ERIC Number: ED317947
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jan
Cognitive Processes in Creativity. Occasional Paper No. 18.
Hayes, John R.
What are creative people like? There is evidence that four personality traits appear to differentiate more creative from less creative people: devotion to work, independence, drive for originality, and flexibility. Creative people do not have higher intelligence quotients (IQs) or get better school grades than others--in fact, no cognitive abilities have been identified which reliably distinguish between creative and non-creative people. All of the variables which discriminate between creative and non-creative people are motivational. What cognitive factors are involved in creative acts? Years of preparation are essential for creative activity in many fields. Goal setting is the critical element in many creative acts. Other factors are: choosing good problem representations, defining good problems in ill-defined problem situations, accurately evaluating the shortcomings of your own work, and taking effective action to revise these shortcomings. The failure of cognitive ability measures such as IQ to predict creative performance indicates that creative performance has its origin not in innate cognitive abilities but rather in the motivation of the creative person. That is, differences in creativity have their origin in differences in motivation. Over a period of time, these differences in motivation cause cognitive differences (such as the acquisition of extensive knowledge) which contribute in critical ways to creative performance. These motivational and cognitive differences jointly account for the observed differences between creative and non-creative individuals, but the origin is in motivation, not in cognition. (Forty-one references are attached.) (SR)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Study of Writing, Berkeley, CA.; Center for the Study of Writing, Pittsburgh, PA.
Note: Also appears in Glover, J.A., Ed., and Others. Handbook of Creativity, Assessment, Research, and Theory. New York, Plenum Publishing Corporation, 1989.