About this Research Topic
As early as Maslow, creativity has been connected with self-actualization. Whether we are creative on an intrapersonal level, an eminent level, or somewhere in between, we exhibit our uniqueness and make our world just a bit different (and hopefully better!). But what, exactly, does it mean to be "creative"? Is it a person who is creative? The process? The product? There are many ways in which we can view and analyze the nature of being "creative," and this Research Topic focuses on creating a comprehensive conception of what creativity is, and we seek papers covering empirical research that address one or more of the topics/sets of questions below.
The creative person. We can look at creativity as it resides in the person. What makes someone a creative person? One possibility is development, including socialization, parenting, schooling, and the like. Personality can also be a factor, whether nature or nurtured. Perhaps there are life experiences that incite people to have a tendency to exhibit more creativity. Or, creativity may just go hand-in-hand with maturity.
The act of creation. Creativity is also an action -- the process through which one creates. How does that process work, and what makes it more or less effective? How do factors like field, expertise, practice, and general aptitude factor in? It is possible that there is a generic creative ability or process that can be used or followed across domains, or that creativity is domain-specific, or both.
Measuring creativity. A product can also be creative, but how would we know that? Some degrees of creativity are easily recognized by a wide range of people, while others can be known only by those with experience and/or expertise in the domain. There are sociocultural factors that affect our assessment, as well as [weighted] characteristics of the product like novelty, usefulness, et cetera.
Environments conducive to the creative process (especially the workplace). It is also important to consider the environmental factors that are most conducive to developing creative people and fostering creative production. With the advent of the knowledge era, it is increasingly important to hire creative people in wide array of jobs, and also to enable and empower employees to engage in creative processes and make creative products. Creativity occurs in other contexts, as well, especially in the arts, sports, and other forms of leisure, and it is similarly important to know what promotes creativity in these realms.
Integrated/Cross-Disciplinary conceptions of creativity. How is creativity measured and assessed? This often depends upon the lens through which we view creativity, and also upon the definition(s) we use. We might take multiple conceptions into account at once, or we might focus in on a single context and domain. With so many possibilities, an important question is how we can make sense of all of the findings about creativity and use them to develop and test our understanding in spite of these differences. Perhaps, in aggregate, we can understand not just the nature of creativity, but of self-actualization.
Keywords: creativity, innovation, aesthetics, insight, motivation, emotion
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