Dean Keith Simonton

in The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology

Second edition

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780195187243
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

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Because creativity is often viewed as a highly positive human capacity both at the individual and societal levels, the chapter provides an overview of what psychologists have learned about this phenomenon. After beginning with the definition of creativity in terms of adaptive originality, the review turns to how measurement depends on whether creativity is to be treated as a process, a person, or a product. The next section of the review concentrates on the principal empirical results, with special focus on the two findings that would seem to be especially germane for positive psychology, namely (a) the impact of early trauma on creative development and (b) the relation between creativity and psychopathology. This section is followed by a discussion of the two key theoretical issues that pervade research on creativity: the nature-nurture question and the small-c versus big-C creativity question. Once these empirical and theoretical matters have been discussed, the article can progress to a treatment of some practical applications. These applications concern creativity-improving techniques that can be implemented during childhood, adolescence, or adulthood. The chapter closes with a brief discussion of the most fruitful directions for future research on creativity. Despite the tremendous accumulation of knowledge about the phenomenon, a lot of unanswered questions remain.

Keywords: creativity; environment; genetics; genius; intervention

Article.  5781 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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