Creativity and Divergent Thinking: A Task-specific Approach
Do general-purpose creative-thinking skills -- skills like divergent thinking, which is touted as an important component of creative thinking no matter what the task domain -- actually make much of a contribution to creative performance? Although much recent research argues against such domain-transcending skills -- including several new studies reported in this book -- the appeal of such general skills remains strong, probably because of the theoretical economy and power such skills would provide. Divergent thinking, in particular, has had an incredible staying power. Despite its many flaws, divergent thinking remains the most frequently used indicator of creativity in both creativity research and educational practice, and divergent thinking theory has a strong hold on everyday conceptions of what it means to be creative.
Reviewing the available research on divergent thinking, this book presents a framework for understanding other major theories of creativity, including Mednick's associative theory and a possible connectionist approach of creativity. It reports a series of studies (including the study that won APA's 1992 Berlyne Prize) that demonstrate the absence of effects of general creative-thinking skills across a range of creativity-relevant tasks, but indicate that training in divergent thinking does in fact improve creative performance across diverse task domains. The book then ties these findings together with a multi-level theory, in which a task-specific approach to creativity is strengthened by recasting some divergent-thinking concepts into domain- and task-specific forms.
This book fills the gap between divergent-thinking theory and more recent, modular conceptions of creativity. Rather than advocate that we simply discard divergent thinking -- an approach that hasn't worked, or at least hasn't happened, because of many attacks on its validity and usefulness -- this book shows how to separate what is useful in divergent-thinking theory and practice from what is not. It shows that divergent-thinking training can be valuable, although often not for the reasons trainers think it works. And it offers specific suggestions about the kinds of creativity research most needed today.
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Empirical Evidence for
Creative Performance Across Task Domains 43
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01 two-tailed Amabile argued California Achievement Test candidate solutions cognitive cognitive psychology collage-making Collage2 collages computed contributions to creative control group correlations among creativity creative-thinking skills creativity scores creativity test scores creativity theory creativity-relevant skill creativity-training programs divergent thinking divergent-thinking skill divergent-thinking test scores divergent-thinking training domain-transcending eliminative connectionism Equation evidence experimental group factors Gruber Guilford hypotheses ideas important information-processing input intelligence interrater reliabilities judges Kogan Lubart mance math achievement mean rating Mednick metacognitive output partial correlations poems Poetry poetry-writing test possible predictive validity processes quartile reading achievement reported in chapters results of Studies revised divergent-thinking theory Rocksteady Rumelhart Runco significant standardized test scores Story writing story-writing test storytelling test Storytelling2 Studies 1-5 Subject number task domains Tests of Creative theory of creativity thinking skills Torrance & Presbury Torrance test training in divergent turtle untrained subjects variance attributable verbal IQ Wallach Word problem
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Managing Emergent Phenomena: Nonlinear Dynamics in Work Organizations
Stephen J. Guastello
No preview available - 2002