Handbook of Research Methods on Intuition
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Handbook of Research Methods on Intuition

Edited by Marta Sinclair

How does one go about studying intuition – a complex, cross-disciplinary field, which is still developing? How can intuition be captured in situ? How can a researcher harness their own intuition? This book uses method-related themes to help answer these questions and explore innovative developments in intuition research.
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Chapter 18: Researching intuition in personal creativity

Marc Stierand and Viktor Dörfler


Personal creativity can be explained as the ability to (re)interpret experience of the objective world into ideas that are both original and useful (Runco, 1996), regardless of whether this (re)interpretation process is conscious or unconscious (see Dijksterhuis & Meurs, 2006), intentional or unintentional (Gruber, 1981). It is a process that can be pictured as ‘imaginary play’ (Runco, 1996, 2004) in which the creative individual applies an ‘oddness of thought or feeling’ (Barron, 1993: 183) in order to identify the new idea that is most likely to be considered socially appropriate because others can recognize any possible usefulness (Hennessey & Amabile, 2010). In this dynamic between creating and judging the new idea, intuition plays a significant role (Dörfler & Ackermann, 2012), which resonates with another chapter (Dörfler & Eden, ch. 19, this volume), i.e., that intuition is also indispensable for researching intuition in personal creativity. The argument for recognizing the importance of intuition in researching personal creativity occurred with hindsight when studying the lived experience of personal creativity of 18 world-renowned chefs. In this study we aimed to better understand what it is about their personal creativity and creative behaviour that allows these chefs to produce consistently highly original and innovative creations and what we can learn from these chefs that could bear relevance for management and organization more generally.

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