Theories of Creativity: What Works and What Doesn’t

A comprehensive guide to the theories of creativity, including what works and what doesn’t when it comes to being creative.

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Introduction

Creativity is a quality prized by many people and organizations. We often think of it as something that people are born with—you either have it or you don’t.

This isn’t quite true. While some people do seem to be more creative than others, there are things that can help or hinder creativity. This guide will introduce you to some of the major theories of creativity and provide specific suggestions for how you can increase your own creativity.

Theories of Creativity

There are many different theories of creativity, and what works for one person may not work for another. However, there are some general principles that can help you be more creative. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular theories of creativity and see what the research has to say about them.

The Psychoanalytic Theory

The Psychoanalytic Theory was first proposed by Sigmund Freud in the early 1900s. This theory suggests that creativity is a result of repressed thoughts and emotions. According to Freud, we are constantly trying to keep our unconscious mind from becoming conscious. However, sometimes these repressed thoughts and emotions break through into our conscious mind, resulting in creative ideas.

One of the problems with this theory is that it is difficult to test. Another problem is that it does not explain why some people are more creative than others. Nonetheless, the Psychoanalytic Theory has had a significant impact on our understanding of creativity.

The Cognitive Theory

The cognitive theory of creativity suggests that creativity is the result of mental processes, such as problem solving, decision making, and knowledge acquisition and use. According to this theory, creative thinking involves both knowledgeable and insightful thinking.

People who are creative are able to see things from different perspectives and find new ways to solve problems. They are also able to come up with original ideas by combining existing ideas in new ways. Creative thinking often involves taking risks and making mistakes.

The cognitive theory of creativity has been supported by research showing that creative people often have higher than average levels of intelligence and mental flexibility. This theory has also been used to explain why people from different cultures can be creative in different ways.

The Behavioural Theory

The first theory of creativity is the behavioural theory. The behavioural theory states that creative behaviour is a function of three variables: personality, intelligence, and environment. This theory has been around since the early 1900s and has been used to explain why some people are more creative than others.

The personality variable in the behavioural theory refers to traits such as risk-taking, novelty-seeking, and impulsivity. Intelligence is defined as the ability to generate new ideas or find new ways to solve problems. The environment variable includes both the physical and social contexts in which a person lives and works. The physical environment includes features such as climate, geography, and architecture, while the social environment includes family, friends, and co-workers.

The behavioural theory of creativity has been supported by research showing that people who score high on measures of intelligence and novelty-seeking are more likely to be successful at creative tasks than those who score lower on these measures. However, there is some evidence that the relationship between intelligence and creativity is not as strong as the behavioural theory predicts. For example, a study of Nobel laureates found that while most of them were above average in intelligence, they were not necessarily the smartest people in their fields. This finding suggests that there may be other important factors that contribute to creativity besides intelligence.

The Humanistic Theory

The humanistic theory of creativity is based on the idea that people are creative because they have the ability to see the world in new ways. This theory emphasises the importance of self-esteem, motivation, and individual choice in creativity.

The humanistic theory has been influential in fields such as education, business, and counselling. It has been used to argue that everyone is capable of creativity, and that we should encourage people to be creative in their lives.

However, the humanistic theory has been critiqued for its lack of scientific evidence. Some researchers have argued that it overestimates the role of individual choice in creativity, and underestimates the importance of context and chance.

What Works and What Doesn’t

In this article, we’ll be exploring the different theories of creativity and what works and what doesn’t. We’ll also be looking at some of the different techniques that you can use to increase your creativity. Whether you’re a musician, artist, writer, or just looking to be more creative in general, this article is for you.

Psychoanalytic Theory

Psychoanalytic theory is a theory that suggests that creativity is the result of unconscious processes. This theory was first proposed by Sigmund Freud, who believed that creativity was the product of the id, the part of the mind that contains our primal urges. According to Freud, the id is in constant conflict with the ego, which is the part of the mind that deals with reality. The ego tries to keep the id in check, but when it can’t, creative impulses can break through.

Freud’s ideas have been very influential, but they have also been controversial. Many people have criticized Freud’s theory for being too reductionistic and for failing to take into account the role of consciousness in creativity. Nevertheless, Freud’s ideas remain an important part of psychoanalytic theory and continue to be influential in both psychology and popular culture.

Cognitive Theory

Cognitive theories of creativity propose that creative thinking involves the use of specific mental processes, often involving the generation and recombination of ideas. One well-known theory in this area is that proposed by Wallas (1926), who described the process of creativity as consisting of four stages:

-Preparation: gathering information and resources
-Incubation: letting the problem gestate in your mind
-Illumination: having the “aha!” moment when the solution comes to you
-Verification: evaluating and refining the solution.

Other cognitive theories have emphasized different aspects of the creative process. For example, Finke et al. (1992) proposed a three-stage model consisting of Pre-inventive processes (preparing to be creative), Inventive processes (generating new ideas), and Post-inventive processes (refining and developing ideas). More recently, Kaufman et al. (2008) proposed a four-stage model consisting of ideation, incubation, illumination, and verification.

Behavioural Theory

This theory stipulates that creative behaviour is the result of particular behaviours that can be observed and measured. The theory also states that creative behaviour can be changed and nurtured through training and education.

The main ideas of behavioural theory are as follows:
-Creative behaviour is a result of particular behaviours that can be observed and measured.
-Creative behaviour can be changed and nurtured through training and education.
-There are three main types of creative behaviour: exploratory, transformational, and imitative.
-Exploratory behaviour is required for new ideas to emerge, transformational behaviour is required for those ideas to be developed, and imitative behaviour is required for the ideas to be disseminated.

Humanistic Theory

The humanistic theory of creativity is based on the idea that people are creative because they have a strong need for self-actualization. This means that they have a strong desire to reach their full potential and to be all that they can be. This theory also emphasizes the importance of self-awareness and self-esteem in creativity.

People who are creative are said to be more open to new experiences, less concerned with conformity, and more likely to take risks. They are also said to be more likely to have a “creative personality,” which means they are more likely to be independent, flexible, and tolerant of ambiguity.

This theory has been supported by research showing that people who are more open to new experiences are more likely to be creative. However, it is important to note that this does not mean that everyone who is open to new experiences is automatically creative. There are many other factors that contribute to creativity, including intelligence, knowledge, and motivation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to creativity. However, the research that has been conducted in this area provides some guidance. The key is to experiment with different approaches and find what works best for you.

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