Discernment and creativity: How well can people identify their most creative ideas?

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paul Silvia, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Some ideas should never see the light of day. It shouldn't surprise us that someone thought of selling artificial testicles for neutered dogs, measuring the emotions of vegetables, or drinking urine to treat cancer: we all have some misses along with our hits. What is more startling is that the creator thought the idea was a hit, that it was good enough to refine, develop, and present to the world at large. Discernment—the ability to evaluate the creativity of one's ideas—is an important part of theories of creativity. Sociocultural theories distinguish between having an idea, which is easy, and developing an idea so that the domain's gatekeepers and audience accept it, which is hard (Sawyer, 2006; Sternberg, 2006). Cognitive theories contrast creating ideas (divergent thinking) with evaluating and revising ideas (convergent and evaluative thinking; Cropley, 2006; Runco & Smith, 1992). Darwinian theories distinguish between processes that generate a lot of ideas and processes that selectively retain the best ideas (Simonton, 1999).

Additional Information

Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 2(3), 139-146
Language: English
Date: 2008
Discernment, Creativity, Idea generation

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