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Creativity Powered By Docstoc
          What is creativity?
• The problem with creativity is that we know
  it when we see it, but it is hard to define.

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                     Creative stuff

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Frank Lloyd Wright

                                                               Charles Darwin
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                                                          Michael Jordan
      Creativity and Cognition
• Creativity involves generation of new ideas
• Boden
  – p-creativity: A new idea for a person
     • A person may come to a new realization
  – h-creativity: A new idea historically
     • Novel inventions are h-creative
• Most of what we think of as creative is an
  example of h-creativity.
  – h-creativity can be studied historically
     • You do not know when a creative event will happen
  – p-creativity can be studied
• We saw the dangers of looking at h-
  creativity when we talked about insight.
  – There are many myths that grow up around
    great inventions.
  – The significance of inventions is not realized
    until much later
     • Stories must be told in retrospect.
     • People tend to dramatize the story.
• Most creative acts are rather mundane
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  – Invention is 99% perspiration and            Photo - JPEG decompressor
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    1% inspiration.
       -Thomas Alva Edison
                                    Incremental invention
       • Sewing machines
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Invented in 1848
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    Why is invention incremental?
• How can a creative idea come about?
• It must be related to existing ideas
  – Otherwise, how would people think it up?
  – How could it be implemented?
     • What does it mean for an idea to be ahead of its time?
  – A creative idea must be comprehensible to others
     • What good is an invention that nobody wants?
• Suggests that existing ideas may constrain
                   New inventions
   • Innovative inventions are often based on
     known products.

Early railroad cars were designed like stagecoaches on tracks.
   •Engineer and brakeman were not moved inside until later.
   •Stagecoaches were a good solution to initial problems
   •Other problems were not discovered until later.
• In order to understand creative invention better,
  use college students.
• The ideas may not be h-creative
  – The same processes may be at work.
• Questions:
  – Are creative ideas influenced by existing concepts?
  – What will make people more creative?
  – How should creativity be judged?
  Creativity and
• Draw an animal that
  does not exist.
   – Ward
   – Karmiloff-Smith                QuickTime™ and a
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Novel animals have many
properties of real animals
   •Often have bilateral
   •Sense organs on head
   •Similar sense organs to
  Where do examples come from?
• People select common concepts as examples
  – They seem to use specific items
  – When asked to create novel intelligent beings
     • Animals typically walk upright
     • Animals typically have two arms and two legs
     • People seem to be using humans as a basis.
• Effect not limited to college students.

                                             Even sci-fi authors
                                             and movies seem
                                             to have the same
What makes people more creative?
 • A paradox
   – People access categories when being creative
   – Categories are retrieved on the basis of cues
     during the creative process
   – The more cues available, the more access
   – More specific situations lead to less creativity.
   – Forcing people into strange situations can lead
     to higher levels of creativity
                     An example
• Four conditions.
  – Pick a category of
    invention and pick parts
  – Parts assigned; pick
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  – Both category and parts
• Creativity of inventions
  increases as you move
  down this list
               Social Factors
• Creativity is fostered by an environment
  – Creativity must be valued by a community
  – Creativity is shaped by those who evaluate it
     • Creator (the individual)
        – Individuals must be experts
     • Domain (what is being worked on)
     • Field (the collaborators, colleagues, and audience)
             Group creativity
• Brainstorming
  – Are N minds better than one?
  – Often not
     • Groups often come up with a smaller number of
       possible solutions than the individuals would alone
     • One person’s output interferes with other people’s
     • Growing conformity within a group
        – Sherif studies of the autokinetic effect

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