Divergent Thinking (Creativity Research)

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The paper brings into discussion the recent work of Veronica Roth, the trilogy Divergent that comprises Divergent , Insurgent and Allegiant Mostafa A. Creativity and working memory are academic and professional success markers. Paradoxically, correlational studies do not always find associations between these constructs; some studies show positive associations between them and others Paradoxically, correlational studies do not always find associations between these constructs; some studies show positive associations between them and others show negative associ ations.

Probably, the contradictory findings arise from different parameters, because of that it is important to identify them in order to have a more coherent understanding of this relationship. Thus, this systematic literature review aimed to answer the questions: "What is the relationship between working memory and creativity? Do update and serial recall mnemonic processes also interfere in the production of convergent or divergent thinking?

Divergent Thinking and Learning

Despite the methodological variability between the selected studies, the results found suggest association s between working memory and creativity, which are explained by the attentional, inhibitory, analytical and motivational processes involved. A systematic review of these studies concluded that the characteristics of experimental tasks to study creativity and working memory used can influence the results of this association. It is also possible to infer that working memory overload can impair creative performance.

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This task allows assessing chronological and chronometric aspects of the creative process directly and This task allows assessing chronological and chronometric aspects of the creative process directly and without a detour through creative products or proxy phenomena. In a study with participants we show that a people spend more time attending to selected vs. Creativity, meant as the ability to produce novel, original and suitable ideas, has received increased attention by research in the last years, especially from neuroaesthetics and social neuroscience.

Besides the research conducted on the Besides the research conducted on the neural correlates of such capacities, previous work tried to answer the question of whether it is possible to enhance creativity through cognitive and neural stimulation. In particular, transcranial direct current stimulation tDCS has been applied to increase neuronal excitability in those areas related to creativity. However, being a complex construct that applies to a huge variety of situations, available results are often confusing and inconsistent.

Thus, in the present critical review, after selecting original research articles investigating creativity with tDCS, results will be reviewed and framed according to the different effects of tDCS and its underlying mechanisms, which can be defined as follows: the promotion of self-focused attention; the disruption of inhibiting mechanisms; the enhancement of creative thinking; the promotion of artistic enactment.

Creativity has been defined by some scholars as humankind's ultimate resource Toynbee, It is traditionally considered a mere outcome of an individual's genius, a gift, and a personality trait. Consequently, the interpretation that emerged in relation to this topic tended to consider creativity as something given without a reason, even genetically predetermined, and thus far from objective and systematic comprehension Batey and Furnham, However, such ideas deal only with the first of the four points that Rhodes suggested for a complete framing of creativity.

According to his proposal, it is possible to conceptualize creativity on the importance given to: a the person who creates; b the cognitive processes involved in the creation of ideas; c the environment in which creativity occurs; and d the outcome of the creative activity. Besides the specific focus on these different contributions to the phenomenon, it is also important to consider the multifaceted expressions of creativity, from artistic enactment, to scientific progress, and to problem-solving.

Therefore, although there is a great interest dedicated to this issue, it is still difficult to define and study creativity in a comprehensive way. The most accepted definition that can be easily applied to all contexts proposes a double requirement for creativity: originality and usefulness Barron, Moreover, different perspectives proposed creativity Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience www.

Claudio Lucchiari. The neural underpinnings of cross-cultural differences in creativity. Whereas Western individualistic cultures emphasize uniqueness, collectivistic East-Asian cultures discourage it. Here we examined whether cross-cultural differences in creativity as measured by a task of divergent thinking DT are Here we examined whether cross-cultural differences in creativity as measured by a task of divergent thinking DT are explained by enhanced activity in brain regions that mediate inhibitory control e.

Israelis generated more original ideas compared to South Koreans. In line with previous studies, the results indicate that generation of original ideas across cultures is associated with activation of the posterior cingulate cortex PCC , which is part of the default mode network DMN. This enhanced activation was associated with lower originality scores. The cultural dimension of traditionalism, being higher in the South Korean sample than in the Israeli Sample, was related to enhance L-IFG activity, further supporting our hypothesis regarding cultural influences on inhibitory control.

The results suggest that cross-cultural differences in creativity might be explained by variations in inhibitory control. Oded Kleinmintz. Participation of the left inferior frontal gyrus in human originality. Human creative cognition is commonly described as a twofold cyclic process that involves an idea generation phase and an idea evaluation phase.

Although the evaluation phase makes a crucial contribution to originality, its underlying Although the evaluation phase makes a crucial contribution to originality, its underlying mechanisms have not received sufficient research attention. To examine the neural networks that mediate the generation and evaluation of ideas, we conducted an fMRI experiment on a group of healthy human participants Study 1 , in which we compared an idea generation task to an idea evaluation task. We found that evaluating the originality of ideas is indeed associated with a relative increase in lIFG activation, as opposed to generating original ideas.

We further showed that temporarily inhibiting the lIFG using continuous theta-burst stimulation Study 2 results in less strict evaluation on the one hand and increased originality scores on the other. Albert Eds. Theories of creativity pp. Newbury Park CA: Sage. Mumford M. Problem construction and cognition: Applying problem representations in ill-defined domains. In: Runco M ed. Problem finding problem solving and creativity pp.

Norwood NJ: Ablex. Okuda S. Runco M. Creativity and the finding and solving of real-world problems.

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Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment 9 Plucker J. Predicting ideational behavior from divergent thinking and discretionary time on task. Creativity Research Journal 18 Divergent thinking. Creativity and education. New Horizons in Education 56 Divergent thinking and creative potential. Cresskill NJ: Hampton Press. Do tests of divergent thinking have an experiential bias?

Psychology of Art Creativity and Aesthetics 4 The reliability and validity of ideational originality in the divergent thinking of academically gifted and nongifted children. Educational and Psychological Measurement 45 Dow G. Information experience divergent thinking: An empirical test. Illies J. Explicit instructions to be creative and original: A comparison of strategies and criteria as targets with three types of divergent thinking tests. Korean Journal of Thinking and Problem Solving 15 The standard definition of creativity.

Creativity Research Journal 24 Problem discovery divergent thinking and the creative process. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 17 Development and psychometric integrity of a measure of ideational behavior. Creativity Research Journal 13 Environmental cues and divergent thinking. Runco Ed. Divergent thinking pp. Torrance E. Journal of Creative Behavior 6 — As the selection of the SNPs was based on a broader scope considering the creativity-related cognitive functions and capabilities, our results provide new information for the genetic influences on creativity.

Creative Thinking Challenge: Divergent Thinking in Stormboards

Previous studies on the genetic basis of creativity have mainly focused on the biological mechanisms of divergent thinking, consequently limiting the exploration of possible candidate genes. By broadening the scope to include cognition-related genes, our result revealed the association between rs in KATNAL2 gene and the UUT performances on the fluency and the originality components. The production of this gene is a protein similar to the sub-unit A of the p60 katanin protein, to which axonal growth is sensitive Karabay et al.

Alternatively, rs might affect creativity through the medium effect of its relating conscientiousness personality De Moor et al. However, none of the four SNPs reported in previous studies rs, rs, rs, and rs showed significant influences on divergent thinking scores. This discrepancy needs to be addressed in future studies, for example, by having a more complete recording of the demographic information of the participants for a more detailed comparison between studies.

Nevertheless, the present study provided evidences on additional SNPs that contribute to divergent thinking. In contrast to the insight problem tasks, RAT was used in the present study, which is believed to be a more direct measurement of convergent thinking. The rs in SNAP25, however, has not been reported in previous creativity-related studies. It is suggested that high levels of expression of this gene in specific areas of the adult brain are related to nerve terminal plasticity Oyler et al.

Furthermore, the genetic variants in SNAP25 have been found associated with cognitive ability Gosso et al. Since creativity is a complex cognitive process, these discoveries provided hints for the relation between rs and creativity. Moreover, rs has been reported to be related to neuroticism, which was proposed to be negatively related to creativity as well Furnham et al.

Divergent Thinking: The Mental Muscle Behind Consistent Creativity | Nick Wignall

Most importantly, we found distinct SNPs for divergent and convergent thinking, suggesting possible different genetic mechanisms behind the two processes. Such a finding is in accordance with a variety of psychological and physiological studies. Therefore, our finding could be viewed as complementary to previous studies, providing the first piece of evidence toward distinct genetic mechanisms for the two creative thinking processes. There are several limitations of the present study. First, the sample size is relatively small.

The limited sample size have restricted the number of variables to be simultaneously explored, for example, the interaction between different genes, the influence of personality on genes, etc. Second, all participants were Chinese students, therefore the findings need to be interpreted with caution, especially when considering people of different races. Third, the 19 SNPs were selected considering their potential contribution to creativity-related cognitive functions and capabilities. A more comprehensive understanding of the genetic basis of creativity would require GWAS with possibly a much larger population.

Taking a cognition-based perspective, the present study investigated the genetic basis for both the divergent and the convergent thinking components of creativity. Three SNPs rs, rs, and rs out of the selected 19 SNPs were found to be associated with creativity. Divergent and convergent thinking capabilities were related to distinct contributing SNPs.

Our results provide new evidence for the genetic basis of creativity and reveal the important role of gene polymorphisms in divergent and convergent thinking. Examinees were asked to list as many possible uses for common prompts as they can.

How Does the Brain-Body Connection Affect Creativity?

Four independent coders two for each prompt blind to the identity of participants were invited to code the answers together, with discrepancies resolved by consensus. For each prompt, two coders simplified the answers by cutting unnecessary particles. Impossible uses and incomprehensible expressions were excluded while performing the coding. Another two coders one for each prompt were then invited to categorize the coded answers according to a predetermined catalog Qun, The final score is obtained by calculating the sum of the z-score of the two prompts, which composes three components: fluency, flexibility, and originality.

Participants were required to come up with the word associated with three presented words that appeared to be semantically unrelated. The Chinese version of RAT provided standard answers for reference. The score of RAT was defined as the number of items where a participant reached the single, correct answer. In the present study, a time limit of 5 min was given to all participants for 15 items.

It is composed of a series of matrices with the lower right corner missing.

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Participants are required to choose the correct answer from eight alternatives provided below to fill the matric. The complete APM includes two sets. The difficulty of 12 problems constituting Set I is equivalent to problems in the Standard Progressive Matrices, whereas the difficulty of 36 problems in Set II is greater.


All problems are arranged such that the difficulty increases progressively. In this study, two problems from Set I were used as a practice, and participants answered all 36 problems from Set II in 40 min to assess intellectual efficiency. CAQ is a self-report checklist of creativity in 10 different domains.

This part of data was not used in the present study and will be used elsewhere. The participants that failed in this item were excluded from data analysis. Common use cases Typos, corrections needed, missing information, abuse, etc. Our promise PeerJ promises to address all issues as quickly and professionally as possible.

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