Creativity: Being Usefully Innovative in Solving Diverse Problems

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Nova Science Pub Incorporated, Aug 1, 2000 - Social Science - 254 pages
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Creativity in general can be defined as an ability or an occurrence. Either way, it refers to developing an alternative way of (1) explaining gravity, (2) writing a symphony, (3) lessening the problem of poverty, or (4) dealing with some other subjects. The distinctive aspect of a creative alternative is that it is better on whatever criteria are considered relevant than the alternatives that were previously being considered. A special kind of creativity involves not merely finding a better way of doing things, but of finding a way that exceeds the best initial expectations of whatever sides or viewpoints may have been in contention over how to deal with a problem. That kind of creativity can be referred to as super-optimising creativity. It does more than just find a new better or best alternative. It finds an alternative that is better than what the previous perspectives had as their best expectations, simultaneously across all those previous perspectives. Super-optimising creativity is closely related to super-optimising analysis which refers to methods that are useful in finding alternatives that are capable of exceeding the best expectations of all sides and viewpoints to dispute or dilemmas.

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Generating Creative Policy Ideas
Patent Statistics and Social Science Research
Prospects in Retrospect

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About the author (2000)

Stuart S. Nagel was professor emeritus of political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was secretary-treasurer and publications coordinator of the Policy Studies Organization and coordinator of the Dirksen-Stevenson Institute and the MKM Research Center. He held a Ph.D. in political science and a J.D. in law, both from Northwestern University. His major awards include fellowships and grants from the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, National Science Foundation, National Social Science Council, East-West Center, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. His previous positions include being an attorney to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Legal Services Corporation. He has been a professor at the University of Arizona and Penn State University.

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