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What To Measure? A New Look At The Concept Of Creativity

G. Kaufmann
Published 2003 · Psychology

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It is argued that the concept of creativity is too loosely defined, and too much driven from a bottom-up operationalist view. It is also argued that current popular definitions of creativity, by focusing on novelty and appropriateness, do not distinguish the concept of creativity in a satisfactory way from standard definitions of the concept of intelligence, which also focus on novelty and appropriateness as key defining features. A solution to this conceptual dilemma is offered by way of making a clear-cut distinction between novelty on the stimulus and novelty on the response side. This distinction is used as a platform for the development of a new taxonomy of different kinds of creativity and intelligent behaviour. A major feature of this new model is the distinction made between proactive and reactive creativity. Finally, the conceptual model is used as a basis for pointing out some shortcomings of existing tests of creativity and, with a practical-educational perspective in mind, some specific suggestions on the anatomy of a new kind of creativity assessment are made.
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