The defiance theory of creativity

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Journal of Creative Behaviour, one of a very few academic journals publishing reputable peer-reviewed research into creativity in all its many forms. The anniversary issue (Volume 51) features a paper by granddaddy of the field, Robert J Sternberg, who began investigating the topic in the 1970s. He traces the development of his thinking from the investment theory of creativity – which sees creative people as ‘buying low’ (generating lots of ideas) and ‘selling high’ (developing one or two of the best and pushing them out into the world) – to his latest ‘triangular’ model, which sees creative people as being ‘defiant’. This defiance expresses itself in three ways: firstly ‘creative people defy the crowd,’ he writes. ‘Ideas that challenge the existing order are hard to get accepted’. Second, they defy themselves: ‘Everyone becomes entrenched,’ he writes. ‘Often we are our own greatest obstacles.’ Finally they defy the Zeitgeist, ‘the set of presuppositions we often do not even consciously know we have’. So now you know. (Journal of Creative Behaviour, Volume 51)

By |2018-11-09T12:07:56+00:00November 9th, 2018|Creative research|0 Comments

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