Creativity is one of the concepts that are difficult to evaluate, measure, and nurture in a person. The presence of creative abilities depends on many internal and external factors, such as predisposition and external social environment. Dean Keith Simonton, the author of the chapter, argues that creativity can be interpreted in different ways. From his point of view, approaches to understanding creativity can be divided into three conditional categories.
The first category is based on understanding the cognitive processes of creators of creativity. When creating creativity, thought processes play one of the key roles. The author identified two main tests to determine the cognitive orientations of the response. Key tests include the Remote Associates Test and the Unusual Uses Task. The first questionnaire is structured through the identification of associations, and the second is for alternative use. The author also summarizes that creativity requires a person to go beyond standard thinking. By developing this skill in oneself, a person can go beyond the usual boundaries and vice versa; going beyond the boundaries of standards can affect thinking and abilities.
The second category is based on specific knowledge about the creators and analysis of their personal characteristics. Creativity, in this case, is compared with personal qualities. Additionally, the very concept of creativity correlates with certain qualities, such as openness to experience. The author also highlights that the researchers came to the conclusion that to possess a certain level of creativity, experience in the relevant field of activity is also necessary. Thus, talent and creative thinking alone are not always enough.
The third approach is to study the context, in particular the social environment, in which creativity is created in order to study external influences. Regarding this approach, it is argued that external stimuli and features can also have an impact on the development of the creative inclinations of the individual. For example, in an artificial reality, it is possible to create stimulating factors of influence, the effectiveness of which has been confirmed in studies. In the study, those exposed to non-standard active conditions, such as breaking the laws of physics, showed increased flexibility in their thought process. Therefore, it is possible to develop and stimulate cognitive abilities.
At the same time, reflecting on the study, the author is critical of the long-term impact. From his point of view, short-term external influences are most likely to lead only to a burst of creativity. At the same time, if the impact of such factors is present on an ongoing basis, for example, multicultural experience, this may also affect the sustainable creative development of a person. Moreover, different socio-cultural systems can reveal a variety of personality facets in a person.
In conclusion, the chapter says that psychologists and researchers have come a long way and collected information based on the study and development of creativity in people. A number of approaches, such as the study of cognitive abilities, social environment, and personality characteristics, allow learning more about a particular person. Such approaches make it possible to extract more information, including the relativity of the development of creativity to other personality characteristics. At the same time, there are still many sections of creativity for further study. The author recommends continuing the study and emphasizes the prospects of the direction.