Draft:Individual Creativity

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Individual Creativity has been developed by researchers for a decade. However, social context were rarely to be found in varied literatures. The word of Social Psychology of Creativity was found first by D.K Simonton in an article called “ The development of a social psychology of Creativity” in 1975 [1]. Since then, this topic was developed by Teresa M Amabile in 1983 with a book called “ The Social Psychology of Creativity” [1]. Aside the work of Amiable and Simonton, there are hardly an empirical research about the influence of social variables towards creativity. Most scholars focused on individual context such as abilities and personalities[1]. Although the evidence is limited, there are a growing collection of empirical evidence in terms of social context. For example, researchers found that people who works under a strong social network tend to be more creative.[1]


In the past, creativity was defined as a process where human hold a vital information to find solution towards a certain problem [2]. Koestler [2] also suggested that creativity connect varied unrelated dot point that will generate new possibilities.

In the words of Teresa M Amabile, she argued “It appears, then, that current definitions of creativity are conceptual rather than operational; their conceptualization have not been translated into actual assessment criteria”[3]. This led to a definition “an individual - level construct as an approach to work that leads to the generation of novel and appropriate ideas, processes, or solutions”[3]. Amabile added that this concept still exposed by external variables such as social variable, cultural variable, and historical variable. [3]

Consensual Assessment Techniques[edit]

Consensual Assessment Techniques (CAT) is a measurement technique for creativity that involve social variables. [4]It was first developed by Teresa M Amabile, who argued that people should focus on managing for creativity, in 1982. There are three vital components in the social psychology of creativity which are: Domain - Relevant Skills (include general knowledge such as principles, facts, technical skills, and unique talents), Creativity - Relevant Skills (cognitive knowledge, heuristic knowledge to produce novel ideas, and work style), and Task motivation (include individual's characteristic and individual perspective in working a particular task). [4]

Consensual Assessment Techniques consist of 5 stages:[4]

(i) Problem or Task Presentation (when individual is exposed with the problem)

(ii) Preparation (when individual is gathering information and relevant domain skills

(iii) Response Generation (when individual is considering possible actions that could be taken to solve the problem)

(iv) Response Validation (when individual is checking that his or her action is appropriate or essential based on his or her knowledge)

Consensual Assessment Technique

(v) Outcome (when individual make his or her final decision to solve the task)

The Consensual Assessment Technique has been used in different ways:

  1. To measure creativity by comparing individual's performance under both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation [4]
  2. To have a better understanding towards the interaction between process and product in creativity[5]
  3. To have a deeper insight regarding the long - term balance of creativity in a given realm[6]

John Baer and Sharon McCool also suggested that Consensual Assessment Technique can be used in higher education with varied purpose such as effectiveness evaluation of college majors or programs, selecting students with certain creativity level, evaluate student's creativity performance, and evaluating winner of competition, prizes, and honours.[7]

Domain - Relevant Skills[edit]

Domain – Relevant Skills are the complete skill set for individual to response varied problem [4].  It composes of knowledge, facts, and principles about the problem that an individual faced [8]. Creativity cannot be sparked without a proper understanding of the topic; for instance, it is hard to be creative in designing when one did not understand nothing about designing. Another component that resemble Domain -Relevant Skills is technical skills [4]  For example, when an individual designed a product, he or she required a practical technique designing skills that may contribute to creativity production.

Factors that influenced Domain Relevant Skill

Last component is the natural talent, which an individual might possessed, that contains knowledge and technical skills to do a certain task.[4]

The level of knowledge can determine how creativity will be produced. The deeper the knowledge, the easier one can produce a solid creativity as there will be varied options and decisions that can be related through the knowledge obtained in the past. The lower the knowledge, the harder one can produce a creativity as there are limited understanding towards the topic and it restrict the individual's movement to choose.  As Wicklegren [9] said” the more we concentrate on ... heavily contextualized (specific) concepts and propositions, the less capacity we will have available to learn general principles and questions that crosscut different areas and perspectives”.  Overall, there are three factors that influence this set skills: the innate cognitive abilities, the innate perceptual and motor skills, and the level of formal and informal education.

Creativity - Relevant Skills[edit]

Creativity – Relevant Skills are the augmented skill set from Domain – Relevant skill. It consists of cognitive knowledge that understand complex understanding at the task given [4]. Complex cognitive knowledge's characteristic is defined as:

a)    An ability to break perceptual set [10]; this is defined as the ability to think outside of the box.

b)    An ability to explore new cognitive possibilities or breaking cognitive set, which allow individual to keep searching for the best decision.[11]

Factors that influenced Creativity - Relevant Skill

c)    The patient to hold varied decision that can be made as long as possible[12]

d)    The ability to eliminate any judgement that can affect brainstorming session [4]

e)    A knowledge that has a broad category to see different perspective[13]

f)     The ability to memorize and recall an information [4]

g)    The ability to perform systematically [8]

Moreover, it composed of heuristic knowledge [4]. Newell [11] defined heuristic knowledge as any form that can reduce an individual's thinking progress to solve a problem. It is pictured as methods of how individual approach a problem that will lead to an unexpected solution rather [4]. Lastly, it composed of conductive workstyle, an ability that allow people to focus on certain task for a long period of time or the ability to abandon unnecessary external variables that can affect the task[14] . However, all these components are heavily relied on the characteristics of an individual. For example, the self- discipline to maintain focus, the ability to avoid satisfaction, the patience to avoid anger, and the avoidance of social recognition [14]. Furthermore, creativity- relevant skill also relied on individual's total training in generating creative ideas and practically applied it [4]. In conclusion, this skill set is affected by the total practical training individual had in the past, the experience in generation creativity ideas, and individual's characteristic.

Task Motivation[edit]

Theorists suggested that when a problem is faced by individual, the biggest factor to increase or reduce the chance to produce creativity is how one perceived the challenge [4]. The perception is called Task Motivation which include two vital elements, individual's attitude toward the problem and the individual's approach to his or her reasons in solving the problem [4]. An attitude foundation will be built when people started to brainstorm cognitively toward the task of the level where it matches his or her interests. Not only attitude can be built from one's interest, but also the presence of external social environment factor that can influence attitude [4]. In addition, individual's knowledge and ability might also influence one's perception toward the problem.

Factors that influenced Task Motivation

Several social psychologists suggest that motivation is influenced with the mix of both social environmental factors and the perception of an individual toward the task [15]. If the individual was highly knowledgeable and interested to the task, creativity will surely be produced in varied context as they have a wide range of options and the ability to keep exploring for the best options. On the other hand, if the

individual is not that interested, creativity will be hard to be produced. To sum up, task motivation is depended on the original level of individual motivation, the presence of social environment variable, and individual's total ability and knowledge.


Interpersonal Communication[edit]

       Several academics recommend that communication between people can spark up creativity[16]. When people show their knowledge to other people, creative performance can appear by keep trying to solve certain problem with appropriate solutions. For example, Andrew and Smith found that product managers with more knowledge of the marketing environment will create more creative marketing strategy. [17]

Interpersonal interaction[edit]

Psychologist suggest that interpersonal contact with varied accomplice will help to create a creativity skill. Diversity is defined as difference in occupation, background, and skills.[18] When the individual contact with a heterogent group of people, the chance that they to earned knowledge on distinct perspective will increase. As Kanter states, “Contact with those who see the world differently is a logical prerequisite to seeing it differently ourselves” (1988: 175)[19].  It is founded by Andrew and Smith (1996) that when people with certain skill set interact with other skill areas augment the creativity of marketing strategy. [20]

Network Strength[edit]

Strong relationships can be defined with two parties who usually interact with each other, like each other and trust each other. Weak relationships define with two parties who interact rarely thus, does not have the same values .[21] Granovetter (1973) perceive network as a continuous continuum connection which known as structural bridge and concluded that weak relationship tend to contact with a different social group, compared to strong relationship. As Granovetter said,” people with weak ties are "less confined to the provincial news and views of their close friends" [22]


Individual's motivation plays a role in producing creativity. For instance, as McGraw (1978) conclude that individual can perform better when he or she is influenced with extrinsic motivation.[23] Lepper and Greene (1978b) suggest that when individual is highly motivated, he or she will focus on that certain task and neglect other variables that can disturb them.[15] For example, researcher found that if someone's boss agrees to reward him with monetary reward or threated to fire him, his creativity will suddenly increase to find the most appropriate solution toward the task .[24]

Intrinsic Motivation also can influence individual's creativity. Scientist found that he would be internally motivated if his research about blood drug was stimulated by an intense interest in hemophilia, the stimulation by a personal challenge to finish the solution when nobody can find the answer.[24]This type of motivation will usually help people to enjoy any task or problems they faced. Intrinsic motivation appears when individual feel qualified and independent [25]. However, the task needs to be interesting in some level that can attract individuals to get more involve with the work ; with a perfect relationship between task difficulty and skill levels,  people will experience psychological “flow” which help them to merge with the activity they are doing (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975)[26]


In producing creativity, individual's personality plays a huge role. Different measurement towards discipline, independence, perseverance, and emotion will affect how creativity will be spawned[27]. Feist [28](1998) found several attitudes that can enhance generating creativity in social context. He said that “creative people tend to be more autonomous, introverted, open to new experiences, norm-doubting, self-confident, self-accepting, driven, ambitious, dominant, hostile, and impulsive “.  Moreover, scholars also found that individual who are open with new perspective derived from the world will be more creativity as he or she does not tolerate the information that they received [29]

List of Academic Journal about Creativity[edit]


* Creativity Research Journal

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Amabile, Teresa M. (1996-06-07). Creativity In Context: Update To The Social Psychology Of Creativity. Avalon Publishing. ISBN 9780813345499.
  2. ^ a b Koestler, Arthur (1964). Art of Creation (PDF). 178-202 Great Portland Street, London: Hutchison & CO.
  3. ^ a b c Perry-Smith, Jill E.; Shalley, Christina E. (2003). "The Social Side of Creativity: A Static and Dynamic Social Network Perspective". The Academy of Management Review. 28 (1): 89–106. doi:10.2307/30040691. ISSN 0363-7425. JSTOR 30040691.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Amabile, Teressa M (1983). "The Social Psychology of Creativity: A Componential Conceptualization" (PDF). Personality Processes and Individual Differences – via umn.edu.
  5. ^ Hennessey, Beth A. (1994). "The consensual assessment technique: An examination of the relationship between ratings of product and process creativity". Creativity Research Journal. 7 (2): 193–208. doi:10.1080/10400419409534524. ISSN 1040-0419.
  6. ^ Baer, John (1994). "Divergent thinking is not a general trait: A multidomain training experiment". Creativity Research Journal. 7 (1): 35–46. doi:10.1080/10400419409534507. ISSN 1040-0419.
  7. ^ Baer & Mckool, John & Sharon S. (2009). "Assessing Creativity Using the Consensual Assessment Technique". - – via researchgate.net.
  8. ^ a b Schank R C & Abelson R P. Scripts, plans, goals and understanding: an inquiry into human knowledge structures. Hilsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1977. 248 p. [ Yale University. New Haven, CT]
  9. ^ Wickelgren, Wayne (1979). Chunking and Consolidation: A Theoretical Synthesis of Semantic Networks, Configuring in Conditioning S-R Versus Cognitive Learning, Normal Forgetting, the Amnesic Syndrome, and the Hippocampal Arousal System (PDF). 86. University of Oregon. pp. 44–60.
  10. ^ Boring, Edwin G. (1950). "Great Men and Scientific Progress". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. 94 (4): 339–351. ISSN 0003-049X. JSTOR 3143518.
  11. ^ a b Newell, A., Shaw, J., & Simon, H. (1962). The processes of creative thinking. In H. Gruber, G. Terrell, & M. Wertheimer (Eds.), Contemporary approaches to creative thinking. New York: Atherton Press, 1
  12. ^ Ives, S. William (1977). "Review of The Creative Vision: A Longitudinal Study of Problem Finding in Art". The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. 36 (1): 96–98. doi:10.2307/430755. ISSN 0021-8529. JSTOR 430755.
  13. ^ Cropley, Arthur (1967). "Creativity: A New Kind Of Intelect". Creativity: A New Kind of Intelect. 11 (2): 120–125. doi:10.1177/000494416701100203. ISSN 0004-9441 – via academia.edu.
  14. ^ a b Einhorn, H J; Hogarth, R M (1981). "Behavioral Decision Theory: Processes of Judgement and Choice". Annual Review of Psychology. 32 (1): 53–88. doi:10.1146/annurev.ps.32.020181.000413.
  15. ^ a b Lepper, Mark R.; Greene, David (2015-09-16). The Hidden Costs of Reward: New Perspectives on the Psychology of Human Motivation. Psychology Press. ISBN 9781317356752.
  16. ^ Perry-Smith, Jill E.; Shalley, Christina E. (2003). "The Social Side of Creativity: A Static and Dynamic Social Network Perspective". The Academy of Management Review. 28 (1): 89–106. doi:10.2307/30040691. ISSN 0363-7425. JSTOR 30040691.
  17. ^ Andrews, Jonlee; Smith, Daniel C. (1996). "In Search of the Marketing Imagination: Factors Affecting the Creativity of Marketing Programs for Mature Products". Journal of Marketing Research. 33 (2): 174–187. doi:10.2307/3152145. ISSN 0022-2437. JSTOR 3152145.
  18. ^ Woodman, Richard W.; Sawyer, John E.; Griffin, Ricky W. (1993). "Toward a Theory of Organizational Creativity". The Academy of Management Review. 18 (2): 293–321. doi:10.2307/258761. ISSN 0363-7425. JSTOR 258761.
  19. ^ Myers, Paul S. (2009-11-03). Knowledge Management and Organisational Design. Routledge. ISBN 9781136389887.
  20. ^ Andrews, Jonlee; Smith, Daniel C. (1996). "In Search of the Marketing Imagination: Factors Affecting the Creativity of Marketing Programs for Mature Products". Journal of Marketing Research. 33 (2): 174–187. doi:10.2307/3152145. ISSN 0022-2437. JSTOR 3152145.
  21. ^ Perry-Smith, Jill E.; Shalley, Christina E. (2003). "The Social Side of Creativity: A Static and Dynamic Social Network Perspective". The Academy of Management Review. 28 (1): 89–106. doi:10.2307/30040691. ISSN 0363-7425. JSTOR 30040691.
  22. ^ Granovetter, M. (1983). The Strength of Weak Ties: A Network Theory Revisited. Sociological Theory, 1, 201-233. doi:10.2307/202051
  23. ^ McGraw, K. O. (1978). The Detrimental Effects of Reward on Performance: A Literature Review and a Prediction Model. In M. Lepper, & D. Greene (Eds.), The Hidden Costs of Reward: New Perspectives on the Psychology of Human Motivation (pp. 33-60). London: Psychology Press.
  24. ^ a b Amabile, Teressa (1998). "How To Kill Creatvity" (PDF). How to Kill Creativity – via knu.ac.kr.
  25. ^ Deci, Edward L. (1971). "Effects of Externally Mediated Reward On Intrinsic Motivation". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 18: 105–115. doi:10.1037/h0030644.
  26. ^ Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Beyond boredom and anxiety. San Francisco, CA, US: Jossey-Bass.
  27. ^ Hogarth, Robin (1981). "BEHAVIORAL DECISION THEORY: PROCESSES OF JUDGMENT AND CHOICE". Annual Review of Psychology. 32: 53–88. doi:10.1146/annurev.ps.32.020181.000413.
  28. ^ Feist, Gregory J. (2016-12-21). "A Meta-Analysis of Personality in Scientific and Artistic Creativity". Personality and Social Psychology Review. 2 (4): 290–309. doi:10.1207/s15327957pspr0204_5. PMID 15647135.
  29. ^ Costa, Paul; Kay, Gary G. (1995). "Persons, Places, and Personality: Career Assessment Using the Revised NEO Personality Inventory". Persons, Places, and Personality: Career Assessment Using the Revised NEO Personality Inventory – via reserachgate.net.