Creativity

Creativity : Understanding Innovation in Problem Solving, Science, Invention, and the Arts

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How cognitive psychology explains human creativity Conventional wisdom holds that creativity is a mysterious quality present in a select few individuals. The rest of us, the common view goes, can only stand in awe of great creative achievements: we could never paint Guernica or devise the structure of the DNA molecule because we lack access to the rarified thoughts and inspirations that bless geniuses like Picasso or Watson and Crick. Presented with this view, today's cognitive psychologists largely differ finding instead that "ordinary" people employ the same creative thought processes as the greats. Though used and developed differently by different people, creativity can and should be studied as a positive psychological feature shared by all humans. Creativity: Understanding Innovation in Problem Solving, Science, Invention, and the Arts presents the major psychological theories of creativity and illustrates important concepts with vibrant and detailed case studies that exemplify how to study creative acts with scientific rigor. Creativity includes: â Two in-depth case studies--Watson and Crick's modeling of the DNA structure and Picasso's painting of Guernica-- serve as examples throughout the text â Methods used by psychologists to study the multiple facets of creativity â The "ordinary thinking" or cognitive view of creativity and its challengers â How problem-solving and experience relate to creative thinking â Genius and madness and the relationship between creativity and psychopathology â The possible role of the unconscious in creativity â Psychometrics--testing for creativity and how personality factors affect creativity â Confluence theories that use cognitive, personality, environmental, and other components to describe creativity Clearly and engagingly written by noted creativity expert Robert Weisberg, Creativity: Understanding Innovation in Problem Solving, Science, Invention, and the Arts takes both students and lay readers on an in-depth journey through contemporary cognitive psychology, showing how the discipline understands one of the most fundamental and fascinating human abilities. "This book will be a hit. It fills a large gap in the literature. It is a well-written, scholarly, balanced, and engaging book that will be enjoyed by students and faculty alike." --David Goldstein, University of Torontoshow more

Product details

  • Hardback | 640 pages
  • 157.5 x 236.2 x 35.6mm | 997.91g
  • John Wiley & Sons Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0471739995
  • 9780471739999
  • 1,075,424

Back cover copy

How cognitive psychology explains human creativity Conventional wisdom holds that creativity is a mysterious quality present in a select few individuals. The rest of us, the common view goes, can only stand in awe of great creative achievements: we could never paint Guernica or devise the structure of the DNA molecule because we lack access to the rarified thoughts and inspirations that bless geniuses like Picasso or Watson and Crick. Presented with this view, today's cognitive psychologists largely differ finding instead that "ordinary" people employ the same creative thought processes as the greats. Though used and developed differently by different people, creativity can and should be studied as a positive psychological feature shared by all humans. Creativity: Understanding Innovation in Problem Solving, Science, Invention, and the Arts presents the major psychological theories of creativity and illustrates important concepts with vibrant and detailed case studies that exemplify how to study creative acts with scientific rigor. Creativity includes: Two in-depth case studies--Watson and Crick's modeling of the DNA structure and Picasso's painting of Guernica-- serve as examples throughout the text Methods used by psychologists to study the multiple facets of creativity The "ordinary thinking" or cognitive view of creativity and its challengers How problem-solving and experience relate to creative thinking Genius and madness and the relationship between creativity and psychopathology The possible role of the unconscious in creativity Psychometrics--testing for creativity and how personality factors affect creativity Confluence theories that use cognitive, personality, environmental, and other components to describe creativity Clearly and engagingly written by noted creativity expert Robert Weisberg, Creativity: Understanding Innovation in Problem Solving, Science, Invention, and the Arts takes both students and lay readers on an in-depth journey through contemporary cognitive psychology, showing how the discipline understands one of the most fundamental and fascinating human abilities. "This book will be a hit. It fills a large gap in the literature. It is a well-written, scholarly, balanced, and engaging book that will be enjoyed by students and faculty alike." --David Goldstein, University of Torontoshow more

Review quote

"It's a special treat to read a book that goes against conventional wisdom and that reinterprets past work in a light of a new theory." (PsycCritiques, April 25, 2007)show more

About Robert W. Weisberg

ROBERT W. WEISBERG, PHD, is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Brain, Behavior, and Cognition Cluster at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A cognitive psychologist, Dr. Weisberg's area of interest is creative thinking, particularly the cognitive processes involved in the intentional production of novelty. He has published papers investigating cognitive mechanisms underlying problem solving, and has published papers and books examining the cognitive processes underlying creative thinking, including Creativity: Genius and Other Myths and Creativity: Beyond the Myth of Genius.show more

Table of contents

Preface xi Acknowledgments xvii Credits xix CHAPTER 1 Two Case Studies in Creativity 1 Beliefs about Creativity 4 Two Case Studies in Creativity 6 Creativity in Science: Discovery of the Double Helix 6 Conclusions: Watson and Crick s Discovery of the Double Helix 31 Artistic Creativity: Development of Picasso s Guernica 34 Structure in Creative Thinking: Conclusions from the Case Studies 51 Revisiting the Question of Artistic Creativity versus Scientific Discovery 54 Beyond Case Studies: Outline of the Book 57 CHAPTER 2 The Study of Creativity 59 Outline of the Chapter 59 Creative Product, Creative Process, and Creative Person: Questions of Definition 60 Method versus Theory in the Study of Creativity 72 Methods of Studying Creativity 73 An Introduction to Theories of Creativity 90 CHAPTER 3 The Cognitive Perspective on Creativity, Part I: Ordinary Thinking, Creative Thinking, and Problem Solving 104 Outline of the Chapter 105 Basic Cognitive Components of Ordinary Thinking 106 General Characteristics of Ordinary Thinking 108 Creative Thinking and Ordinary Thinking: Conclusions 118 The Cognitive Analysis of Problem Solving 119 An Example of Problem Solving 121 Solving a Problem: Questions of Definition 123 A Brief History of the Cognitive Perspective on Problem Solving 128 Problem Solving: Processes of Understanding and Search 135 Strategies for Searching Problem Spaces 141 Weak Heuristic Methods of Problem Solving and Creative Thinking: Conclusions 152 CHAPTER 4 The Cognitive Perspective on Creativity, Part II: Knowledge and Expertise in Problem Solving 153 Outline of the Chapter 154 Use of Knowledge in Problem Solving: Studies of Analogical Transfer 155 Strong Methods in Problem Solving: Studies of Expertise 168 Outline of a Cognitive- Analytic Model of Problem Solving: Strong and Weak Methods in Problem Solving 178 The Cognitive Perspective on Problem Solving and Creativity: Conclusions and Implications 180 The Creative Cognition Approach: A Bottom- Up Analysis of Creative Thinking 183 Skepticism about Expertise and Creativity 189 Practice or Talent? 191 Expertise and Achievement: Reproductive or Productive? 198 Expertise, Knowledge, and Experience versus Creativity: The Tension View 203 The Cognitive Perspective on Problem Solving and Creativity: Conclusions 207 CHAPTER 5 Case Studies of Creativity: Ordinary Thinking in the Arts, Science, and Invention 209 Outline of the Chapter 210 Basic Components of Ordinary Thinking 210 The 10- Year Rule in Creative Development 212 Case Studies of Creativity in the Visual Arts 223 Case Studies of Creativity in Science 237 Scientific Creativity: Scientific Discovery as Problem Solving 254 The Wright Brothers Invention of the Airplane 255 Thomas Edison as a Creative Thinker: Themes and Variations Based on Analogy 261 James Watt s Invention of the Steam Engine 275 Eli Whitney s Cotton Gin 278 Ordinary Thinking in Invention: Summary 280 Case Studies of Creativity: Conclusions 280 CHAPTER 6 The Question of Insight in Problem Solving 282 Outline of the Chapter 286 The Gestalt Analysis of Insight: Problem Solving and Perception 286 Evidence to Support the Gestalt View 291 The Neo-Gestalt View: Heuristic- Based Restructuring in Response to Impasse 302 Challenges to the Gestalt View 308 An Elaboration of the Cognitive- Analytic Model to Deal with Restructuring and Insight 325 A Critical Reexamination of Evidence in Support of the Gestalt View 330 Insight in Problem Solving: Conclusions and Implications 339 CHAPTER 7 Out of One s Mind, Part I: Muses, Primary Process, and Madness 341 Outline of the Chapter 342 Messengers of the Gods 342 Primary Process and Creativity 343 Genius and Madness: Bipolarity and Creativity 356 Mood Disorders and Creativity: The Question of Causality 363 The Role of Affect in Creativity 368 Genius and Madness: Schizophrenia and Creativity 371 Social Factors and Genius and Madness 375 A Reconsideration of Some Basic Data 382 Genius and Madness: Conclusions 384 CHAPTER 8 Out of One s Mind, Part II: Unconscious Processing, Incubation, and Illumination 386 Outline of the Chapter 386 Unconscious Associations and Unconscious Processing 387 Poincare s Theory of Unconscious Creative Processes 389 Wallas s Stages of the Creative Process 397 Hadamard s Studies of Unconscious Thinking in Incubation 398 Koestler s Bisociation Theory 399 Campbell s Evolutionary Theory of Creativity: Blind Variation and Selective Retention 400 Simonton s Chance Configuration Theory 402 Csikszentmihalyi s Theory of the Unconscious in Creative Thinking 407 Unconscious Thinking in Creativity: Conclusions 413 Laboratory Investigations of Incubation and Illumination 414 Evidence for Incubation and Illumination: A Critique 428 Illumination without Unconscious Processing? 433 Incubation, Illumination, and the Unconscious: Conclusions 445 CHAPTER 9 The Psychometric Perspective, Part I: Measuring the Capacity to Think Creatively 447 Outline of the Chapter 448 Guilford and the Modern Psychometric Perspective on Creativity 448 Methods of Measuring Creativity 451 Cognitive Components of the Creative Process: Testing for Creative-Thinking Ability 461 Testing the Tests: The Reliability and Validity of Tests of Creative-Thinking Capacity 470 The Generality versus Domain Specifi city of Creative- Thinking Skills 483 Testing Creativity: Conclusions 487 CHAPTER 10 The Psychometric Perspective, Part II: The Search for the Creative Personality 488 Creative versus Comparison or Control Groups 489 Questions about Method in Studies of the Creative Personality 492 A Model of the Role of Creative Personality in Creative Achievement in Science 496 Is It Futile to Search for The Creative Personality in the Arts and the Sciences? 504 Creativity and the Need to Be Original: A Reexamination of Divergent Thinking and Creativity 506 Personality, Cognition, and Creativity Reconsidered: The Question of Openness to Experience and Creativity 508 Divergent Thinking and the Creative Personality: Conclusions 515 CHAPTER 11 Confluence Models of Creativity 517 Outline of the Chapter 517 The Social Psychology of Creativity: Amabile s Componential Model 518 Economic Theory of Creativity: Buy Low, Sell High 534 The Darwinian Theory of Creativity 552 Confluence Models of Creativity: Summary 570 CHAPTER 12 Understanding Creativity: Where Are We? Where Are We Going? 572 Outline of the Chapter 572 Ordinary versus Extraordinary Processes in Creativity 573 Ordinary Thinking in Creativity 575 Extraordinary Processes in Creativity? 586 On Using Case Studies to Study Creativity 592 Is It Possible to Test the Hypothesis That Ordinary Thinking Is the Basis for Creativity? 594 On Creative Ideas and Creative People 596 References 600 Index 613show more

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