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Week 14 Notes

by: Briana Hughes

Week 14 Notes PSY 3100 002

Briana Hughes
GPA 3.8

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This is an outline of readings 26 and 27 assigned for Week 14.
Topics: Brain, Behavior and Cognition: Psychology of Creativity
Dr. Weisberg
Class Notes
Psychology, Creativity
25 ?




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This 14 page Class Notes was uploaded by Briana Hughes on Friday April 1, 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 32 views. For similar materials see Topics: Brain, Behavior and Cognition: Psychology of Creativity in Psychlogy at Temple University.


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Date Created: 04/01/16
Chapter 11 Confluence Models of Creativity The Social Psychology of Creativity: Amabile’s Componential Model  Amabile (1983, 1996) examined influence of external social-environmental factors on creative process o Social-environmental influences performance on personality and creativity tests  Instructions given to participants  Label given to task  Atmosphere in which test is administered  Amabile (1983) looked at negative influences on creativity from social- environmental factors o Winning prizes = stop working o Critics’ responses to work (both – and +)  Psychometric Perspective only focused on individual o Psychometrics felt “confounding variables” needed to be controlled for in order to get valid measure of creative potential o Amabile felt they should be examined as part of measuring creativity Amabile’s Definition of Creativity  The production of some product that is novel and judged to be of value by some reference group of individuals (subjective/intrinsic) + product must come about through use of heuristic NOT algorithmic methods o If use specific procedures i.e. rules of addition, even if never solved that specific problem, still no creativity involved  Weisberg objects! o If dependent on value, will be constant state of uncertainty in research o Child solving new addition problem = goal-directed novelty (novelty of situation=adjustment of child)  Amabile (1983) Continuum of Creativity o Creative products by ordinary people  Creative experts o Experts can reliably rate creativity of wide range o All of these products brought about by same processes o Focus more on creative products as basis for studying creativity Measuring Creativity  Emphasis on subjective judgement of some reference group = basis for developing Consensual Assessment Technique  Reliable and valid o Creativity found in real world = valid o Technique used in large number of studies = reliable Amabile’s Componential Model of Creativity  Original model of creativity 91996) Figure 11.1 A pg. 522  Creativity process consists of 5 stages o Stages:  Person IDs problem to work on or problem presented  Activation in memory of potentially relevant info  Can’t be problem for which algorithms can be applied  Info in memory + relevant environmental stimuli used as basis for generation of possible beginning of a solution  Response evaluated and communicated to others  Solution of problem or recycling through earlier stages to deal with inadequacies OR give up o Can go through them in varying order  Different from other work in creativity o Emphasis on effects of social environment  Works most crucially on motivation of individual to carry out task  Intrinsic-motivation hypothesis (1983)  Intrinsic- motivation principle (1996) o Creative Outcomes most likely to occur when person intrinsically motivated General Aspects of Creativity: The Creativity-Relevant Processes  Intrinsic motivation influences use of creativity-relevant processes (enhance creativity) o Domain-relevant skills = acceptable outcome; need participation of creativity-relevant processes to get creative outcome  Creativity-Relevant Skills: o Cognitive Style  Ability to deal with complexity and break set during problem solving  Perceptual set o Abandon old perspectives i.e. shelf, candle, box of tacks  Ability to perceive things different than others do  Cognitive set o Abandon unsuccessful strategies and search in new direction  Keep options open as long as possible, suspending judgment of value until gathered multiple ideas that seem useful  Performance scripts o Break away from well-used algorithms + produce changes to routine actions o Knowledge of heuristics for generating new ideas  Take different perspective on problem (change of attitude)  Risk taking o Working style conducive to creative production  Ability to concentrate effort for long period of time  Ability to abandon unproductive strategies  Put aside problems for which making no progress  Willingness to work hard  High level of productivity o Personality factors  High self-discipline  Ability to delay gratification  Tolerance for ambiguity  Perseverance in face of frustration/lack of success  Independence of judgment  High autonomy  Internal locus of control  High intrinsic motivation  Independence in thinking/absence of dependence on social approval  Willingness to take risks Intrinsic Motivation and Creativity  Amabile (1983) extrinsic motivation is always detrimental to creative production  Amabile (1996) extrinsic goals can foster creativity if person sees them as informative in some way rd  Influences of intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation seen in 3 stage of creative cycle during which generating possible response Figure 11.1B pg. 523  Amabile (1996) algorithm approach to solving problem = straight line path in maze from entrance to exit o Extrinsically motivated will take straight path o Intrinsically motivated will figure out a different path b/c enjoy the task itself  Cases where extrinsic motivation is helpful o Watson & Crick wanted to beat Pauling o Amabile states these instances are very rare  How extrinsic factors interfere with creativity o Presence of external factor = distraction from the task o Concern with external factors may change way individual approaches task o 2 explanations not mutually exclusive; can be both Studies of the Creative Process  Expectation of evaluation = decreased creativity (Amabile, 1979; Amabile, Goldfarb & Brackfield 1982)  Amabile (1979) o Undergrads make collages from set of standardized materials – artistic creativity o Create haiku like poems – verbal creativity o Findings:  Evaluation interfered with creativity in creation of poems and collages  Amabile (1996) o Evaluation interfered with creativity  Amabile (1983) Influence of reward on creativity o Level of creativity negatively affected by reward o Amabile, Hennessy, & Grossman (1986) children made collages  Group 1: If participate, can play with camera; play with camera before task  Group 2: Allowed to play with camera before task, not told it was reward o Findings:  Receiving reward prior to task may have affected the way they approached task (weren’t distracted by anticipated reward because already got it) o Contradictions:  Eisenberger & Selbst (1994)  Performance on divergent-thinking tasks affected by reward Findings: o Each aspect of creative production could be influenced separately by reinforcements, all increased (fluency, flexibility, originality) o   Amabile’s Rebuttal  Divergent-thinking tasks are algorithmic tasks and therefore not creative o Strategy for successful performance is known  Interpretation of reward o If reward seen as informative instead of a reason for doing the task, person may still be intrinsically motivated  Immunization against negative effects of reward Amabile (1996) o Research:  Group 1: watched video of intrinsically motivated students + had a discussion  Gstup 2: watched irrelevant video  1 task presented as reward  2ndtask creative task o Findings:  Immunized group more creative  Immunized group reported more intrinsic motivation o Conclusions:  Possible to counteract negative effects of reward but takes training and practice  Some people must immunize selves in life events o Poet Anne Sexton didn’t participate in discussion of monetary details of book contract  Nonexperimental investigations of reward on creativity in organizations o Rewards have negative effect when feel like an inducement to carry out work BUT if people feel organization rewards creative work, creativity increases  Amabile, Phillips, & Collins (1994) Examining effects of external constraint on creativity o Research:  Professional artists submit work from past 7 years, 10 commissioned & 10 non commissioned  Filled out questionnaire about conditions under which each work produced  Works rated by artist judges o Findings:  Works produced on commission = less creative than noncommissioned works  Artists felt constrained by commission  Commission had positive effect if artist perceived it to be enabling o Conclusion:  Motivational synergy: extrinsic motivation can combine with intrinsic motivation in a positive way Increasing Creativity  Minimize extrinsic constraints if possible o Change way in which events perceived by individuals in the situation  Talk less about grades/emphasize informative aspect  Increase synergistic influences of external factors o Ensure reward and recognition are informative to individual about competence or how to improve  Parents and teachers should model independent and intrinsically motivated activity  Creative and playful exploration Summary and Critique Is Creativity a General or Domain-Specific Process?  Amabile (1996) o Creativity depends on number of general processes based on breaking away from the past  10-Year Rule & expertise as a causal factor in creative achievement  Baer (1998)  Only weak correlations among creative performance across different domains; evidence for domain-specific skills in creativity o (Conti, Coon, & Amabile, 1996) Evidence for general nature of creative performance  Table 11.1 Pg. 533  Shows correlations between performances within various domains  Correlations within domains are large BUT correlations across domains much smaller, not significant, and/or negative value  Weak correlations across domains may be due to factors like motivation Breaking Away from Experience as a Creativity-Relevant Skill  May not be relevant to most situations that require creativity o If Picasso had broken with the past, there would be no Guernica o Same with Double helix and Edison’s lightbulb Questions of Causality  Hard to isolate personality variables, hard to determine causal roles  Creative accomplishment has been found to influence personality factors; May be opposite direction The Darwinian Theory of Creativity  Darwinian view of Simonton most widely influential of recent confluence models of creativity  Built on theorizing of Campbell (1960, 1974)  Historiometric studies o Influence of war/conflicts on creativity o Influence of Shakespeare’s plays Campbell: Blind Variation and Selective Retention as a Model of Creative Thought  Campbell (1960) o View of creative thinking as knowledge acquisition process o Any gains in knowledge must be result of processes of which we’re blind as to the probable outcome  Couldn’t know what to expect when tried something new o Conclusion: development of human knowledge result of process analogous to true trial and error/analogous to Darwin’s natural selection o Proposed 3 stages of creative process  Blind idea-generation  Set criteria to determine which variations worth preserving  Provided by problem situation – preserve those that solve the problem  Mechanism whereby selected ideas retained for future use o Fundamental contradiction/tension view  1 and last stages  Instinct to apply old knowledge vs. need to reject old knowledge o Response to criticism  Theory ignores the so-called genius  Person who makes creative advance same as person who doesn’t; just depends on whether or not product meets demands of outside world o Poincare (1908, 1913) agrees  Poincare felt blind permuting process of which only successful selected ideas enter consciousness  There is a pattern even to errors made by thinkers when in new situation  Result of previously acquired knowledge  However, at some point the species didn’t have this knowledge and had to respond blindly o Campbell believes individual differences in creative capacity due to intelligence  More intelligence = more info available to enter into combinatorial process  Differences in number and range of blind combinations produced  Individuals exposed to multiple cultures = more range = more combinations = greater chance of success & aid in judging potentially valuable combinations Simonton’s Darwinian Theory of Creativity  Simonton (1988) o Begins with Campbell’s proposal of 3 conditions necessary for creativity  Ideas combined by chance, randomly etc.  Selection process = certain combos make it to unconscious, others fade away  Selected variations preserved and reproduced  Agreement from William James  Spontaneity/accidental/random quality of brain functioning that generates novel ideas The Creative Process  Simonton (1988) o Creative process operates on “mental elements” that can be manipulated  Sensations, emotions, concepts, recollections  Each has low probability  Chance permutation of these elements = fundamental mechanism of creative thinking  Agreement with Mednick(1962) o Creative person possesses Flat associative hierarchies –several responses, each with low probability are possible o Non creative person possesses small number of strong responses  o Proposes “stability” of new combination determines whether it will be retained  Permutations differ in stability, ranging from aggregates  configurations (unstable  stable)  Configurations demand more attention in consciousness  Certain elements possess intrinsic affinities for each other  cluster together o Campbell (1974) crystal formation analogy  Some mental elements structured so that can line up in one-to-one fashion o Poincare’s discovery of analogy between Fuchsian functions and transformations of non-Euclidean geometry o In science - Analogy between light and waves o In art - Metaphor that unifies unrelated domains of experience o Cognitive events that reduce mental ‘entropy’ (deterioration)/noticeable enhancements in mental order receive intrinsic reinforcement Individual Differences in Creative Capacity  Ideal creative condition is a wide range of knowledge whose elements are only loosely associated (intuitive), so that they are more available for permutation o Intuitive associations not habitual, easy to break o Analytic associations are the opposite o Looseness of associations comes about through cognitive and personality factors  Support for Chance-combination process o Einstein states combinatory play essential feature of productive thought o Poincare (1913) sleepless night o Influence of chance events in environment (serendipity)  Walter B. Cannon (1940) emphasized role of chance in discovery  Henry James (1908) reported using language overheard in others’ conversations as basis for stories  Related to other aspects of people’s functioning that influence creativity  If make mind more accessible to combinatory play, more open to fortuitous events in outside world o Both retrieval of material from memory and orientation of attention to env stimuli unrestricted  William James supports  Little permanent structure of ideas  Problem solutions can be placed on continuum according to need for chance processes in solution o Problems that can be solved using algorithms (chance plays no part)  less-defined problems (chance important in representation of problem and solution strategy – need free-associative thinking)  Simonton and Poincare agree that the more “offbeat” the connection, the greater the role of chance in generating it o Guttenberg printing press idea from wine press  There are times when free-associative process accessible to consciousness o When vivid imagery involved  Kekule’s observation of snake biting tail constructed in unconscious but he was able to observe it o If there is no distracting task may be able to become aware of unconscious operations  Poincare’s sleepless night o If engaged in activity that requires minimal active attention  Poincare walking along the bluff  Must be long-term preparation before insight o Must build database  Cites 10 year rule as evidence for necessity  Elements must be structured to allow free-associative combinations to form  Cities Price (1963) scientists has property of doing the unexpected (Mavericity)  Sometimes supplied by nature o Genetic Bizarre & overinclusive thinking tendencies  Supported by Eyesnck’s research  Experiential factors can increase likelihood of free- associative processing o Disruptive childhoods o Ethnically/professionally marginal  Short-term factors o Follow stage view of creative thinking by Wallace (1926( and Hadamard (1954) based on Poincare (1913)  Preparatory phase of preliminary work followed by impasse and frustration  Incubation  Need is 2 fold o solution to difficult problem will require complex chain of associations (need time) o Dealing with non-dominant responses requires low levels of arousal (incubation allows activities that may reduce arousal)  Poincare on the bluff  Critical function of incubation to allow external stimuli to play role in stimulation solution to problem (can operate subliminally) External Events and Chance Combinations of Ideas Opportunistic Assimilation and Insight  Simonton (2003) o Emphasizes role of insight in creative thinking o Incorporates “opportunistic assimilation” model of incubation and insight (Seifert and colleagues, 1995)  Environmental stimuli not systematically related to problems – chance process could produce new combinations of ideas  Assumes creative individual more sensitive to external and internal stimuli  Openness to experience  Less subject to latent inhibition (Carson et. Al., 2003 & Peterson et al., 2002) Application of Simonton’s Theory to Creative Thinking Creativity in Science  Simonton (2003) o Other perspectives are really subsets of Darwinian view  Critical foundation of creative accomplishment in science – Productivity  Those who produce most creative contributions are those who produce the most overall  Most scientists make only 1 or 2 contributions over their careers  Assumes during training, scientists exposed to ideas that comprise the domain o Each scientists in training acquires different subset of those ideas o In normal distribution, some learn more about discipline than others  Ideas subjected to free, relatively unconstrained, quasi-random variation  creative combinations  Phenomenon of multiple discoveries – independent discovery of same phenomenon by more than one person  i.e. theory of evolution  Uses chance-configuration idea to explain frequency and distribution over time of multiple discoveries  Insight  Opportunistic-assimilation theory (Seifert & Colleagues, 1995) o Impasse  incubation  serendipitous environmental event stimulates solution Creativity in Art: Chance and Guernica  Simonton (1998, 2003) o Proposed Darwinian view as general theory of creativity o Conclusion: Guernica developed form series of false starts and wild experimentation  No details for explanation Equal-Odds Rule  Simonton (2003) o He and Campbell (1960) propose creative process essentially begins anew each time  No increase in masterworks over career; don’t learn to produce high-quality output  Equal-odds rule: probability that creative thinker will produce a masterwork in any creative domain should stay the same through a person’s career o Correlation between overall productivity within given period and production of masterworks within that period Critique Looking at the Details  Simonton (2003) doesn’t examine creative processes o Presents only group data – summarizes creative productivity and related phenomena across large numbers of scientists across many disciplines o When Weisberg studied creative processes, found evidence for processes other than “free, relatively unconstrained” processes o Simonton’s theory is too far from the data to capture underlying processes The Role of Knowledge in Creative Thinking  Simonton (1988, 1995, 1999) downplays role of knowledge in creative processes o Case studies provide no evidence for wild associations and bizarre thoughts o Maybe definition of wild/bizarre is relative? Blind Variation in the Creation of Guernica?  Weisberg (2004) analysis of Guernica doesn’t support Simonton’s interpretation o Overall structure known at beginning of painting o The way characters sketched was highly structured o External stimuli – works by Goya – demonstrate structure in Picasso’s process  Inspiration from Goya is from works that portray events similar in emotional tone to event that stimulated Guernica Questions about the Equal-Odds Rule  Simonton (2003) o Finding equal odds of production of quality works supports Darwinian view and blind variation as first stage of creative process  Weisberg and Sturdivant (2005) analyzed career development of 4 most eminent classical composers o Proportion of masterworks didn’t remain constant over careers o Proportion of masterworks increased over careers o Falling off in masterworks later in careers  Kozbelt (200) 20 renowned classical composers showed increase in proportion of masterworks Opportunistic Assimilation and Insight?  Simonton (2003) emphasis on role of serendipitous environmental events in triggering insight during incubation period o Based on opportunistic-assimilation theory (Seifert and colleagues, 1995)  Results of studies didn’t support their own theory  Word-recognition task during incubation period produced no Aha! Experience when problem revisited  No strong support of theory at present Confluence Models of Creativity: Summary  3 confluence models similarities o Most important – all assume creative process functions to break away from past; mechanisms of doing so are different across models  Amabile (1983, 1996) use of general creativity-relevant processes and influence of intrinsic motivation critical  Sternberg and Lubart (1995) assume analytic intelligence (insight processes of selective encoding, selective combination, selective comparison) play critical role in reformulation of problems  Simonton (1988, 1995b, 2003) assumes random combo of ideas critical o All place emphasis on causal role of personality factors in creativity  Direction uncertain  No direct evidence for causal relationship; only correlations  Amabile (1983, 1996) & Sternberg and Lubart (1995) note no one causal factor works alone in influencing creative achievement o Motivation is critical element  1st emphasized by Amabile but acknowledged by all researchers in area


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