Tutto sulla Creatività 1 - 2 - 3
John C. Houtz, Professor of Educational Psychology, Fordham University, Graduate School of Education
I Soci ARIPS possono scaricare gratuitamente dall'area riservata, le 3 parti del testo da usare come insieme di dispense (.zip Html 89 Kb)

General Introductions


The “Hand of Creativity” is a simple way to represent different sub-domains or related areas of study when one speaks of creativity research. Often, terms such as “creative thinking”, “problem solving”, or “creative problem solving” are used interchangeably in casual conversation. There are some differences, however, to the researcher in the field. “Creative thinking” or “creative problem solving” typically refer to situations where new ideas are called for, where both novices and experts do not know the right answers.

On the other hand, plain “problem solving” can be thought of as novices finding solutions to problems that the experts already know the answers to (as in typical teaching or learning situations), and social problem solving as a sub-field can mean creative thinking or simple problem solving but with the problem content being interpersonal behavior. Critical thinking typically refers to situations where a key element is that individuals must judge the worth of alternative solutions. Finally, “gifted and talented” refers to the study of individuals (children and adults of all ages) who are somehow judged to be exceptionally intelligent or who have developed and demonstrated outstanding talents and achievements in any area of human endeavor.

The Four (or Five) “P’s” of Creativity

Quite a number of researchers in the field of creative studies have referred to four or five sub-categories of research in the field. The first “P” stands for studies of the creative person and his or her personality, abilities, backgrounds, habits, styles, etc. The second “P” stands for studies of the thinking and feeling processes or sequences of steps or stages of creative work. The third “P” includes studies of the qualities or characteristics of the products (the inventions, productions, achievements, etc.) of the creative process, and the ways we attempt to measure them.

The fourth “P” stands for “press” and includes the study of all the environmental factors that influence creative development, from deliberate training efforts to general work or learning climate characteristics, from specific interpersonal behaviors among individuals and groups to broader, global cultural conditions. Finally, the fifth “P”, an outgrowth of “press”, stands for “persuasion”, or the study of factors that influence the acceptance of new ideas. It is not enough, obviously, that individuals come up with new ideas; new ideas often conflict with the status quo and meet with many obstacles to actual implementation. An essential step in the creative process is getting people to be open to and accept new ideas, to support them, to “see the light”, to “get on the bandwagon”, so to speak. 


There are many, many definitions of creativity, some very similar in their emphases, while others clearly focus on different aspects of creative phenomena. I have selected a few below. For a more extensive list, see Treffinger, D. J. (1995). Creativity, creative thinking, and critical thinking: In search of definitions. Sarasota FL: Center for Creative Learning, Inc. (www.creativelearning.com)

Source:   You and creativity.  (1968). Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corp.

The Creative Person



B.        RESULTS



3.         WORK HABITS


The Basic Theme is SYNERGY

  1. Delayed closure
  2. Converging divergence
  3. Mindless perception
  4. Constructive discontent
  5. Detached involvement
  6. Disinterested selfishness
  7. Confident humility
  8. Relaxed attention
  9. Flexible Persistence
Specific Characteristics
  • Unconventional
  • Discerning and observant
  • Possesses wide range of information
  • Sensitive
  • Emotionally responsive
  • Report unhappy childhoods
  • Early exposure to domain and mentoring
  • Perceptive of their own personalities
  • Neither conformists nor non-conformists--truly independent
  • Unconscious of what others think of them--internal
  • Flexible, open to experience
  • Concerned not with facts but with meanings and implications of facts
  • Communicative
  • Intelligent, but not necessarily the highest scorers on IQ tests
  • Not a joiner
  • Bold, courageous, assertive
  • Conventional morality
  • Preference for things and ideas over people
  • Skeptical, critical
  • Precise
  • Resourceful and adaptable
  • Experimenters
  • Tolerant of ambiguity
  • Persistent
  • Introspective, egocentric
  • Less in need to protect one’s self
  • Spontaneous, enthusiastic
  • Stubborn
  • Excitable, irritable
  • Compulsive
  • Dedicated
  • Inner maturity
  • Strength of character
  • Less acceptant of self
  • Self-sufficient
  • Expressed femininity of interests (males)
  • Expressed masculinity of interests (females)

Reference: Dellas, M., Gaier, E. L. (1970). Identification of creativity: The individual. Psychological Bulletin, 73, 55-73.


Source: Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. New York: Harper/Collins.

1.         Creative individuals have a great deal of physical energy, yet they are often quite and at rest.

2.         Creative individuals tend to be “smart” (in the traditional sense of knowing things) but also can appear to be quite naïve.

3.         Creative people can appear quite playful and undisciplined, but also can be exceptionally hard-working and responsible.

4.         Creative people can alternate between imagination and “flights of fantasy” on the one hand and a very “down-to-earth”, concrete sense of reality.

5.         Creative people seem to harbor opposite tendencies to introversion and extraversion.

6.         Creative individuals are both very humble and proud of their achievements at the same time.

7.         Creative persons tend to escape the typical “masculine” and “feminine” gender stereotyping.

8.         Creative people are thought to be rebellious and independent, yet they cannot create absent the knowledge, rules, conventions of their cultures. They have internalized the values of their domains as well as maintained their instinct for questioning the “givens” and assumptions of their domains.

9.         Creative individuals are both passionate about their work as well as extremely objective about it.

10.       The openness and sensitivity of creative persons exposes them to a great deal of pain and suffering as well as enjoyment        


From:  Kirton, M.J. (1976). Adaptors and innovators: A description and measure. Journal of Applied Psychology, 61, 622-629.

            Kirton describes two different styles of thinking: adaptors and innovators. Both styles are ways of approaching change. Both types of individuals respond to needs for change with analysis and action. But, each style prefers a different form of action:

            Adaptors try to make things better, using existing methods, values, policies, and procedures. They rely on accepted standards and consensus to guide the development and implementation of new ideas.

            Innovators like to "reconstruct" the problem, think of it in isolation from its background and context of "prevailing thought". They are more concerned with doing things in a different way rather than in a better way.

            In organizations of all sizes, innovators and adaptors may clash. Some ideas may be held back because adaptive supervisors and senior management may be uncomfortable with innovative types.

            What is a WILD DUCK?

Other references:      Kirton, M.J. (1991). Adaptors and innovators: Why new initiatives get blocked. In J. Henry (Ed.), Creative management (pp. 209-220). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.


From:  Basadur, M., Graen, G., & Wakabayashi, M. (1990). Identifying individual differences in creative problem solving style. Journal of Creative Behavior, 24, 111-131.

            The Basadur Creative Problem Solving Style Profile describes four types of individuals: the generator, the conceptualizer, the optimizer, and the implementor. The four types come from the interaction of two factors: learning from direct vs. abstract experience and using knowledge for evaluation vs. ideation. Creative problem solving is not centered in any one type; rather, the special skills of each type come into play during the problem solving process.


            Basadur suggests that his inventory can help individuals recognize their strengths and areas of weakness and use their profile results to improve areas where they do not score as highly. People can "gravitate" towards jobs and life styles which require or reward certain CPS styles.

            His model of creative problem solving is described as a "pie chart", with eight slices. The slices are:

            Quadrant 1:                  1. Problem finding

                                                2. Fact finding

            Quadrant 2:                  3. Problem definition

                                                4. Idea finding

            Quadrant 3                   5. Evaluation and selection of ideas

                                                6. Plan

            Quadrant 4:                  7. Gain acceptance of your idea

                                                 8. Take action

            Generators have strengths in "slices" 2 and 2; conceptualizers do well in "slices" 3 and 4; optimizers are fine in "slices" 5 and 6; and "slices" 7 and 8 are for the implementors.

The Creative Process


            1.         STAGE THEORIES

            2.         LEARNING THEORIES

                        a.         BEHAVIORAL--S-R BONDS, HABIT HIERARCHIES

                        b.         GESTALT--PERCEPTUAL REORGANIZATION

            3.         DEVELOPMENTAL THEORIES


              b.         HUMANISTIC, SELF-GROWTH THEORIES

            4.         SOCIAL LEARNING—MODELING





            3.         SOCIAL, ENVIRONMENTAL  FACTORS


John Dewey  (1910)

  1. Difficulty is felt
  2. Difficulty is located and defined    
  3. Possible solutions suggested 
  4. Consequences considered
  5. Solution accepted

Rossman  (1952) 

  1. Need or difficulty observed
  2. Available information surveyed
  3. Solutions formulated
  4. Solutions critically examined  
  5. New ideas formulated
  6. New ideas tested and accepted 

Phillip Merrifield  (1962)

  1. Difficulty is felt
  2. Problem defined
  3. Hypothesis generated
  4. Hypothesis tested
  5. Solution applied
  6. Reapplication

Graham Wallas (1926)  

  1. Preparation 
  2. Incubation  
  3. Illumination   
  4. Verification

Johnson (1955) 

  1. Preparation 
  2. Production 
  3. Judgment

Alex Osborn (1963)

  1. Fact-finding 
  2. Idea-finding
  3. Solution-finding

G. Polya  (1945) 

  1. Understanding the problem
  2. Devising a plan   
  3. Carrying out the plan 
  4. Looking back  

Kingsley & Garry (1957)

  1. Difficulty is felt
  2. Problem clarified and defined
  3. Search for clues made
  4. Various suggestions appear and are tried out
  5. A suggested solution is accepted
  6. Solution is tested

J. P. Guilford (1967)

  1. Attention aroused and directed
  2. Problem sensed and structured
  3. Answers generated
  4. New information obtained
  5. New answers generated

Later CPS Models (Treffinger) (circa 1990’s)
(Center for Creative Learning, Inc., Sarasota, FL)

  1. Mess-finding
  2. Data-finding
  3. Problem-finding
  4. Idea-finding
  5. Solution-finding
  6. Acceptance-finding

A - Theoretical Stage Descriptions of the Creative Process

  1. Sensing that a problem exists
  2. Defining the problem
  3. Gathering new information, clarifying the problem, redefining
  4. Generating alternatives
  5. Incubating
  6. Generating more alternatives
  7. Testing ideas
  8. Obtaining feedback
  9. Re-applying, checking, verifying
  10. Communicating, gaining acceptance, convincing



Energy Level:    High/Low     (Easy/Hard)
Structure:   Ambiguous/Organized   (Random/Systematic)
Direction: Focused/Diffuse (Convergent/Divergent)


  Problem     Method of Solution    Solution
Problem Situation Other   Individual     Other  Individual     Other  Individual
Type 1  (MEMORY) known known  known   known  known     known
Type 2  (REASON)   known   known  known  unknown known   unknown
Type 3 (IMAGINATION) unknown  unknown   unknown unknown unknown  unknown

Getzels, J.W. & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1976). The creative vision: A longitudinal study of problem finding in art. New York: Wiley.
Getzels, J.W. (1975). Problem-finding and the inventiveness of solutions. Journal of Creative Behavior, 9.

Theories of the Creative Process

A.        Traditional Learning Theories

  1.  Ideas are associated due to contiguity, frequency
  2. Greater associations, greater potential for creativity
  3. Training to increase number and variety of associations

B.        Psychodynamic Theories

  1. Creativity as fantasy thinking, neurotic thinking
  2. Creativity as “compensatory” thinking
  3. Creativity as “regression in service to the ego”
  4. Training to unburden the mind, release inner thoughts,break traditional boundaries, open up to new ideas

C.        Social Learning Theories

  1. We learn by watching others, even very complex behaviors
  2. Effective models are successful and well-regarded
  3. Training through mentoring and group activities

D.        Cognitive, Information Processing Theories

  1. Ideas are self-generated, re-constructed by the mind
  2. Better thinking is “higher-level” thinking--re-organized, re-structured, “manipulated”, elaborated thinking
  3. Creative ideas are “reorganized”, ‘re-configured” from previous information
  4. Training to increase perception, actively manipulate ideas, define new problems

E.         Humanistic Theories

  1. Our essential human nature is to be creative, to seek stimulation, to gain mastery
  2. We are curious; we need to achieve; we need to create meaning, beauty
  3. If we are creative, we feel positively about ourselves; if we fail, we feel inadequate
  4. A supportive environment can allow us to accept failure and grow from it; a non-supportive environment will inhibit creative strivings


            A.        Associationist--Behavioral

  1. Prior experiences (response histories) determine possible connections
  2. Incentives, rewards enhance creativity

            B.        Gestalt

  1. Perception of problem elements and overall structure is prerequisite to creativity
  2. Breaking sets leads to “productive” new arrangements           

            C.        Cognitive

  1. Step-by-step application of thinking skills is how we solve problems
  2. Use of strategies to reduce load on memory

            D.        Psychodynamic

  1. Personality characteristics predispose tocreativity
  2. Resolution of conflicts promotes creativity

            E.        Humanistic

  1. Creativity is a developmental force
  2. Safety of environments promotes creativity        

    Notes on “Creativity” by Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi

Setting the Stage

            A.         A creative idea or product arises from the synergy of many sources, not just one creative mind  (the idea of field)

            B.         It’s easier to enhance creativity by changing the environment than by changing the individual  (again, the field)

            C.        A genuinely creative idea is NOT the result of a sudden insight, but comes after years of hard work

            D.        Creativity is mysterious and strange

            E.         We are more alive (fulfilled) when we are being creative

            F.         Everything of import is the result of creativity—it is what really distinguishes us from apes

            G.        Creativity is the result of the interaction of three elements:

1.         The culture or field

2.         The domain of knowledge, techniques—the symbol system of the culture—what the experts think is going on

3.         The person

            H.         Creativity is cultural evolution—the cultural equivalent of genetic evolution

            I.          Define creativity as a process by which a cultural change (in the symbols of the domain) takes place

            J.         To improve creativity, we need to increase attention to change processes and lower the attention required, given to the contradictory instinct of conservation, self-preservation—“keep it the same”—“basic survival”

            K.         Interviews help us understand the process, so we can assist people involved in creative work directly and, indirectly, to help everyone benefit from creative enterprises


From:    Covington, M.V., Crutchfield, R.S., Davies, L., & Olton, R.M. (1960). The Productive Thinking Program. Columbus, OH: Charles Merrill.

I.          Discovery and formulating problems

                        A. Being sensitive to problems and puzzling phenomena

                        B. Determining the real problem

                        C. Formulating the problem in workable terms

                        D. Reflecting on the problem

                        E. Keeping an open mind--not jumping to conclusions

                        F. Being planful--laying out systematic steps for problem attack

II.          Organizing and making use of information

                        A. Getting the known facts well in mind

                        B. Classifying information

                        C. Distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant data

                        D. Deciding what additional data are needed

                        E. Inquiring--asking fruitful, fact-finding questions

                        F. Drawing inferences--reasoning and analyzing

                        G. Reviewing the facts

III.         Generating ideas

                        A. Thinking of many possibilities

                        B. Searching by systematic scanning of problem elements

                        C. Searching by systematic outline of possible solutions

                        D. Using similarities, analogies, and metaphors

                        E. Thinking of appropriate but unusual ideas

                        F. Creating hypotheses that account economically for a puzzling set of facts

IV.        Evaluating and improving ideas

                        A. Checking ideas against available facts

                        B. Experimenting--devising ways to test hypotheses

                        C. Decision-making: selecting the best ideas and plans

                        D. Seeing implications of ideas and considering consequences

                        E. Elaborating--bringing ideas to full development

                        F. Modifying--changing a good idea to make it even better

V.         Creating new perspectives

                        A. Reformulating--looking at problems in new ways

                        B. Seeing problems and issues from the viewpoint of others

                        C. Combining ideas into new and surprising forms

                        D. Transforming unlikely ideas into productive possibilities

Some Suggestions for Increasing Your Creative Problem Solving

A.        Make lists...of things that bug you, of unfinished tasks, of things to do, of ideas you have...any time, day or night

B.        Think of alternatives...never stop at “just one” idea, just one way of doing something

C.        Do something different: reading a different kind of book, visiting a different place, meeting new people, seeing a different kind of movie

D.        Make time in your daily schedule to “just think”, to incubate, to relax and “do nothing”; practice meditation, take long walks, etc.

E.        Try drawing or painting, creating music, writing poetry or short stories, taking pictures, “acting”, etc.,  to express an idea

F.         Buy different kinds of gifts for birthdays, holidays, etc.

G.        Ask what would happen if the rules were changed

H.        Solve puzzles

I.          Talk to someone about your ideas

J.         Take a course, go to a lecture; get training in CPS

K.        Learn a new dance, practice a new skill

M.        Learn and use a second language

Continua >>>>>