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ERIC Number: EJ1088503
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1040-0419
Taking the U.S. Patent Office Criteria Seriously: A Quantitative Three-Criterion Creativity Definition and Its Implications
Simonton, Dean Keith
Creativity Research Journal, v24 n2-3 p97-106 2012
Although creativity has recently attracted considerable theoretical and empirical research, researchers have yet to reach a consensus on how best to define the phenomenon. To help establish a consensus, a definition is proposed that is based on the three criteria used by the United States Patent Office to evaluate applications for patent protection. The modified version uses the criteria of novelty, utility, and surprise. Moreover, creativity assessments based on these three criteria are quantitative and multiplicative rather than qualitative or additive. This three-criterion definition then leads to four implications regarding (a) the limitations to domain-specific expertise, (b) the varieties of comparable creativities, (c) the contrast between subjective and objective evaluations, and (d) the place of blind variation and selective retention in the creative process. These implications prove that adding the third criterion has critical consequences for understanding the phenomenon. Creativity is not only treated with superior sophistication, but also paradoxes that appear using the most common two-criterion definition readily disappear when the third criterion is included in the analysis. Hence, the conceptual differences between two- and three-criterion definitions are not trivial.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A