Why are there so many mythsabout creativity?l Creativity is a construct that fascinatespeople.l Most cultures revere creative works andthe people who produce them.l Both the creators and our societies like tokeep the creative process mysterious.l Research has reinforced these myths(unintentionally).
… Enhanceable?l You would be surprised at the number ofpeople who believe that myth.l In fact, a surprisingly large % of mystudents don’t believe they are creative.l EVEN IN CREATIVITY COURSES!
Should you...Take Risks? Myth or Reality? Risk-taking iscommonly associated withcreativity.Myth!!!(sort of)
Take Risks ...l Not all risk is created equal.l Blind risk-taking leads to injury andfailure as often (if not more so) thanto success.
Take Risks ...l “Quitters never win, winners neverquit, but those who never win andnever quit are idiots.”l Risk management is associated withlong-term creative production.
Should you...Avoid Evaluation and Myth or Reality? Creativity isenhanced when evaluation andexternal constraints areminimized.External Constraints?Myth!!!
Avoid Constraints ...l How often in life do you workwithout constraints? Many of the most creative thingsyou’ve done have resisted the adviceof others!l Draw a pennyl Amabile replication example
Constraints ...l Learn how to work creatively withinthe constraints imposed both byyourself and others.l When working with others, usesensible constraints and make surethat your expectations are clear.
An Alternative Modell Our work is based on the belief that wecan make any person, any group, anyfamily, any company, any classroommore creative.
A Definition of Creativity Should BeAble to Explain …l … that creativity may look different indifferent contexts.l … that creativity is the result of adiverse set of influences.l … that creativity is often in the eye ofthe beholder.
A Definition of Creativity Should AlsoBe Able to Explain …l … how the behaviors of a 10-year-oldmay be creative while the samebehaviors by a 40-year-old may notbe creative.l … why the work of schizophrenicsmay be original but not creative.
Our Definitionl Creativity is the interaction amongaptitude, process, and environment bywhich an individual or group produces aperceptible product that is both novel anduseful as defined within a social context.l Plucker, Beghetto, & Dow (2004)
How do we measure Creativity?1. Ask people how creative they arePros: Easy, More reliable/valid thanyou might thinkCons: People’s perceptions are oftenwrong, Very easy to fake if it’s “highstakes”
How do we measure Creativity?2. Give people a creative personalitytestFor example:“I like to solve complex problems”“I have a vivid imagination”“I love to daydream”
How do we measure Creativity?2. Give people a creative personalitytestPros: Harder to fake, Fairly reliableCons: Still possible to fake, Overlapswith general personality
How do we measure Creativity?3. Past creative performancePros: Also easy, More reliable thanself-reportCons: Relies on judgment of what toput and honesty, Assumes studenthas had chance to use theircreativity, not useful for youngstudents
How do we measure Creativity?4. ObservationPros: A lot more information thanrelying on any type of self-reportCons: People usually don’t like beingobserved, People act differentlywhen observed, Lots of time
How do we measure Creativity?5. A Divergent Thinking TestMost commonly used:Torrance Test of Creative Thinking.Also used:Guilford’s Alternate Uses Test
How do we measure Creativity?5. A Divergent Thinking TestFor example:Think of all of the different thingsthat would happen if people did notneed sleep. List as many as you canin the next two minutes.
How do we measure Creativity?5. A Divergent Thinking TestThese tests are scored according tofour different criteria:Fluency:How MANY did you list?
How do we measure Creativity?5. A Divergent Thinking TestFlexibility:How many different CATEGORIESdid you list?
How do we measure Creativity?5. A Divergent Thinking TestOriginality:How UNIQUE or DIFFERENT wereyour choices?
How do we measure Creativity?5. A Divergent Thinking TestElaboration:How DETAILED were yourresponses?
How do we measure Creativity?5. A Divergent Thinking TestPros: Good reliability/validity, Someevidence that these tests are relatedto positive job attitudes/performanceCons: Time consuming, Moreexpensive, Possible to “cheat” if youknow how it is scored
How do we measure Creativity?6. RatingsPeople tend to agree on what iscreative and what is not creative,even if their definitions of“creativity” are different.
How do we measure Creativity?6. RatingsAny product can be rated forcreativity -- a poem, a painting, amathematical proof, a business plan,a grant proposal…
How do we measure Creativity?6. RatingsRaters can be teachers and parents(for students), or bosses and experts(for workers)
How do we measure Creativity?6. RatingsOne technique that is often used iscalled the Consensual AssessmentTechnique.
How do we measure Creativity?6. RatingsThis technique involves analyzing allof the different products to be rated,and then assigning a score thatcompares the products to eachother, NOT to a perfect idealproduct.
How do we measure Creativity?6. RatingsSome early research indicates thateven non-experts can producereliable and consistent ratings aslong as they have some experiencein the area.
How do we measure Creativity?6. RatingsPros: Very reliable, Can evaluatecreativity in many different areasCons: Time consuming, Sometimeshard to find “experts,” Validity opento question
Creativity: Why Bother?You can get more information about astudent or employee by not only givingthem a personality measure and/or anability measure but ALSO a creativitymeasure.
Illuminating ActivityInstructions during assessmentand evaluation are important.
Recommendations1. Use both quantitative and qualitative data2. Focus on a range of outcomes3. Use a range of measures4. Use pre- and post-measure comparisons5. Consider short-term and long-termoutcomes.
1. Qualitative andQuantitative Datal We have good quantitative measures atour disposal.l But some important aspects of creativityare hard to assess with an instrumentl So carefully constructed observations andqualitative surveys should also be used.
2. Range of Outcomesl Creative production (i.e., “Being creative”)is the important goal …l … but we know that changes in creativepersonality, creative attitude, and creativeprocess are necessary for creativeproductivity.l … as are changes to the creativeenvironment.
3. Range of Measuresl We now have multiple good measures formost aspects of creativity.l Using 2 or more helps mediate eachinstrument’s weaknesses …l … and enhances their collective strengths.
4. Pre/Post Comparisonsl Although “pure” experiments are difficultin applied settings, at the very least theseevaluations should include “before andafter” comparisons.l Including control or comparison groups isalways a good idea.
5. Short/Long Term Outcomesl We usually focus on short-term outcomeswhen evaluating education interventions.l Research increasingly suggests that manyshort-term outcomes are hard to assess.l Short-term outcomes may not be present… but long-term outcomes may emergeyears later.