Creativity in Later Life

Jeanne Nakamura and Mihaly Csikszwntmihalyi

in Creativity and Development

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780195149005
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848225 | DOI:

Series: Counterpoints: Cognition, Memory, and Language

Creativity in                         Later Life

Show Summary Details


Biographies are written accounts of individuals' significant life events — achievements, crucial failures, and transitory instances — from childhood to old age. Apart from the Freudian approach in conducting life-span investigations of creativity, a more contemporary scheme is grounded on the historiometric technique, which involves chronological ordering of accomplishments and examination of a huge collection of information, apparently ignoring the depth of the biographies available. From these procedures came six generalizations about creative individuals: They (1) are commonly not the eldest, (2) are intellectually gifted, (3) have traumatic child experiences, (4) belong to economically and/or socially isolated families, (5) underwent special courses in early life, and (6) took advantage of good social models. Exemptions apply in some of the cases. Notwithstanding the disadvantages of the structured data-gathering methods employed, readers might find these proofs to be relatively accurate and relevant for future references.

Keywords: biographies; developmental stages; old age; Freud; historiometric approach; creative individuals; creativity

Chapter.  14941 words. 

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.