Csikszentmihalyi and the Systems Perspective for the Study of Creativity


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A class presentation for ADV 6383 - Creativity as Problem Solving by graduate students Catherine Cacheris and Samantha Rugani at SMU's Temerlin Advertising Institute.

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Csikszentmihalyi and the Systems Perspective for the Study of Creativity

  1. 1. Chapter 16: Implications of a Systems Perspective for the Study of Creativity<br />Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi<br />Handbook of Creativity: edited by Robert J. Sternberg<br />Samantha Rugani<br />Catherine Cacheris<br />AVD 6383 Creativity as Problem Solving <br />
  2. 2. Biography: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi <br /><ul><li>Professor of Psychology at Claremont Graduate</li></ul> University<br /><ul><li>Director: Quality of Life Research Center</li></ul>Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1965B.A., University of Chicago, 1960<br />Image 1<br /><ul><li>Interests:</li></ul>Creativity and Innovation, Managing Flow<br /><ul><li>Current Research Interests:</li></ul>Director of the Quality of Life Research Center (QLRC). A non-profit <br />research institute that studies "positive psychology“: Human strengths such <br />as optimism, creativity, intrinsic motivation, and responsibility.<br />Image 2<br />Biographical information source: www.cgu.edu<br />Image: 1) http://educononline.com/tag/mihaly-csikszentmihalyi/ 2) http://www.cgu.edu/pages/1871.asp<br />
  3. 3. OUTLINE OF MAJOR TOPIC AREAS:<br /><ul><li>Introduction to the Systems Model
  4. 4. Why is the systems approach necessary / important?
  5. 5. Structure of the Systems Model
  6. 6. Culture
  7. 7. Culture as a set of domains
  8. 8. Role of the domain in the creative process
  9. 9. Society
  10. 10. How society is relevant to creativity
  11. 11. Role of the field within the Systems Model
  12. 12. Personal Background
  13. 13. The role of individuals in the creative process
  14. 14. Concluding Thoughts</li></li></ul><li>Introduction: Why is the Systems approach necessary? <br /><ul><li>External Variables: </li></ul>“…variables external to the individual must be taken into account if <br />one wishes to explain why, when, and where new ideas or products <br />arise from and become established in a culture” (Sternberg 313). <br /><ul><li>The Systems Model has been developed in order to account for</li></ul> external variables: <br /> - The importance of public recognition<br />- Social judgments as central to creativity<br />
  15. 15. SYSTEMS MODEL OF CREATIVITY:<br />Source: http://www.cultural-science.org/journal/index.php/culturalscience/article/view/11/48<br />“Creativity is a process that can be observed only at the intersection where individuals, domains, and fields interact” (Sternberg, 314).<br />
  16. 16. CULTURE :<br /><ul><li>Cultures differ in the way that memes are stored
  17. 17. Accessibility
  18. 18. Differentiation: Number of Separate Domains
  19. 19. Integration of the culture
  20. 20. Openness</li></li></ul><li>CULTURE : Domain<br /><ul><li>System of notation
  21. 21. Tightly integrated information versus too loosely organized
  22. 22. Centrality of domain to culture (religion in the middle ages)
  23. 23. Accessibility (innovation is more difficult in elite domains)
  24. 24. How autonomous is the domain from the rest of the culture? </li></ul>(More difficult to produce variations in a subordinate domain)<br />
  25. 25. SOCIETY: <br /><ul><li>A new meme must be socially valued:
  26. 26. Importance of the reaction of society on</li></ul> creativity. - Example: Van Gogh <br /><ul><li>Social conditions that influence creativity: </li></ul>- wealth, interests, external threats, location<br /><ul><li>Role of the Field: </li></ul>- Questions who had the right to decide whether a particular meme <br />should be implemented into society<br />- In the systems model, these people are collectively designated<br />to the field<br /> -Example: New Coke<br />Source: http://www.arttoheartweb.com/starry_night.htm<br />
  27. 27. INDIVIDUAL/PERSONAL BACKGROUND: <br /><ul><li>Special Talents</li></ul>-Genetic Inheritance<br /><ul><li>Curious/Interested/Intrinsically Motivated
  28. 28. Divergent thinker interested in discovery</li></ul>-Necessary cognitive abilities (for producing novelty)<br /><ul><li>Relevant personality traits</li></ul>-Vary depending on field and historical period<br />-perseverance<br />openness<br />
  29. 29. Conclusion / Internalizing the Creative system:<br /><ul><li>One must internalize the rules of the systems model
  30. 30. One must be confident in ideas
  31. 31. Creativity must be recognized as it operates within a social system</li></ul>-must be supported by society<br />“Instead of focusing exclusively on individuals, it will make more sense to<br /> focus on communities that may or may not nurture genius. In the last <br />analysis, it is the community and not the individual who makes creativity <br />manifest” (Sternberg, 333). <br />
  32. 32. Connection: What's Behind Viral Success? Great Meme Marketing<br />“Memes are the ideas, symbols or practices that naturally spread throughout a culture. These thoughts are the things that just seem to "catch on," whether it's coffee houses… or tight-rolling your jeans back in the '80s. The concept of measuring these "units of thought" is nothing new… the new opportunity marketers have now is to apply this study of memes (or, memetics) to how they create messages for their clients.” <br />http://adage.com/digitalnext/article?article_id=139609<br />
  33. 33. Memes: Social Media is the new flint blade<br /> “I can take a video clip and replicate the entire viewing experience on my blog or Facebook or MySpace. And in doing so, I've validated that meme, because the people watching it on my blog know ME. If they want to pass on the meme in the same way, all they have to do is copy-paste. Simply put, great memes are easy for consumers to reproduce.”<br />-Eric Swayne, What’s Behind Viral Success? Great Meme Marketing <br />
  34. 34. “ What’s the most resilient parasite? An Idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules. Which is why I have to steal it.” -Cobb, Inception<br />
  35. 35. Connection 2:<br />ADVERTISING<br />Tropicana Discovers Some Buyers Are Passionate About Packaging <br />                                           <br />New York Times, February 2009<br />New York Times, February 2009<br />Adage, April 2009<br />http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/23/business/media/23adcol.html?pagewanted=all<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ4yF4F74vc<br />
  36. 36. Discussion Questions: <br />1. Do you think that any one of the three parts of the systems model is more important to the creativity <br />process than others? <br />2. Can you think of ways in which the ideals of the systems model could negatively influence <br /> creativity? More specifically, how can the three areas of culture, society, and personal background <br />have a negative impact on creativity?<br />3. What are, if any, the flaws of the systems model? <br />4. What are some examples of domains within our culture today that are particularly attractive and thus<br /> may result / have resulted in creative expansion? <br />5. How do you think the systems model study of creativity compares to the psychological study of <br />creativity? Do you think the two should be examined separately or in conjunction with each other?<br />
  37. 37. Discussion Questions:<br />6. Csikszentmihalyi states that “Original thought does not exist in a vacuum. It must operate on a set of<br />already existing objects, rules, representation, or notions (315). If this is true, then how do we know if<br />something is original and can be defined as creative if it is always based on something from the past?<br />7. What is the relationship between a culture and a domain? How does this relationship play out in the<br />systems model? <br />8. Society today has an extremely large influence on the success or failure of a product. With new <br />technological advances such as social media, it has become increasing easier for the public to <br />express their opinions. Do you think that social media is changing the role that both society and culture <br />play in the systems model and how is this influence affecting the success of products? <br />9. What is an example of a meme that is used in today’s society? How can this meme contribute to other <br />creative innovations? <br />10. What are some of the ways that US culture affects creativity both positively and negatively? <br />http://prezi.com/jcyppt0lrir5/discussion-questions/<br />