associations between disparate concepts. People who are more creative can make connections between less-related ideas.

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  • Rhodes, Mel. 1961. An analysis of creativity. Phi Delta Kappan 42.7: 305–311.

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    This paper is generally cited as the first outlining in detail the four Ps (process, person, product, and press).

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  • Sternberg, Robert J. 1985. Beyond IQ: A triarchic theory of human intelligence. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    This is an early presentation of Sternberg’s triarchic theory (later called the theory of successful intelligence). Creativity is one of the three types of intelligence proposed (the others are analytic and practical).

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  • Sternberg, Robert J., ed. 1988. The nature of creativity: Contemporary psychological perspectives. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    Sternberg’s subsequent handbook (Sternberg 1999) is cited in General Overviews; this edited book helped kick-start a new wave of interest in creativity.

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Divergent Thinking

Much of the initial research on creativity focused on divergent thinking, which is the ability to come up with many different ideas. Divergent thinking is often contrasted with convergent thinking (seeking one specific correct answer). The conception of divergent thinking originated with J. P. Guilford (see Guilford 1950 in Early Scholarship and Guilford 1967 in Key Concepts), and he and his colleagues continued to conduct important work about the way that people respond to divergent thinking tasks (see Christensen, et al. 1957). Wallach and Kogan 1965 further developed the ideas behind divergent thinking and derived many different measures. E. Paul Torrance, in turn, was able to turn the concept into the most-used creativity test of all time (see Torrance 1966 and Torrance and Presbury 1984). There have been studies that support divergent thinking tests. Plucker 1999, for example, reanalyzed much of Torrance’s original data and found strong evidence for the predictive power of the tests, while Harrington, et al. 1983 found that divergent thinking scores helped predict children’s eventual development of creative thinking. Other scholars, however, have criticized divergent thinking. Heausler and Thompson 1988 questions whether the Torrance Tests are structured in a way consistent with the actual data. Baer 1993 outlines a series of criticisms, such as the limited domains measured by divergent thinking and the tests’ questionable transferability. New ways of scoring and interpreting the tests are still being proposed (Silvia, et al. 2008).

  • Baer, John. 1993. Creativity and divergent thinking: A task-specific approach. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

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    John Baer, one of the foremost critics of both divergent thinking and the Torrance Tests, outlines several studies in this volume that argue that training for divergent thinking is not effective because transfer does not occur.

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  • Christensen, Paul R., J. P. Guilford, and R. C. Wilson. 1957. Relations of creative responses to working time and instructions. Journal of Experimental Psychology 53.2: 82–88.

    DOI: 10.1037/h0045461Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This study examined how divergent thinking responses fluctuate depending on the amount of time allotted. Authors found that although original responses do rise with extra time, they eventually plateau.

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  • Harrington, David M., Jack Block, and Jeanne H. Block. 1983. Predicting creativity in preadolescence from divergent thinking in early childhood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 45.3: 609–623.

    DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.45.3.609Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This longitudinal study found that divergent thinking tests administered when children were four or five years old predicted how these same children were rated for creativity by their sixth-grade teachers.

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  • Heausler, Nancy L., and Bruce Thompson. 1988. Structure of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking. Educational and Psychological Measurement 48.2: 463–468.

    DOI: 10.1177/0013164488482021Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This study is one of several papers that question whether the recommended interpretation of the Torrance Tests is consistent with the data.

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  • Plucker, Jonathan A. 1999. Is the proof in the pudding? Reanalyses of Torrance’s (1958 to present) longitudinal study data. Creativity Research Journal 12.2: 103–114.

    DOI: 10.1207/s15326934crj1202_3Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This frequently cited reanalysis of Torrance’s data offers compelling evidence of the predictive power of divergent thinking tests.

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  • Silvia, Paul J., Beate P. Winterstein, John T. Willse, et al. 2008. Assessing creativity with divergent thinking tasks: Exploring the reliability and validity of new subjective scoring methods. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts 2.2: 68–85.

    DOI: 10.1037/1931-3896.2.2.68Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This controversial paper (several rebuttals were published in response) discusses many new ways of scoring and interpreting divergent thinking tests. Some of the suggested methods include having people rate each divergent thinking response, and to have people taking the test choose their best answers.

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  • Torrance, E. Paul. 1966. The Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking—Norms, Technical Manual Research Edition—Verbal Tests, Forms A and B—Figural Tests, Forms A and B. Princeton, NJ: Personnel Press.

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    The Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking remain the most commonly used creativity tests. Although the tests are still being developed and normed today (the latest revision came out in 2008), the basic principles have been in place for years.

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  • Torrance, E. Paul, and Jack Presbury. 1984. The criteria of success used in 242 recent experimental studies of creativity. Creative Child and Adult Quarterly 9.4: 238–243.

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    This review found that the Torrance Tests were the most commonly used measure in creativity studies.

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  • Wallach, Michael A., and Nathan Kogan. 1965. Modes of thinking in young children: A study of the creativity-intelligence distinction. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

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    Wallach and Kogan were early proponents of divergent thinking, and they created many of the basic tasks that are still used today.

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Creativity Assessment

Although divergent thinking is the most popular way to measure creativity, there are many other possible measurements (see Plucker and Renzulli 1999). The Consensual Assessment Technique (Amabile 1982) uses expert raters; the Remote Associates Test (Bowden and Jung-Beeman 2003, Mednick 1968) uses insight word problems; the historiometric method uses biographical information (Simonton 1999); and there are several self-assessments (Carson, et al. 2005). Kaufman, et al. 2008 provides an overview.

Cognitive Approaches

Many researchers take a cognitive approach to studying and theorizing about creativity. Ward 1994 uses cognitive science as a starting ground for thinking about creativity. Mumford, et al. 1991 proposes a model on creative problem-solving that builds on the classic work Wallas 1926 (see Early Scholarship), whereas Treffinger and Isaksen 2005 reviews work on the Creative Problem Solving model popular in applied settings. Reiter-Palmon and Illies 2004 discusses the relationship of creative problem-solving to successful leadership. Kirton 1976 builds off of the concept of “thinking styles” to propose “creative styles.” Sternberg and Lubart 1995 proposes an investment theory about how creative people use their ideas.

  • Kirton, Michael. 1976. Adaptors and innovators: A description and measure. Journal of Applied Psychology 61.5: 622–629.

    DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.61.5.622Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The adaption-innovation theory, described here, argues that people solve problems in one of two ways. They either adapt (use given resources to find a solution) or innovate (think of new possibilities).

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  • Mumford, M. D., M. I. Mobley, C. E. Uhlman, R. Reiter-Palmon, and C. Doares. 1991. Process-analytic models of creative capabilities. Creativity Research Journal 4:91–122.

    DOI: 10.1080/10400419109534380Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Mumford and his colleagues discuss cognitive-oriented models of the creative process and then propose one of their own.

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  • Reiter-Palmon, Roni, and Jody J. Illies. 2004. Leadership and creativity: Understanding leadership from a creative problem-solving perspective. Leadership Quarterly 15:55–77.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2003.12.005Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This paper explores the ways that supportive leadership can nurture creative problem-solving ability and performance.

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  • Sternberg, Robert J., and Todd I. Lubart. 1995. Defying the crowd: Cultivating creativity in a culture of conformity. New York: Free Press.

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    Sternberg and Lubart present the investment theory of creativity, in which a creative person must “invest” in ideas the way a stockbroker might invest in the market. They discuss six key components that influence creativity: intelligence, personality, motivation, thinking styles, knowledge, and the environment.

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  • Treffinger, Donald J., and Scott G. Isaksen. 2005. Creative Problem Solving: The history, development, and implications for gifted education and talent development. Gifted Child Quarterly 49.4: 342–353.

    DOI: 10.1177/001698620504900407Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The Creative Problem Solving (CPS) model has been developed and studied for years. Although often applied in business and applied settings, this paper stresses its implications for teaching and learning.

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  • Ward, Thomas B. 1994. Structured imagination: The role of category structure in exemplar generation. Cognitive Psychology 27.1: 1–40.

    DOI: 10.1006/cogp.1994.1010Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Ward, in the first of many papers, finds evidence that people tend to take the path of least resistance when asked to generate new ideas. People tend to stay close to standard examples from given domains.

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Cross-Cultural Approaches

Ideas of creativity manifest themselves differently in a variety of cultures; Lubart 2010 reviews many of these different perspectives. Of particular interest have been the contrasting views of creativity seen in Eastern and Western cultures. Niu and Sternberg 2002 discusses how creativity is valued differently, and Paletz and Peng 2008 studies how different components of a creative work are emphasized across cultures. Chen, et al. 2005 finds that a basic way to improve creativity resonates across both Eastern and Western cultures. Stein 1953 was one of the first works to explore how culture can impact creativity. More recently, Leung, et al. 2008 provides evidence that exposure to diversity leads to increased creativity.

  • Chen, Chuansheng, Joseph Kasof, Amy Himsel, Julia Dmitrieva, Qi Dong, and Gui Xue. 2005. Effects of explicit instruction to “be creative” across domains and cultures. Journal of Creative Behavior 39.2: 89–110.

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    This study found that simply telling people to be creative had a positive impact across cultures (America and China) and domains (verbal, artistic, and mathematical).

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  • Leung, Angela Ka-yee, William W. Maddux, Adam D. Galinsky, and Chi-yue Chiu. 2008. Multicultural experience enhances creativity: The when and how. American Psychologist 63.3: 169–181.

    DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.63.3.169Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The authors found that when students were given information about another culture (China), they subsequently wrote more creative stories set in a different culture (Turkey) than students who had not been exposed to the first culture. The authors infer that multicultural experiences enhance creativity.

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  • Lubart, Todd. 2010. Cross-cultural perspectives on creativity. In The Cambridge handbook of creativity. Edited by James C. Kaufman and Robert J. Sternberg, 265–278. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    This chapter reviews cross-cultural perspectives on creativity.

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  • Niu, Weihua, and Robert J. Sternberg. 2002. Contemporary studies on the concept of creativity: The East and the West. Journal of Creative Behavior 36.4: 269–288.

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    This East-West review of creativity emphasizes that Eastern cultures value concepts of harmony and goodness.

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  • Paletz, Susannah B. F., and Kaiping Peng. 2008. Implicit theories of creativity across cultures: Novelty and appropriateness in two product domains. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 39.3: 286–302.

    DOI: 10.1177/0022022108315112Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The researchers asked Chinese, Japanese, and American students to rate creative artwork. Chinese raters valued originality more than individuals from the other countries, and they valued appropriateness the least.

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  • Stein, M. I. 1953. Creativity and culture. Journal of Psychology 36:311–322.

    DOI: 10.1080/00223980.1953.9712897Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Stein’s paper was one of the first to truly consider the role of culture in creativity. Cultures that offer freedom and allow diversity and ambiguity will be more conducive to creativity.

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Developmental Approaches

Much attention has been directed toward the study of creativity across the life span. Harrington, et al. 1987 finds that Rogerian-based child-raising techniques lead to later creativity. Russ, et al. 1999 offers evidence that imaginative play is linked to creativity later in life. Reviews of the literature on play and creativity include Russ and Fiorelli 2010, which emphasizes its role in affective processes, and Singer 2009, which also considers imagination and consciousness. In adults, much work focuses on the idea of everyday creativity and its differentiation from eminence. Richards, et al. 1988 outlines ideas behind the concept of everyday creativity, while the essays in Richards 2007 further explore everyday creativity from the perspective of positive psychology. Simonton 1997, a highly cited paper, compares career trajectories for eminent individuals in many different types of creative fields. This work established early peaks for such fields as poetry and theoretical physics, among other findings. Two life-span theories of creativity are Cohen’s continuum (Cohen 1989), which looks at creativity from childhood to old age, and Kaufman and Beghetto’s Four C model (Kaufman and Beghetto 2009), which has four stages that range from personal creativity (mini-c) to extreme eminence (Big-C).

  • Cohen, Leonora M. 1989. A continuum of adaptive creative behaviors. Creativity Research Journal 2.3: 169–183.

    DOI: 10.1080/10400418909534313Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Cohen presents a developmental perspective on creativity, tracing creativity’s growth across the life span (from childhood to old age).

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  • Harrington, David M., Jeanne H. Block, and Jack Block. 1987. Testing aspects of Carl Rogers’s theory of creative environments: Child-rearing antecedents of creative potential in young adolescents. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 52.4: 851–856.

    DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.52.4.851Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Demonstrates that child-rearing practices based on Carl Rogers’s work (such as encouraging curiosity and exploration, letting children make decisions, and respecting children’s opinions) can lead to increased later creative potential.

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  • Kaufman, James C., and Ronald A. Beghetto. 2009. Beyond big and little: The Four C model of creativity. Review of General Psychology 13.1: 1–12.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0013688Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The Four C model expands on the distinction between little-c and Big-C by adding mini-c (subjective, personal creativity) and Pro-C (expert-level, professional creativity that may not reach greatness).

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  • Richards, Ruth, ed. 2007. Everyday creativity and new views of human nature: Psychological, social, and spiritual perspectives. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

    DOI: 10.1037/11595-000Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This edited volume emphasized everyday creativity (as opposed to eminent creativity), with many essays focusing on positive outcomes and behaviors associated with creativity.

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  • Richards, Ruth, Dennis K. Kinney, Maria Benet, and Ann P. Merzel. 1988. Assessing everyday creativity: Characteristics of the Lifetime Creativity Scales and validation with three large samples. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 54.3: 467–485.

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    The authors argue for the importance of everyday creativity and offer a new measure, the Lifetime Creativity Scales (LCS).

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  • Russ, Sandra W., and Julie A. Fiorelli. 2010. Developmental approaches to creativity. In The Cambridge handbook of creativity. Edited by James C. Kaufman and Robert J. Sternberg, 233–249. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    This review chapter discusses the developmental processes that are essential to creativity, including cognitive, affective, and play processes.

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  • Russ, Sandra W. Andrew L. Robins, and Beth A. Christiano. 1999. Pretend play: Longitudinal prediction of creativity and affect in fantasy in children. Creativity Research Journal 12.2: 129–139.

    DOI: 10.1207/s15326934crj1202_5Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Longitudinal study finding that divergent thinking stays constant across early childhood. Affective play was found to be linked to divergent thinking.

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  • Simonton, Dean Keith. 1997. Creative productivity: A predictive and explanatory model of career trajectories and landmarks. Psychological Review 104.1: 66–89.

    DOI: 10.1037/0033-295X.104.1.66Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This remarkably thorough paper investigates career trajectories across many different creative domains. Simonton predicts annual productivity as a function of career age. Typically, output begins in one’s twenties, ascends to an optimum at some point near the age of forty, and then gradually approaches zero output.

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  • Singer, Jerome L. 2009. Researching imaginative play and adult consciousness: Implications for daily and literary creativity. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts 3.4: 190–199.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0016507Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This paper reviews Singer’s major contributions to the field, including pioneering research on daydreaming and imaginative play.

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Personality

Much current work on creativity and personality focuses on the five-factor model. One dominant theme in the research literature is that openness to experience is associated with creativity. This finding has been demonstrated using divergent thinking tests (McCrae 1987) and domain-based surveys (Perrine and Brodersen 2005), among other measures. There are often interactions present; King, et al. 1996, for example, found interactions between creativity ability and accomplishments depending on people’s openness to experience and conscientiousness. Chamorro-Premuzic 2006 found that conscientious students had distinct assessment preferences that were different from creative students. Other scholars have studied creativity and personality using such instruments as the California Psychological Inventory (Gough 1979), the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI; Barron 1969), and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MacKinnon 1965). Helson 1996 reviews a lifetime of researching creativity and personality. Feist 1998 is an extensive, oft-cited meta-analysis of the existing research.

  • Barron, Frank. 1969. Creative person and creative process. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

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    Barron’s work at the Institute of Personality Assessment and Research (IPAR) was among the first to study creative people in specific careers. This book captures much of his work on the similar personality traits (typically using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, or MMPI) found in many different creative people.

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  • Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas. 2006. Creativity versus conscientiousness: Which is a better predictor of student performance? Applied Cognitive Psychology 20.4: 521–531.

    DOI: 10.1002/acp.1196Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This study contrasted creative thinking and conscientiousness in predicting student success. Creativity was associated with dissertation performance, whereas conscientiousness was more associated with exam scores. Creative students tended to prefer oral exams, group projects, and working on their dissertation; more conscientious students preferred multiple choice and essay exams.

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  • Feist, Gregory J. 1998. A meta-analysis of personality in scientific and artistic creativity. Personality and Social Psychology Review 2.4: 290–309.

    DOI: 10.1207/s15327957pspr0204_5Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Feist’s meta-analysis, the first to examine personality and creativity, offers (among other things) evidence that artistic and scientific creativity are associated with different personality traits. Feist updated this paper for Kaufman and Sternberg 2010 (cited under General Overviews), pp. 113–130.

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  • Gough, Harrison G. 1979. A creative personality scale for the Adjective Check List. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 37.8: 1398–1405.

    DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.37.8.1398Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Gough introduces the California Psychological Inventory (CPI), which he later revised and published with Consulting Psychologists Press. The CPI can be used to identify creative temperament.

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  • Helson, Ravenna. 1996. In search of the creative personality: Arnheim Award address to Division 10 of the American Psychological Association. Creativity Research Journal 9.4: 295–303.

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    Helson reviews the field of creativity and personality, paying particular attention to personality across different creative domains.

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  • King, Laura A., Lori McKee Walker, and Sheri J. Broyles. 1996. Creativity and the five-factor model. Journal of Research in Personality 30.2: 189–203.

    DOI: 10.1006/jrpe.1996.0013Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This empirical study of creativity and personality finds support for the link between openness to experience and creativity. It also finds some interesting interactions: People with high creativity ability and low openness to experience produce fewer creative accomplishments; people with low creativity ability have more creative accomplishments if they are higher in conscientiousness.

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  • MacKinnon, Donald W. 1965. Personality and the realization of creative potential. American Psychologist 20.4: 273–281.

    DOI: 10.1037/h0022403Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    MacKinnon tested highly creative people using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and other measures. Although the Meyers-Briggs is no longer as popular in research studies, MacKinnon’s work remains important.

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  • McCrae, Robert R. 1987. Creativity, divergent thinking, and openness to experience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 52.6: 1258–1265.

    DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.52.6.1258Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    McCrae’s paper offers empirical support for the connection between openness to experience and divergent thinking.

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  • Perrine, Nicholas E., and R. Marc Brodersen. 2005. Artistic and scientific creative behavior: Openness and the mediating role of interests. Journal of Creative Behavior 39.4: 217–236.

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    The authors examined the facets of openness to experience and artistic versus scientific creativity. Five of the six facets of openness to experience were related to artistic creativity—all but values—with the strongest relationship found in aesthetics. Ideas and values were the only facets related to scientific creativity.

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Motivation

Early work on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation suggested that people motivated by intrinsic factors (e.g., enjoyment) were more likely to persist on a task than were those people motivated by extrinsic factors (e.g., grades, money). In creativity, one line of research argues that intrinsic motivation is associated with higher creativity (Amabile 1985, Amabile 1996), whereas an alternative series of studies have argued that the connection is weak at best (Eisenberger and Cameron 1996, Eisenberger and Shanock 2003). The relationship has also been studied via the lenses of domains (Ruscio, et al. 1998) and gender (Baer 1997).

  • Amabile, Teresa M. 1985. Motivation and creativity: Effects of motivational orientation on creative writers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 48.2: 393–399.

    DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.48.2.393Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Amabile studied the effects of an intrinsic versus extrinsic motivational orientation on creative-writing graduate and undergraduate students. She found that students who were primed to think about extrinsic motivation wrote a less creative poem than did students primed on intrinsic motivation or students not primed at all.

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  • Amabile, Teresa M. 1996. Creativity in context. Boulder, CO: Westview.

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    In this update of Amabile 1982 (cited under Creativity Assessment), the author proposes the Componential Model of Creativity, which includes domain-relevant skills, creativity-relevant skills, and task motivation. Domain-relevant skills include knowledge and technical skills, as well as specialized talent; creativity-relevant skills are personal factors that are associated with creativity.

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  • Baer, John. 1997. Gender differences in the effects of anticipated evaluation on creativity. Creativity Research Journal 10.1: 25–31.

    DOI: 10.1207/s15326934crj1001_3Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Baer found a gender interaction in how motivation impacts creativity. For boys, there was virtually no difference in creativity ratings under intrinsic and extrinsic conditions, but for the girls these differences were quite large.

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  • Eisenberger, Robert, and Judy Cameron. 1996. Detrimental effects of reward: Reality or myth? American Psychologist 51.11: 1153–1166.

    DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.51.11.1153Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This essay argues that rewards are not necessarily detrimental to performance. The negative impact, the authors argue, only occurs under restricted and avoidable conditions, and reward can often have a positive effect on creativity.

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  • Eisenberger, Robert, and Linda Shanock. 2003. Rewards, intrinsic motivation, and creativity: A case study of conceptual and methodological isolation. Creativity Research Journal 15.2–3: 121–130.

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    The authors reviewed many studies on the harm or benefits of reward, and they conclude that much of the debate surrounds methodological issues. Rewarding creative performance, they argue, increases both intrinsic motivation and creativity, while rewarding conventional performance decreases both intrinsic motivation and creativity.

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  • Ruscio, John, Dean M. Whitney, and Teresa M. Amabile. 1998. Looking inside the fishbowl of creativity: Verbal and behavioral predictors of creative performance. Creativity Research Journal 11.3: 243–263.

    DOI: 10.1207/s15326934crj1103_4Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The authors examined which task behaviors best predicted creativity in three domains: problem-solving, art, and writing. The most important indicator was found to be a participant’s involvement in the task, as measured through behavioral coding and think-aloud protocol analysis.

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Intelligence

Intelligence and creativity are typically seen as being related (general reviews are Barron and Harrington 1981 and Batey and Furnham 2006). Some argue that intelligence is part of creativity; others argue that creativity is part of intelligence. Traditional research has argued for a “threshold theory,” in which creativity and intelligence are positively correlated up until an IQ of approximately 120; in people with higher IQs, the two constructs show little relationship (Getzels and Jackson 1962). More recent investigations call this theory into question (Kim 2005; Sligh, et al. 2005). Creativity often is part of basic theories of intelligence (Cattell and Butcher 1968).

  • Barron, Frank, and David M. Harrington. 1981. Creativity, intelligence, and personality. Annual Review of Psychology 32:439–476.

    DOI: 10.1146/annurev.ps.32.020181.002255Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This Annual Review paper highlighted key work being done in creativity, intelligence, and personality. The authors highlight several key distinctions still discussed together, such as whether creativity is best conceived as an achievement, ability, or attitude.

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  • Batey, Mark, and Adrian Furnham. 2006. Creativity, intelligence and personality: A critical review of the scattered literature. Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs 132.4: 355–429.

    DOI: 10.3200/MONO.132.4.355-430Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This vast review of the literature offers an interesting theoretical analysis of how crystallized and fluid intelligence may shift across the lifespan of a creative person.

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  • Cattell, Raymond B., and Harold J. Butcher. 1968. The prediction of achievement and creativity. Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill.

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    Cattell (co-creator of the fluid-crystallized theory of intelligence) here argues that fluid intelligence (novel problem-solving) is related to creativity.

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  • Getzels, Jacob W., and Philip W. Jackson. 1962. Creativity and intelligence: Explorations with gifted students. New York: Wiley.

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    This landmark book was one of the first to propose the threshold theory.

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  • Kim, Kyung Hee. 2005. Can only intelligent people be creative? A meta-analysis. Journal of Secondary Gifted Education 16.2–3: 57–66.

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    This meta-analysis of studies on intelligence and creativity found virtually no empirical support for the threshold theory.

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  • Sligh, Alison C., Frances A. Conners, and Beverly Roskos-Ewoldsen. 2005. Relation of creativity to fluid and crystallized intelligence. Journal of Creative Behavior 39.2: 123–136.

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    Crystallized intelligence (Gc) showed the threshold theory; fluid intelligence (Gf) showed a different pattern (higher levels of Gf brought higher correlations with creativity). Students with high Gf may be more likely to be creative than students with high Gc.

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Domain Specificity versus Domain Generality

The question of whether creativity is one thing or many things (are people who are creative in math more likely to also be creative in art?) is still a hot topic. In a memorable 1998 point-counterpoint, John Baer argues for domain specificity, whereas Jonathan A. Plucker argues for domain generality (see Baer 1998 and Plucker 2004). Essays in Kaufman and Baer 2005 and Sternberg, et al. 2004 discuss and debate these issues. Csikszentmihalyi 1999, applying systems theory, takes a domain-centered approach to creativity, focusing on the evolution of a creative product. Park, et al. 2007 provides empirical support for the domain-specific approach, with a longitudinal study of SAT scores predicting eventual creativity in the arts and sciences.

  • Baer, John. 1998. The case for domain specificity of creativity. Creativity Research Journal 11.2: 173–177.

    DOI: 10.1207/s15326934crj1102_7Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    In this paper Baer presents a compelling case for domain specificity. In the same issue, Jonathan Plucker then argues, in his essay “Beware of Simple Conclusions: The Case for Content Generality of Creativity (pp. 179–182), the opposing viewpoint.

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  • Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. 1999. Implications of a systems perspective for the study of creativity. In Handbook of creativity. Edited by Robert J. Sternberg, 313–335. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    Csikszentmihalyi proposes that creativity is an interaction between the domain, field, and person. A domain is a preexisting area of expertise (e.g., “science”). The field is defined as the “gatekeepers”—teachers, editors, or critics. The person is the one who creates an idea or theory or piece of art.

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  • Kaufman, James C., and John Baer, eds. 2005. Creativity across domains: Faces of the muse. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

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    This edited volume contains essays on what it means to be creative across different domains. The concluding chapters include an alternate perspective by Plucker and two chapters in which Kaufman and Baer present their “amusement park theory of creativity.”

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  • Park, Gregory, David Lubinski, and Camilla P. Benbow. 2007. Contrasting intellectual patterns predict creativity in the arts and sciences: Tracking intellectually precocious youth over 25 years. Psychological Science 18.11: 948–952.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.02007.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This longitudinal study presents evidence that math and verbal SAT scores predict artistic and scientific creativity (via literary publications and patents) 25 years later.

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  • Plucker, Jonathan A. 2004. Generalization of creativity across domains: Examination of the method effect hypothesis. Journal of Creative Behavior 38.1: 1–12.

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    Plucker argues that creativity appears domain-general or domain-specific depending on the measurement used. If the measure is of the creative product, then creativity often appears domain-specific. In contrast, standardized assessments typically focus on the creative person and are therefore domain-general.

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  • Sternberg, Robert J., Elena L. Grigorenko, and Jerome L. Singer, eds. 2004. Creativity: From potential to realization. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

    DOI: 10.1037/10692-000Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This book includes essays that broadly address the domain-specificity/domain-generality topic.

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Creativity in Schools

Torrance 1963 provides a nice starting point for demonstrating how little has changed over the last several decades. More recently, Plucker, et al. 2004 analyzes how creativity is defined (or, frequently, not defined) in the psychology and educational literature. Smith and Smith 2010 reviews educational research about creativity. Piirto 2004 discusses creativity and talent development, using both empirical work and personal stories, while Cropley 2001 critiques ways that schools and teachers do not necessarily encourage student creativity. Indeed, Westby and Dawson 1995 provides fascinating empirical evidence for discrepancies between teachers’ professed and actual beliefs about creative students. Looking at more positive areas, Beghetto 2006 measures and advocates for the concept of creative self-efficacy in students. Sternberg 2008 provides a summary of the Kaleidoscope Project at Tufts University, which added an optional creativity testing component to the standard university application.

  • Beghetto, Ronald A. 2006. Creative self-efficacy: Correlates in middle and secondary students. Creativity Research Journal 18.4: 447–457.

    DOI: 10.1207/s15326934crj1804_4Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Beghetto studied the idea of creative self-efficacy (CSE), the belief in your own ability to be creative. He found that high CSE was associated with more school participation and generally positive academic beliefs.

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  • Cropley, Arthur J. 2001. Creativity in education and learning: A guide for teachers and educators. New York: Routledge.

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    In this book, aimed primarily at teachers, Cropley reviews the research literature on creativity in higher education. He places a special emphasis on nurturing creativity.

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  • Piirto, Jane. 2004. Understanding creativity. Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press.

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    In a work rich with anecdotes and stories, Piirto reviews theory and research about creativity. She specifically discusses her Pyramid of Talent Development model of the Seven Is: inspiration, imagery, imagination, intuition, insight, incubation, and improvisation.

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  • Plucker, Jonathan A., Ronald A. Beghetto, and Gayle T. Dow. 2004. Why isn’t creativity more important to educational psychologists? Potential, pitfalls, and future directions in creativity research. Educational Psychologist 39.2: 83–96.

    DOI: 10.1207/s15326985ep3902_1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This review of the field offers a sophisticated definition of creativity: “Creativity is the interaction among aptitude, process, and environment by which an individual or group produces a perceptible product that is both novel and useful as defined within a social context” (p. 90).

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  • Smith, Jeffrey K., and Lisa F. Smith. 2010. Educational creativity. In The Cambridge handbook of creativity. Edited by James C. Kaufman and Robert J. Sternberg, 250–264. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    This chapter discusses historic approaches to creativity in education as well as current perspectives. Authors include a call to demonstrate the effectiveness of different approaches.

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  • Sternberg, Robert J. 2008. Applying psychological theories to educational practice. American Educational Research Journal 45.4: 150–165.

    DOI: 10.3102/0002831207312910Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This paper is one of several describing the Kaleidoscope Project. As the dean of Tufts University, Sternberg oversaw the (optional) addition of creativity and other variables to admission criteria. Minority enrollment went up and SAT scores stayed the same.

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  • Torrance, E. Paul. 1963. Education and the creative potential. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota.

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    Torrance wrote many books, in addition to his tests and scholarly papers. This one focuses on such topics as how teachers often value creative students less than bright students, and on the obstacles that creative students face. Its message is as important today as it was fifty years ago.

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  • Westby, Erik L., and V. L. Dawson. 1995. Creativity: asset or burden in the classroom? Creativity Research Journal 8.1: 1–10.

    DOI: 10.1207/s15326934crj0801_1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    In this inventive study, teachers reported liking creative students, yet then defined creativity with adjectives such as well-behaved or conforming. When the same teachers were given adjectives that were more typically used to describe creative people, they said they disliked students who possessed those attributes.

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Giftedness

Most current conceptions of giftedness can be traced to Marland 1972, a report that, despite limitations, did promote creativity. Renzulli 1978 put forth a three-ring model that is still one of the dominant theories of giftedness, and Taylor 1968 posited arguments for using broad conceptions of giftedness that are still echoed today. Callahan, et al. 1995 highlights the instruments used to identify gifted students (including many creativity measures). Daniels and Piechowski 2008 discusses the excitability of gifted children. Kaufman and Sternberg 2008 provides an overview of the field, with an emphasis on creativity. Some key papers on giftedness, such as Terman and Oden 1925–1959 and Winner 2000, only briefly discuss creativity but are nonetheless valuable resources for understanding high levels of ability.

  • Callahan, Carolyn M., Scott L. Hunsaker, Cheryll M. Adams, Sara D. Moore, and Lori C. Bland. 1995. Instruments used in the identification of gifted and talented students. Research Monograph 95130. Storrs, CT: National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.

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    This broad survey includes a discussion of which creativity instruments are most commonly used for giftedness programs (Torrance Tests are number one). Several districts reported using group-administered intelligence or achievement tests to assess students’ creativity.

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  • Daniels, Susan, and Michael Piechowski, eds. 2008. Living with intensity: Understanding the sensitivity, excitability, and emotional development of gifted children, adolescents, and adults. Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press.

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    A guide for parents and teachers working with gifted children. Based on Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration, the book discusses nurturing creativity, sensitivity, passion, and self-directedness in children who are often thought of as too independent, oppositional, or bored.

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  • Kaufman, Scott Barry, and Robert J. Sternberg. 2008. Conceptions of giftedness. In Handbook of giftedness in children: Psycho-educational theory, research, and best practices. Edited by Steven I. Pfeiffer. New York: Springer.

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    This chapter is a review of many different theories of and approaches to giftedness, with special attention to how creativity is included in the models.

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  • Marland, S. P., Jr. 1972. Education of the gifted and talented: Report to the Congress of the United States by the U.S. Commissioner of Education. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.

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    The first official document to explicitly include creativity as an integral part of giftedness. It defines gifted students as having high abilities and being capable of advanced performance. Six areas that may reflect giftedness were specified: creativity, intelligence, academic performance, leadership, visual/performing arts, and psychomotor ability.

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  • Renzulli, Joseph S. 1978. What makes giftedness? Reexamining a definition. Phi Delta Kappan 60.3: 180–184, 261.

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    This articles conceptualizes giftedness as part of a “three-ring” model. The “rings” in the model represent high abilities, high task commitment, and high creativity. Gifted behavior must draw from all three of these areas and the interaction between them. Highly influential in gifted education.

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  • Taylor, Calvin W. 1968. Cultivating new talents: A way to reach the educationally deprived. Journal of Creative Behavior 2:83–90.

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    Taylor led many federally funded conferences to develop scientific creativity (in part as an American reaction to Sputnik). This article argues for using different types of talents (including ones relating to creativity) to reach many different types of gifted students.

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  • Terman, Lewis M., and Melita H. Oden. 1925–1959. Genetic studies of genius. 5 vols. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.

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    Encompasses several volumes produced from a study begun in 1921 at Stanford University. Terman identified over 1,500 children with IQs greater than 140 and followed them throughout the course of their lives.

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  • Winner, Ellen. 2000. Giftedness: Current theory and research. Current Directions in Psychological Science 9.5: 153–156.

    DOI: 10.1111/1467-8721.00082Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Winner presents an overview of the field of giftedness. She argues that gifted children are specifically different than typical children. She challenges the deliberate practice viewpoint by arguing for giftedness being innate.

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LAST MODIFIED: 12/15/2011

DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199756810-0008

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