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Week 3

by: Briana Hughes

Week 3 PSY 3100 002

Briana Hughes
GPA 3.8

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About this Document

This document outlines the 2 readings that were assigned for Week 3. The outline is organized by chapter titles and subtitles. Important information is bold and/or italicized.
Topics: Brain, Behavior and Cognition: Psychology of Creativity
Dr. Weisberg
Class Notes
Creativity, Topics, Psychology
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Briana Hughes on Wednesday February 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 3100 002 at Temple University taught by Dr. Weisberg in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see Topics: Brain, Behavior and Cognition: Psychology of Creativity in Psychlogy at Temple University.

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Date Created: 02/17/16
Method versus Theory in the Study of Creativity  Method: process used to collect data  Theory: theoretical interpretation that he or she applies to the data collected  Can agree with theoretical perspective but raise questions about data collected o Creative personality: the personality characteristics that might be unique to creative people  Method: study characteristics of undergrads designated creative by tests  People may disagree with this method; suggest should study individuals deemed creative in the “real world” i.e. artists, inventors o Can agree with data but disagree with interpretation  Method: study creative thinking by examining performance of undergrads on problem solving tasks in lab  Interesting research but may not believe that this tells us anything about “real creativity”  Data collection method valid but interpretation wrong Methods of Studying Creativity  Many methods to studying psychological processes of broad range of phenomena; all have strengths and weaknesses: pg. 79  Subjective Reports of the Creative Process o First methods = self-reports (writers, artists, musicians, scientists); letters, questionnaires, interviews o Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Kubla Khan)  Took a pain killer (probably opium) and while reading about Khan’s palace in a travel book, “fell asleep” had a vivid dream/trip for 3 hours; upon awakening, had the whole recollection (200-300 line poem), without consciousness of effort, in head and began transcribing it but had to stop for a meeting and ended up forgetting it  Report of process firsthand  BUT: there is an earlier version of the poem, also written by him which is different from the final version o Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (many compositions)  Started composing at 6; composed 600+ pieces  Whole compositions build themselves within his head then he begins humming them; written down with no error  Report of process firsthand  BUT: the note wasn’t written in his hand writing o A. F. Kekule’s discovery of structure of Benzene  2 stages:  Intention: conceive molecular structure for certain compounds made up of carbon atoms by imaging how the might interact o Had a dream of string of carbon atoms, watched atoms interact o Had a second dream in which he saw a snake biting its tail; interpretation that the carbon atoms of benzene formed a closed ring  BUT: o Reported 35 years later o Was he daydreaming or sleeping? Reports differently (may not have been an unconscious thought) o He called the motion “snake like” that means that he didn’t dream of a snake o Scholars published articles questioning whether or not the story was just made up for the celebration o Short comings of Self reports  Made long after the fact/rely on accuracy of memory  Can’t verify accuracy because no objective evidence  Individuals may have limited ability to provide valuable data  Poetic license  Only provide qualitative descriptions; not data that can serve in scientific analysis  The cognitive scientist is most likely to make valid observations of the creative process; has tools to analyze objective data  Biographical Studies o Gardner proposed multiple intelligences  Was 7; now 8 = Naturalist i.e. Darwin & possibility of a 9th o Gardner (1993) studies 7 Creative individuals  Sigmund Freud  High level of self-understanding  Albert Einstein  Logical-mathematical  Pablo Picasso  Spatial  Igor Stravinsky  Musical  Martha Graham  Bodily-Kinesthetic  T.S. Eliot  Linguistic  Mahatma Gandhi  Intrapersonal o Avoids problems from subjective reports: o Based on verifiable historical records o Can be used to make retrospective assessments of psychological characteristics of creative individuals  Jamison (1993) used bio info to diagnose bipolarity in Vincent Van Gogh, George Gordon, Lord Byron o Major strength: provides direct study of individuals of the highest levels of creative accomplishment o Possible limitations: quality of data that are available; incompleteness or inaccuracy can severely restrict studies; provide little quantitative data to serve as basis for scientific theorizing; indirect assessments are subject to problems in interpretation  Historical Case Studies: Archival Data and Reconstruction of Process o Gruber’s (1981) analysis of Darwin’s development of the theory of evolution through natural selection  Based on archival data  Different from Gardner’s biographical studies is that Gruber concentrated on Darwin’s THEORY, not Darwin  Also, studied Darwin’s own notebooks, no question of accuracy  Conclusion: creative process is unique in each individual and no generalizations can be made about creative process or creative person  May be because historical case studies provide little data to be analyzed for generalizations; limited to qualitative analyses (lack quantity)  Can tell us about that person, but not creative people in general  Historiometric Methods o Historiometric analysis: apply quantitative methods to historical data to formulate & test casual hypotheses concerning creativity o Historiometric: “Measuring history”  Simonton concluded that creative accomplishment in a nation decreases following war  Concluded occurrence of significant number of individuals of high levels of accomplishment during one epoch positively related to level of accomplishment in next generation = generalization  Martindale (1990) measured change in content of French poverty over many generations of poets  Hayes (1981,, 1989) examined role of experience (preparation) in the production of creative masterpieces  Measured amount of time elapsed between individual’s beginning a career and the production of first “masterpiece” (famous/cited work) o About 10 years “10 year rule” o Quantitative evidence o Strength: dealing directly with creative accomplishment at the highest level; if data available, can provide level of analysis beyond that of biographical or historical case studies o Limitation: availability of data  Quantitative Case Studies o Applying historiometric methods to analyze creative process in individuals  Double Helix  Difficult to quantify things  Guernica o Results in discoveries that would not be apparent with only qualitative presentations of historical information o Strength: studying creativity at the pinnacle o Limitation: availability of data (can we know if Picasso was thinking of Minotauromachy while painting Guernica? No)  concerns about selectivity in choosing the cases to examine  Specific case studies chosen might lead to conclusions that aren’t really general  Studies should be carried out by different investigators to decrease bias  Studying High-Level Creativity in Real Time: “In Vivo” Investigations o Dunbar (1995, 2001) observed ongoing activities in 4 high-level research molecular biology labs  Access to meetings, research papers, discussions of ongoing work  Discoveries  Scientist’s conception of work can change radically as result of input from colleagues during lab meetings/discussions of data and analyses o Strength: object of study is real creativity o Limitation: individuals/research groups not yet attained significance of Einstein, Darwin etc.; question of whether research could illuminate such greats; doesn’t allow researcher control over possible extraneous variables o Personality Inventories  Individuals usually chosen based on career accomplishments, can be nominated  Strength: Studies provide info concerning characteristics of individuals at the top of their fields; valuable in understanding creativity  Limitation: Can it be useful in studying greats i.e. Picasso?  Feist (1993) concluded “arrogant thinking style” tendency of individual to work alone and not be very receptive to opinions of others  Did this style of thinking CAUSE the individual to be creative? Or was the personality style the result of their creativity?  Laboratory Investigations of the Creative Process and Creative Individuals o Usually undergrads completing problem solving tasks o Strength: control over extraneous variables, control over variables of interest to draw conclusions about cause and effect relationships;  Amabile, Hennessey, and Grossman (1986) asked children to tell story in response to series of pics: the kids who created the story for an extrinsic reward produced less creative stories (extrinsic reward has negative effect on creativity) o Limitation: limitation of how much info can get from lab studies i.e. info in regards to Picasso, Mozart etc. from studies of undergrads  “In Vivo” Investigations of the Creative Process o Attempts to bridge gap between in vivo studies of creative individuals at work and controlled laboratory investigations o Dunbar (1995) “in vitro method”  Analogy to situation in biological research where phenomenon of interest brought out of natural environment and put in glass dish (vitro) in lab  One takes important pieces of info from historically significant discovery and presents them to undergrads under controlled conditions  Will they produce same discovery? What manipulations necessary?  1 taught about genetic influences based on genes’ stimulating/activating other genes = state of knowledge similar to Monod and Jacob  Then, given computer simulated tasks to work through  Ease in developing hypotheses depended on relation between knowledge and new info; experience got in the way of exploring possibilities o Limitation: simulator may not match situation of original researchers (little or no connection); computer fed relevant data, original researchers had to determine which data important and which isn’t; control may be TOO tight  Methods of Studying Creativity: Conclusions o All methods objective; data available for all to see o Skeptical about value of subjective reports; data can’t be seen An Introduction to Theories of Creativity  Theorists postulated processes outside ordinary conscious thinking that produce truly novel ideas/leaps forwards to the conscious thinker  Cross-talk between the ideas/issues  The Gods and Madness o Greeks i.e. Plato and Aristotle suggested creative ideas gifts from the gods (Zeus’ 9 daughters’ – the Muses – each having separate domain)  Ideas originate outside of normal thinking process but also outside of the person  Creative Person = messenger/conduit through which gods’ ideas presented to us  Inspiration = breathing in from the muses  Out of mind = outside source providing ideas  i.e. the poet (Plato) However, Aristotle concluded mental illness could play a role  Modern interest in creativity and psychopathology  Unconscious Thinking o The Freudian View: Associative Unconscious  Freud applied theoretical ideas to understanding creativity  Unconscious needs and conflicts play important role in determining subject matter and the way creative individuals portray it  Mona Lisa emotional tone result of unfulfilled needs from Leonardo’s early childhood (orphan) – expressing feels about lost mom  Gedo’s (1980) analysis of Picasso’s Gedo propose origins of many of his works traced to childhood trauma; Guernica = relationship with mom and sis  Associative unconscious: we aren’t aware of unconscious connections, but unconscious ideas lead one to the next, creator doesn’t know origin of ideas on a conscious level o If unresolved conflicts can show in work, can show through psychopathology i.e. schizophrenia and bipolarity o Eysenck (1993) proposed high personality trait of psychoticism (inherited tendency to become mentally ll when placed in a stressful environment) have greater tendency to be creative  Normal but eccentric, looseness of thinking o Unconscious Processing  Henri Poincare (1854-1912) mathematician and scientist concluded that thought processes occurred outside consciousness contributed to creative thinking; centered on illumination and incubation  Illumination: sudden appearance in consciousness of a creative idea or solution to a problem when one has not been thinking about the matter consciously, Aha! Moment  Unconscious Incubation: thinking about the problem unconsciously while consciously thinking about something else  Different from Freud = Did not assume connections among ideas were any difference in unconscious thinking  Only difference between conscious and unconscious thinking is that multiple thought processes could go on at once o Unconscious processing NOT unconscious association  Wallas (1926)  4 stage model of creative thinking o Ideas of unconscious processing have become mainstream o Kantorovich (1993) and Miller (1996) use unconscious processing to support scientific discovery  Leaps of Insight in Creativity: The Gestalt View o Gestalt Scientists early 20 century, notion that problems sometimes solved and creative ideas in general generated from leaps of insight o Aha! Moments, flashes of insight out of nowhere o Creative advances require person use productive thinking to go beyond what had been done before  Staying with what has been done already = reproductive thinking; mechanically reproduced habitual responses, wouldn’t be able to respond to novel situations o Poincare one of first to provide explanation for several leaps of insight that he experienced o More modernL Csikszentmihalyi (1996) and Simonton (1988, 1999)  Occurrence of leaps of insight does not necessarily mean unconscious thought processes involved  Confluence Theories of Creativity: Divergent Thinking and the Creative Personality o 1950 significant change in direction of research on creativity due to Guilford’s (1950) presidential address to APA  Expert on intelligence testing proposed set of tests that could be used to measure creative thinking ability/ID ppl with creative potential  One component = sensitivity to problems; i.e. ability to see problem with appliance or method  Important to break away from past; Divergent thinking diverge from old, produce new o Or SPECIAL KIND OF THINKING according to Guilford (definition we will use)  Step 1 = Divergent thinking  Step 2 = Convergent thinking: narrows down alternatives to determine best one; determine workable product  Work = stimulus to Psychometric (measuring the mind) stream of creativity research: focus on measuring psychological characteristics of creative people  People used his tests or developed their own i.e. Simonton believed “ideational variants” were numerous and varied ideas resulting from divergent thinking  Proposed Creative personality: aspects of personality more prevalent in creative ppl than “ordinary people”; personality important in person’s innovations = allowed them to think more flexibly  Led to development of Confluence Models of Creativity  Creative products arise where there is Confluence: coming together of several factors, all of which are needed for creative process to occur: particular thinking style, knowledge base, personality, particular environment o Anabile’s Componential Theory of Creativity  Early theory proposed that creativity = result of coming together of several components (some environmental, i.e. social environment)  One of first to incorporate social-psychology in creative processes  1 component: domain relevant skills (knowledge and technical skills; some based on innate abilities, others anduired)  2 component: creativity relevant skills (skills that go beyond any specific domain that can be applied to any domain i.e. “breaking set” during problem solving and knowledge of heuristics “rules of thumb”)  Many, if not all, based on assumption that creativity depends on breaking away from the past o Not true in Guernica or DNA model; didn’t reject past, built on it  Person’s attitude toward task critical in determining whether they respond creatively to it  Intrinsically motivated by task: higher chance of innovative response  Extrinsically motivated to do task: can interfere with creative work o Sternberg and Lubart’s Investment Theory of Creativity  Proposed analysis of creative thinking based on economic principles: creative thinker buys low and sells high  Propose ideas that are unpopular but have potential growth  With perseverance and ability to convince others of value; can sell high  Creative person must possess several resources:  Set of intellectual abilities (3 important) 1. Ability to see problems in new ways and go beyond ordinary ideas i.e. divergent thinking 2. Ability to recognize which ideas are worth pursuing 3. Ability to persuade others of the value of one’s ideas  Knowledge of the domain (too much can interfere with generation of new ideas)  Personality that allows you to think independently  Environment that supports and rewards creative ideas  Evolutionary Theories of Creativity: Blind Variation and Selective Retention o Campbell (1960) proposed analysis based on Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection o Blind or random generation of ideas in response to some problem o If true creativity is involved in dealing with some situation, it must come about through the rejection of the past as the basis for constructing the new o Simonton wide-ranging confluence theory of creativity  Incorporates blind-variation-selective-retention mechanism with other components i.e. cognitive factors, personality characterizes, and environmental influences on creative process  i.e. effect of war on creativity  Cognitive Perspective: Creative Thinking and Ordinary Thinking o Idea that creativity must break from the past has become part of our culture, evidence in need for “out-of-the box thinking”  “Box” = constraints of the past  Says that a tension exists between creativity and experience o View of this book = creative products come about through use of ordinary thinking processes that have produced extraordinary outcome o Cognitive view: (Newell and Simon) study of cognitive processes, internal mental processes, was avenue to understanding human functioning; proposed creative thinking process same as ordinary problem solving thinking o Weisberg’s take:  In order to understand creative thinking, we must consider ordinary thinking in a wider sense than just problem solving  Problem solving is complex and creative too


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