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 29: Creative encounters and collaborative agency in science, technology and innovation

Reijo Miettinen


The breakthrough of innovation policy in the 1990s made creativity relevant in a new way. Traditionally the problem of creativity used to be one of understanding the ‘geniuses’, exceptional individuals or cultural heroes who were able to contribute to science and art. This elitist concept of creativity reflected the society of the time in which only small groups of people were involved in creative activities. The Industrial and Technological Revolutions introduced us to inventors such as Watt and Edison who were also characterized in public as cultural heroes capable of changing the world. It was not until the 1950s that the idea of creativity was recognized as a resource for economic and political development that should be systematically developed. In 1950, J.P. Guilford (1950) set two tasks for creativity studies in his presidential address to the American Psychological Association. The first task was to recognize creative talents, to be achieved by developing tests that measured the creative traits of individuals. The second task was to develop technologies of creative thinking and decision-making.

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