Seminar in Cognitive Science
Note: In class I erroneously said that the reading for this week was ch. 4, but we'll stick with the syllabus.
Week 3: Explanations of Creativity
Why we shouldn't worry much about defining creativity
- Important scientific concepts often lack precise definitions, e.g. force, species.
- Exemplars of creativity: Einstein, Beethhoven, Picasso, etc.
- Prototypical features of creativity: new (novel, original, suprising) and important (useful, valuable, relevant, appropriate, adaptive).
- Explanatory uses of creativity: to be developed as part of a theory of creativity based on psychological, neural, and social mechanisms. Such a theory (along with the exemplars) would answer the question of whether creativity is intentional.
The person-group problem
How are neuropsychological mechanisms in individuals interconnected with social mechanisms of creativity?
Creativity in machines and non-human animals
Rare, but not impossible.
Creativity and innovation in business (Raynor: Innovator's Manifesto)
Business innovation = technological invention + social innovation?
Disruptive innovation: identify new market segment of little interest to dominant companies.
Questions about creative cognition (ch. 5)
- How are anecdotal and laboratory procedures complementary for investigating creativity?
- How does conceptual combination contribute to creativity?
- What is the nature of the concepts that get combined?
- How does analogy contribute?
- How does culture contribute?
- What other cognitive processes contribute to creativity?
Questions about personality (ch. 6)
- Is personality the "relatively enduring unique ways that individuals think, act, and feel"?
- Is Feist's model of the creative personality accurate?
- How much of creativity results from personality, rather than e.g. intelligence?
- Is creativity a brain process?
- Why are openness and confidence important for creativity?
- What motivational and emotional traits are most important for creativity?
- Are creative people likely to be psychotic? Manic-depressive?
This page updated Sept. 26, 2011