The Creative Cognition Approach


Mental processes are the essence of creative endeavor. The Creative Cognition Approach extends this particular view of creativity, first proposed and developed by the editors in their earlier book Creative Cognition, to the programs and theoretical views of some of the most prominent researchers in the areas of problem solving, concept formation, and thinking. Chapters cover a wide range of approaches and processes that play a role in creative cognition, from those that have their roots in associationism (the notion that creative ideas are produced incrementally), to the Gestalt point of view (particularly insight), to current computational approaches. Each chapter deals with central issues in cognition and creativity, and many consider new ways in which creativity can be studied under controlled conditions.

The Creative Cognition Approach begins with a new look at an ancient subject, dreams. It then takes up intuition and insight from a contemporary cognitive perspective, and the importance of using prior knowledge in the incremental view of creative problem solving, which is contrasted with the importance of various forms of fixation and sudden insight. Studies are presented that provide new methods for distinguishing insight problem solving from analytic problem solving, and a general description of recall, problem solving, and creative thinking is provided along with relevant experimental evidence.

Numerous laboratory studies of creative idea generation are described that reveal the conceptual structures that give rise to imaginative thinking. Visual representations are considered in the context of memory distortions, and in the use of diagrams in scientific discovery. Models that help clarify the relation between comprehension and creativity are discussed, and a novel integration of ideas (primary and secondary process thinking, conditioning, genetic algorithms, chaos theory, the thermodynamics of crystallography) are brought together in a connectionist framework. A multivariate investment approach is used to study creative performance, and criteria for assessing and enhancing creative realism are detailed.

A Bradford Book

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. Introduction Cognitive Processes in Creative Contexts

    Steven M. Smith, Thomas B. Ward and Ronald A. Finke

  3. I. Knowledge and Insight in Creative Cognition
  4. 1. Origins and Consequences of Novelty

    George Mandler

  5. 2. Intuitive Antecedents of Insight

    Kenneth S. Bowers, Peter Farvolden and Lambros Mermigis

  6. 3. Case Studies of Creative Thinking: Reproduction versus Restructuring in the Real World

    Robert W. Weisberg

  7. 4. Productive Problem Solving

    Roger L. Dominowski

  8. 5. The Ineffability of Insight

    Jonathan W. Schooler and Joseph Meicher

  9. 6. Fixation, Incubation, and Insight in Memory and Creative Thinking

    Steven M. Smith

  10. 7. What's Old about New Ideas?

    Thomas B. Ward

  11. II. Visual and Computational Approaches to Creative Cognition
  12. 8. Static Patterns Moving in the Mind

    Jennifer J. Freyd and Teresa M. Pantzer

  13. 9. Scientific Discovery and Creative Reasoning with Diagrams

    Peter C.-H. Cheng and Herbert A. Simon

  14. 10. Making Machines Creative

    Roger C. Schank and Chip Cleary

  15. 11. Creativity and Connectionism

    Colin Martindale

  16. III. General Issues in Creative Cognition
  17. 12. An Investment Approach to Creativity: Theory and Data

    Todd I. Lubart and Robert J. Sternberg

  18. 13. Creative Realism

    Ronald A. Finke

  19. Conclusion: Paradoxes, Principles, and Prospects for the Future of Creative Cognition

    Steven M. Smith, Thomas B. Ward and Ronald A. Finke

  20. Name Index
  21. Subject Index