Theories of creativity particularly investigation of why some people are more creative than others have focused on a variety of aspects. The dominant factors are usually identified as "the four Ps" — process, product, person, and place according to Mel Rhodes. Theories invoking divergent rather than convergent thinking such as Guilford , or those describing the staging of the creative process such as Wallas are primarily theories of creative process. A focus on creative product usually appears in attempts to measure creativity psychometrics, see below and in creative ideas framed as successful memes.
A focus on place considers the circumstances in which creativity flourishes, such as degrees of autonomy, access to resources, and the nature of gatekeepers. Creative lifestyles are characterized by nonconforming attitudes and behaviors as well as flexibility. Most ancient cultures, including thinkers of Ancient Greece ,  Ancient China , and Ancient India ,  lacked the concept of creativity, seeing art as a form of discovery and not creation.
The ancient Greeks had no terms corresponding to "to create" or "creator" except for the expression " poiein " "to make" , which only applied to poiesis poetry and to the poietes poet, or "maker" who made it. Plato did not believe in art as a form of creation. Asked in The Republic ,  "Will we say, of a painter, that he makes something? It is commonly argued that the notion of "creativity" originated in Western culture through Christianity , as a matter of divine inspiration. Boorstin , "the early Western conception of creativity was the Biblical story of creation given in the Genesis.
In the Judaeo-Christian tradition, creativity was the sole province of God; humans were not considered to have the ability to create something new except as an expression of God's work. However, none of these views are similar to the modern concept of creativity, and the individual was not seen as the cause of creation until the Renaissance. The rejection of creativity in favor of discovery and the belief that individual creation was a conduit of the divine would dominate the West probably until the Renaissance and even later.
This could be attributed to the leading intellectual movement of the time, aptly named humanism , which developed an intensely human-centric outlook on the world, valuing the intellect and achievement of the individual. However, this shift was gradual and would not become immediately apparent until the Enlightenment.
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As a direct and independent topic of study, creativity effectively received no attention until the 19th century. In particular, they refer to the work of Francis Galton , who through his eugenicist outlook took a keen interest in the heritability of intelligence, with creativity taken as an aspect of genius.
In his work Art of Thought , published in , Wallas presented one of the first models of the creative process. In the Wallas stage model, creative insights and illuminations may be explained by a process consisting of 5 stages:. Wallas considered creativity to be a legacy of the evolutionary process, which allowed humans to quickly adapt to rapidly changing environments. Simonton  provides an updated perspective on this view in his book, Origins of genius: Darwinian perspectives on creativity.
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Although psychometric studies of creativity had been conducted by The London School of Psychology as early as with the work of H. Hargreaves into the Faculty of Imagination,  the formal psychometric measurement of creativity, from the standpoint of orthodox psychological literature, is usually considered to have begun with J. Guilford 's address to the American Psychological Association in Statistical analyses led to the recognition of creativity as measured as a separate aspect of human cognition to IQ -type intelligence, into which it had previously been subsumed.
Guilford's work suggested that above a threshold level of IQ, the relationship between creativity and classically measured intelligence broke down. James C. Kaufman and Beghetto introduced a "four C" model of creativity; mini-c "transformative learning" involving "personally meaningful interpretations of experiences, actions, and insights" , little-c everyday problem solving and creative expression , Pro-C exhibited by people who are professionally or vocationally creative though not necessarily eminent and Big-C creativity considered great in the given field.
This model was intended to help accommodate models and theories of creativity that stressed competence as an essential component and the historical transformation of a creative domain as the highest mark of creativity.
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It also, the authors argued, made a useful framework for analyzing creative processes in individuals. The contrast of terms "Big C" and "Little c" has been widely used. Robinson  and Anna Craft  have focused on creativity in a general population, particularly with respect to education. Craft makes a similar distinction between "high" and "little c" creativity. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi  has defined creativity in terms of those individuals judged to have made significant creative, perhaps domain-changing contributions.
Simonton has analysed the career trajectories of eminent creative people in order to map patterns and predictors of creative productivity.
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There has been much empirical study in psychology and cognitive science of the processes through which creativity occurs. Interpretation of the results of these studies has led to several possible explanations of the sources and methods of creativity. Incubation is a temporary break from creative problem solving that can result in insight.
Ward  lists various hypotheses that have been advanced to explain why incubation may aid creative problem-solving, and notes how some empirical evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that incubation aids creative problem in that it enables "forgetting" of misleading clues.
Absence of incubation may lead the problem solver to become fixated on inappropriate strategies of solving the problem. This allows for unique connections to be made without our consciousness trying to make logical order out of the problem. Guilford  drew a distinction between convergent and divergent production commonly renamed convergent and divergent thinking. Convergent thinking involves aiming for a single, correct solution to a problem, whereas divergent thinking involves creative generation of multiple answers to a set problem.
Divergent thinking is sometimes used as a synonym for creativity in psychology literature. Other researchers have occasionally used the terms flexible thinking or fluid intelligence , which are roughly similar to but not synonymous with creativity. In , Finke et al.
Some evidence shows that when people use their imagination to develop new ideas, those ideas are heavily structured in predictable ways by the properties of existing categories and concepts. Helie and Sun  more recently proposed a unified framework for understanding creativity in problem solving , namely the Explicit—Implicit Interaction EII theory of creativity. A computational implementation of the theory was developed based on the CLARION cognitive architecture and used to simulate relevant human data.
This work represents an initial step in the development of process-based theories of creativity encompassing incubation, insight, and various other related phenomena. In The Act of Creation , Arthur Koestler introduced the concept of bisociation — that creativity arises as a result of the intersection of two quite different frames of reference.
In the s, various approaches in cognitive science that dealt with metaphor , analogy , and structure mapping have been converging, and a new integrative approach to the study of creativity in science, art and humor has emerged under the label conceptual blending. Honing theory, developed principally by psychologist Liane Gabora , posits that creativity arises due to the self-organizing, self-mending nature of a worldview. The creative process is a way in which the individual hones and re-hones an integrated worldview. Honing theory places emphasis not only on the externally visible creative outcome but also the internal cognitive restructuring and repair of the worldview brought about by the creative process.
When faced with a creatively demanding task, there is an interaction between the conception of the task and the worldview. The conception of the task changes through interaction with the worldview, and the worldview changes through interaction with the task. This interaction is reiterated until the task is complete, at which point not only is the task conceived of differently, but the worldview is subtly or drastically transformed as it follows the natural tendency of a worldview to attempt to resolve dissonance and seek internal consistency amongst its components, whether they be ideas, attitudes, or bits of knowledge.
A central feature of honing theory is the notion of a potentiality state. Midway through the creative process one may have made associations between the current task and previous experiences, but not yet disambiguated which aspects of those previous experiences are relevant to the current task. It is at that point that it can be said to be in a potentiality state, because how it will actualize depends on the different internally or externally generated contexts it interacts with.
Honing theory is held to explain certain phenomena not dealt with by other theories of creativity, for example, how different works by the same creator are observed in studies to exhibit a recognizable style or 'voice' even though in different creative outlets. This is not predicted by theories of creativity that emphasize chance processes or the accumulation of expertise, but it is predicted by honing theory, according to which personal style reflects the creator's uniquely structured worldview.
Another example is in the environmental stimulus for creativity. Creativity is commonly considered to be fostered by a supportive, nurturing, trustworthy environment conducive to self-actualization. However, research shows that creativity is also associated with childhood adversity, which would stimulate honing. In everyday thought, people often spontaneously imagine alternatives to reality when they think "if only There was a creativity quotient developed similar to the intelligence quotient IQ.
It makes use of the results of divergent thinking tests see below by processing them further.
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It gives more weight to ideas that are radically different from other ideas in the response. Guilford 's group,  which pioneered the modern psychometric study of creativity, constructed several tests to measure creativity in Originally, Guilford was trying to create a model for intellect as a whole, but in doing so also created a model for creativity. Guilford made an important assumption for creative research: creativity isn't one abstract concept.
The idea that creativity is a category rather than one single concept opened up the ability for other researchers to look at creativity with a whole new perspective. Additionally, Guilford hypothesized one of the first models for the components of creativity. He explained that creativity was a result of having:. This represents the base model by which several researchers would take and alter to produce their new theories of creativity years later.
Such tests, sometimes called Divergent Thinking DT tests have been both supported  and criticized. Considerable progress has been made in automated scoring of divergent thinking tests using semantic approach.
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When compared to human raters, NLP techniques were shown to be reliable and valid in scoring the originality. Semantic networks were also used to devise originality scores that yielded significant correlations with socio-personal measures. Kaufman and Mark A. Runco  combined expertise in creativity research, natural language processing, computational linguistics, and statistical data analysis to devise a scalable system for computerized automated testing SparcIt Creativity Index Testing system.
This system enabled automated scoring of DT tests that is reliable, objective, and scalable, thus addressing most of the issues of DT tests that had been found and reported. Some researchers have taken a social-personality approach to the measurement of creativity. In these studies, personality traits such as independence of judgement, self-confidence, attraction to complexity, aesthetic orientation, and risk-taking are used as measures of the creativity of individuals. Compared to non-artists, artists tend to have higher levels of openness to experience and lower levels of conscientiousness, while scientists are more open to experience, conscientious , and higher in the confidence-dominance facets of extraversion compared to non-scientists.
An alternative is using biographical methods. These methods use quantitative characteristics such as the number of publications, patents, or performances of a work.