Creativity, ordinary thinking, and the cultures of creativity research. [Review of the book Creativity: Understanding innovation in problem solving, science, invention, and the arts.]

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:

Abstract: Among science’s many joys is the devilish joy of contrarianism. It’s a special treat to read a book that goes against conventional wisdom and that reinterprets past work in light of a new theory. Robert Weisberg’s hefty, heterodox Creativity is a major work for the psychology of creativity. Weisberg’s book appears in the same year as another textbook on creativity, Sawyer’s (2006) Explaining Creativity. These books are naturally compared: they integrate a vast body of thought, show a level of scholarship that surpasses the typical textbook, and adopt contrary perspectives on the nature of creativity. Sawyer presents a grand integration rooted in sociocultural “confluence models” of creativity, concluding that cognitive and intrapersonal approaches never fulfilled their promise. Weisberg, in contrast, presents a grand integration rooted in cognitive psychology, concluding that confluence models misunderstand how people think creatively. The rift between these books reflects two cultures in the psychology of creativity: the psychology of eminent “Big C” creativity, and the psychology of everyday “little c” creativity.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2007
psychology, creativity, academic research, creativity research, cognitive psychology

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