Edited by Kerry Thomas and Janet Chan
Chapter 21: The role of inhibition and perception in artistic creativity: a cognitive explanation
There are now abundant theories on how the creative process takes place. Such theories are important because they help us to reduce the complex, multifaceted process of creativity down into manageable parts, allowing us to understand and conceptualize the process, and possibly even lead to some predictions and applications, such as helping people to be more creative, or to explain why they are not. In this chapter I propose one theory that lies most comfortably in the emergent field of research called creative cognition (Finke, Ward, & Smith, 1992), although strongly interconnected with aesthetics, and in particular with understanding the processing of ill-defined problems frequently found in the arts – such as painting a picture, writing a novel, or composing a piece of music (the latter being the main focus of this chapter). I only occasionally refer to some of the other theories, many of which have been reviewed elsewhere (e.g., Aldous, 2007; Csikszentmihalyi, 1997; Kozbelt, Beghetto, & Runco, 2010; Runco, 2007).
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