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 Frank Lloyd Wright Charles Darwin Michael Jordan
Creativity and Cognition
Creativity involves generation of new ideas
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
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
Invented in 1848
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.
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.
In order to understand creative invention better, use college students.
The ideas may not be h-creative
The same processes may be at work.
Are creative ideas influenced by existing concepts?
What will make people more creative?
How should creativity be judged?
Creativity and Concepts
Draw an animal that does not exist.
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?
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?
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
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
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)
Are N minds better than one?
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