Handbook of Research on Creativity
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Handbook of Research on Creativity

Edited by Kerry Thomas and Janet Chan

In this timely work, creativity is not defined by an ideal, rather it encompasses a range of theories, functions, characteristics, processes, products and practices that are associated with the generation of novel and useful outcomes suited to particular social, cultural and political contexts. Chapters present original research by international scholars from a wide range of disciplines including history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, cultural studies, education, economics and interdisciplinary studies. Their research investigates creativity in diverse fields including art, creative industries, aesthetics, design, new media, music, arts education, science, engineering and technology.
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Chapter 13: Understanding malevolent creativity

David H. Cropley, James C. Kaufman and Arthur J. Cropley


Creativity has traditionally been seen as involving the “four Ps” (e.g., Rhodes, 1961): person, process, product, and “press” (i.e., the social context). These constitute, as it were, the public face of creativity. Guilford himself (1950) referred to the need for creativity to lead to something useful. Other early writers also emphasized the necessity of including products in discussions of creativity (e.g., Clifford, 1958; Gordon, 1961; Rossman, 1931). More recently, the emphasis on creative products was put with particular vigor by Bailin (1988, p. 5): “The only coherent way in which to view creativity is in terms of the production of valuable products.” The idea of “product” should be understood in a broad way: Products are often tangible, and may take the form of works of art, musical compositions, or written documents, or of machines, buildings, or other physical structures such as bridges and the like.

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