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Gaia College Research Journal, 2022, Vol. 1

Fuchs, A. (2022). Thinking out of the BOX - Creative thinkers as the innovative engine of society and the price they may pay for it. Gaia College Research Journal, Vol. 1, 1-5.

Creativity and society, the basic problem

Society is a kind of stable state of communication between people. Explaining this, one can immediately understand the basic problem of creativity and society. It is the creative potential to find a way to challenge the stable states of society and perhaps change some of its foundations. What makes this situation even more difficult is the recognition of how important creativity is to our cognitive abilities as individuals.

A short history of creativity history and social evolution

The scientific interest in creativity is found in various academic research disciplines such as psychology, business administration, cognitive science, education, technology, engineering, philosophy, sociology, linguistics, economics, geography, archaeology, art, and mathematics. These disciplines address the relationships between creativity and general intelligence, personality types, mental and neural processes, mental health, artificial intelligence, fostering potential through education and training, spatial change, and cultural evolution.

It is argued that the notion of "creativity" originated in Western cultures through Christianity as a matter of divine inspiration (Runco & Albert, 2010). The early Western conception of creativity was the Biblical creation story presented in Genesis (Albert & Runco, 1999). In this tradition, humans were not considered to have the ability to create something new except as an expression of God's activity (Niu & Sternberg, 2006).

A concept similar to Christianity existed in Greek culture. For instance, Muses were seen as mediating inspiration from the Gods (Dacey, 1999). Most ancient cultures, including Ancient Greece (Tatarkiewicz, 2012, 244), China, and India (Albert & Runco, 1999), lacked creativity, seeing art as a form of discovery and not creation. The ancient Greeks had no expressions analogous to "create" or "creator" except for the expression "poiein" ("to make"), which only applied to the poietes (poet, or the "maker"). Plato also did not see art as a form of creation. He asks in The Republic, "Will we say, of a painter, that he makes something?", and answers, "Certainly not, he merely imitates" (Tatarkiewicz, 2012).

Romans and Greeks invoked the concept of an external creative "daemon" (Greek) or "genius" (Latin), linked to the sacred or the divine. However, none of these views are similar to the modern concept of creativity. So, the individual was not seen as the cause of what he had created.

The word "create" appeared in English as early as the 14th century to indicate divine creation. However, its modern meaning as an act of human creation did not emerge until after the Enlightenment. During the Renaissance, creativity was first seen, not as a conduit for the divine, but from "great men" activity (Albert & Runco, 1999).

In 1926 Wallas proposed one of the first complete creative process models, consisting of the four-stage process of Preparation or saturation, Incubation, Illumination, and Verification, which remains highly cited in scholarly works on creativity (Wallas, 1926).

What is creativity, what is the creative item, and what is innovation?

Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is formed. Mumford (2003, 110) suggested that "Over the last decade, we seem to have reached a general agreement that creativity involves the production of a novel, useful products". in Sternberg's words, creativity is the production of "something original and worthwhile". Although scholars have diverged dramatically in their precise definitions beyond these general commonalities, Meusburger (2009) estimates that over a hundred different definitions that can be found in the literature, typically elaborating on the context, like field, organization, environment, which determines the originality and/or appropriateness of the created object, and the processes through which it came about. As an illustration, one definition is given by Torrance (1966) description estimating an individual's creative ability explained as "a process of becoming sensitive to problems, deficiencies, gaps in knowledge, missing elements, disharmonies; identifying the difficulty; searching for solutions, making guesses, or formulating hypotheses about the deficiencies: testing and retesting these hypotheses and possibly modifying and retesting them; and finally communicating the results".

The created item may be intangible - idea, scientific theory, musical composition, or a joke; emotional - a pattern of cognitive abilities and personality traits related to originality in emotional experience (Averill, 1999; Ivcevic, Brackett, & Mayer, 2007); or a physical object - invention, printed literary work, or a painting.

Innovation is usually distinguished from creativity stress upon implementation because innovation requires implementation, either by being put into active use or made available for use by other parties, firms, individuals, or organizations. Amabile & Pratt (2016) define creativity as producing novel and valuable ideas and innovation as implementing them.

Why are some people more creative than others?

Boden (2004, 14–15) claimed that creative persons are gifted with unique, innate talents and capacities that others lack and that creativity is a gift or innate talent that cannot be acquired or taught. Creativity researchers investigate why some people are more creative than others. Some of the earliest case studies on famous scientists addressed the importance of parents, peer groups, teachers, and fortuitous events for creative persons (e.g., Candolle, 1873; Ellis, 1926; Ostwald, 1909). However, most researchers have focused on various aspects, but mostly the dominant theory is Rhodes's (1961) "four Ps" — Process, Product, Person, and Place.

The Process is shown in cognitive approaches that describe thought mechanisms and techniques for creative thinking, divergent rather than convergent thinking (Guilford, 1967), or those describing the staging of the creative process (Wallas, 1926) are primarily theories of the creative process. Creative Products usually appear in attempts to measure creativity (psychometrics, see below) and in creative ideas framed as successful memes (Gabora, 1997). The psychometric approach to creativity reveals that it also involves the ability to produce more. Creative Person considers more general intellectual habits, such as openness, levels of ideation, autonomy, expertise, exploratory behavior, etc. (Sternberg, 2011). The Place considers the circumstances in which creativity flourishes, such as degrees of autonomy, access to resources, and the nature of gatekeepers. Creative lifestyles are characterized by nonconforming attitudes and behaviors as well as flexibility (Sternberg, 2011; Fuchs, 2021).


  • Albert, R. S. & Runco, M. A. (1999). A History of Research on Creativity. In Sternberg, R. J. (ed.). Handbook of Creativity.

  • Albert, R. S.; Runco, M. A. (1999). A History of Research on Creativity. in Sternberg, R. J. (Ed.). . Handbook of Creativity. Cambridge University Press.

  • Amabile, T. M., & Pratt, M. G. (2016). The dynamic componential model of creativity and innovation in organizations: Making progress, making meaning. Research in Organizational Behavior, 36, 157-183.

  • Averill, J. R. (1999). Individual differences in emotional creativity: Structure and correlates. Journal of Personality, 67(2), 331-371.

  • Boden, M. A. (2004). The creative mind: Myths and mechanisms. Routledge.

  • Dacey, J. (1999). Concepts of creativity: A history. Encyclopedia of creativity, 1, 309-322.

  • Gabora, L. (1997). The origin and evolution of culture and creativity. Journal of Memetics: Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission, 1(1), 1-28.

  • Guilford, J. P. (1967). The Nature of Human Intelligence. McGraw Hill.‏

  • Ivcevic, Z., Brackett, M. A., & Mayer, J. D. (2007). Emotional intelligence and emotional creativity. Journal of Personality, 75(2), 199-236.

  • Meusburger, P. (2009). The role of places, environments, and spatial contexts. In Meusburger, P., Funke, J., & Wunder, E. (Eds.). Milieus of Creativity: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Spatiality of Creativity (Vol. 2). Dordrecht: Springer Science & Business Media, 97-153.

  • Mumford, M. D. (2003). Where have we been, where are we going? Taking stock in creativity research. Creativity Research Journal, 15(2-3), 107-120.

  • Niu, W., & Sternberg, R. J. (2006). The philosophical roots of Western and Eastern conceptions of creativity. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 26(1-2), 18.

  • Rhodes, M. (1961). An analysis of creativity. The Phi Delta Kappan, 42(7), 305-310.

  • Runco, M. A., & Albert, R. S. (2010). Creativity research: A historical view. in Kaufman, J. C., & Sternberg, R. J. (Eds.). The Cambridge handbook of creativity. Cambridge University Press.

  • Sternberg, R. J. (2011). Creativity. in Sternberg, R. J., Sternberg, K., & Mio, J. (Eds.). Cognitive psychology. Cengage Learning Press.

  • Tatarkiewicz, W. (2012). A history of six ideas: An essay in aesthetics (Vol. 5). Springer Science & Business Media.

  • Torrance, E. P. (1966). Verbal Tests. Forms A and B - Figural Tests. The Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking-Norms-Technical Manual Research Edition. Princeton. New Jersey: Personnel Press.

  • Wallas, G. (1926). The Art of Thought. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Compan.

  • Fuchs, H. (2021). Attitudes of parents and children towards people with disabilities and their integration into society. Kultura-Społeczeństwo-Edukacja, 20(2), 91-109.

Item Type: Workshop Item

(Paper) URI: 3005.pdf

Item ID: 3005

Department(s): Faculty of Education, Gaia College

Date: 29 January, 2022

Date Type: Completion 5p.

Geographic Location: Israel

Related URLs: Publisher

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