Chapter 17: Creative thinking: processes, strategies and knowledge
When we undertake work on a new topic we must ask ourselves what at first appears to be a straightforward question – what am I working on? For creativity researchers this seemingly straightforward question has proven difficult to answer (Hennessey & Amabile, 2010). Examining the history of creativity research we see many different proposed answers to this question. Guilford (1950) argued that students of creativity are trying to understand a special form of performance. Other scholars have posited that we are seeking to understand the outcomes of exceptional talent (e.g., Terman & Oden, 1959). Still other researchers have argued that we are seeking to understand eminent professional achievement (e.g., MacKinnon, 1962). Although all three of these approaches to understanding creativity have been employed at different points in time, as the field matures (Mumford, 2003) we have begun to see a consensus definition emerge.
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