Presentation on theme: "Creativity, History and You. Historical Examination of Creativity Look at people and times to understand creativity better –What traits made creative."— Presentation transcript:
Creativity, History and You
Historical Examination of Creativity Look at people and times to understand creativity better –What traits made creative people creative? –What environmental conditions existed during highly creative periods? –What was the process of creativity? Time Progress Creativity
Creativity and Society 1.Creativity affects society – "Creativity is the engine that drives cultural evolution." -M. Csikszentmihalyi in Handbook of Creativity, Robert J. Sternberg (ed.), 1999, Society affects creativity – "There are indeed certain instances in which social/cultural realities largely determine the possibility or lack of possibility for developing creativity in a given field." -D. H. Feldman in Handbook of Creativity, Robert J. Sternberg (ed.), 1999, 179.
Renaissance Creativity is enhanced by learning about many fields –Lateral thinking Leonardo Michelangelo Brunelleschi
Reformation Creativity requires the courage to think new thoughts and break with tradition
Baroque Creativity can be motivated by –Love (of God or church or king) –Glory (desire to impress)
Scientific Awakening – Enlightenment Creativity can come from developing a new way of thinking and applying it to many different fields
Classical Creativity can come by using the benefits of the rules and exploring within the limits
Romantic Creativity can express personal feelings about country, love, nature, or something only dreamed
Impressionism and Post-impressionism Creativity can be based on new techniques to explore and express the world
Modern Creativity can exist without the rules if there is still communication
Technology Creativity can satisfy human needs and can then be used either for good or bad
"The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." – Toffler, Alvin (author of Future Shock), quoted in Thorpe, Scott, How to Think Like Einstein, Barnes & Noble Books, Inc., 2000, p. 26.
Improving Creativity Skills Thinking better –Linear and lateral –Conscious and subconscious
Creativity begins with thinking
Brain control – Example: Napoleon "Different subjects and different affairs are arranged in my head as in a cupboard. When I wish to interrupt one train of thought, I shut that drawer and open another. Do I wish to sleep? I simply close all the drawers and there I am – asleep." – Napoleon (http://www.geocities.com/Area51/2162/napmem.html)http://www.geocities.com/Area51/2162/napmem.html
Use Mind Control Put difficult questions in the back of your minds and go about your lives. Ponder and pray quietly and persistently about them. The answer may not come as a lightning bolt. It may come as a little inspiration here and a little there, “line upon line, precept upon precept” (D&C 98:12). Some answers will come from reading the scriptures, some from hearing speakers. And, occasionally, when it is important, some will come by very direct and powerful inspiration. ― Boyd K. Packer (“Prayers and Answers,” Ensign, Nov. 1979, 21.)
Roger von Oech has identified 10 mental blocks to creativity The following information is taken from his book
From these five figures, select the one that is different from all of the others.
B is the right answer — Why? C is the right answer — Why? A is the right answer — Why? D is the right answer — Why? E is the right answer — Why?
Mental Blocks 1.The right answer Barriers to creative thinking
Barrier: The right answer An elementary school teacher told me the following story about a colleague who had given her first graders a coloring assignment: The instructions said: “On this sheet of paper, you will find an outline of a house, trees, flowers, clouds, and sky. Please color each with the appropriate colors.” One of the students, Patty, put a lot of work into her drawing. When she got it back, she was surprised to find a big black “X” on it. She asked the teacher for an explanation. “I gave you an ‘X’ because you didn’t follow the instructions. Grass is green not gray. The sky should be blue, not yellow as you have drawn it. Why didn’t you use the normal colors, Patty?’ Patty answered, “Because that’s how it looks to me when I get up early to watch the sunrise.” —Roger von Oeck, A Whack on the Side of the Head.
Barrier: The right answer Children enter school as question marks and come out as periods.—Neil Postman, educator
Overcoming Barrier #1 Look for alternate answers Barrier: The right answer
Mental Blocks 1.The right answer 2.That’s not logical Barriers to creative thinking
Take a blank sheet of paper and write the words ‘Soft’ on the top left and ‘Hard’ on the top right. Which column would you place the concepts that appear on the next slide?
Logic Metaphor Dream Reason Play Work Exact Approximate Fantasy Reality Generalization Specifics SoftHard
Barrier: That’s not logical Some people have little use for soft thinking. Their feeling toward it is “that’s not logical.” When faced with a problem, they immediately bring in their hard thinking strategies.
Barrier: That’s not logical Metaphors help us to understand one idea by means of another. The key to metaphorical thinking is similarity. In fact, this is how our thinking grows: we understand the unfamiliar by means of the similarities it has with what is familiar to us. For example, what were the first automobiles called?.. “horseless carriages.”... first locomotives... “iron horses” We refer to resemblances between things all of the time. We say that hammers have “heads,” tables have “legs,” roads have “shoulders,” cities have “hearts,” and beds have “feet.” It’s all very soft, but it is how we think.
Overcoming Barrier #2 Use metaphorical thinking Barrier: That’s not logical
Mental Blocks 1.The right answer 2.That’s not logical 3.Follow the rules Barriers to creative thinking
1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, 49, ?? What comes next? Humans are adept in discerning patterns and that gives us abilities to solve problems. But, we also get locked into those patterns Barrier: Follow the rules
1.We make rules based on reasons that make a lot of sense. 2.We follow these rules. 3.Time passes, and things change. 4.The original reasons for the rules may no longer exist, but we continue to follow the rules. Barrier: Follow the rules
In 333 B.C., Alexander arrived in Gordium to take up winter quarters. While there, he heard about the legend surrounding the famous “Gordian Knot.” Whoever is able to untie this knot, will become the ruler of Asia. Barrier: Follow the rules
He attempted to untie it but failed and got frustrated. So he pulled out his sword and sliced the knot in half. Asia was his! Barrier: Follow the rules
Every rule here can be challenged except this one. – A corporate motto Warning: When I encourage you to challenge the rules. I’m not advocating you to do anything that’s illegal, immoral, or unethical. Barrier: Follow the rules
Q W E R T Y U I O P Why the following typewriter keyboard? To keep from jamming the keys. We follow the same system even though there are key arrangements that facilitate faster typing. Barrier: Follow the rules
Playing the piano by different rules
Overcoming Barrier #3 Try different ways Barrier: Follow the rules
Mental Blocks 1.The right answer 2.That’s not logical 3.Follow the rules 4.Be practical Barriers to creative thinking
Several years ago, the president of a glass manufacturing company said to the chief scientist, “Glass breaks. Why not change that?” What is your reaction to that question? Barrier: Be practical
The engineer continued, “Have you ever noticed what happens to paint after it’s been on a house for five or six years? It chips and cracks and is very difficult to remove. There has to be a better way to get it off. If we put gunpowder in our house paint, we could blow it off the house.” Barrier: Be practical
The chief scientist challenged the others in the R & D department to take the president’s challenge seriously and ask the question: What if it could be done? The result: Corelle® dinnerware Barrier: Be practical
Each of us has an “artist” and a “judge” within us. The artist is open-minded and is used in the imaginative phase when ideas are being generated. The judge represents practical phase when ideas are being prepared for execution. Avoid bringing in the judge before the artist has had a chance. Barrier: Be practical
Overcoming Barrier #4 Ask “What if” Barrier: Be practical
Mental Blocks 1.The right answer 2.That’s not logical 3.Follow the rules 4.Be practical 5.Play is frivolous Barriers to creative thinking
How deep is the ocean? –Just a stone’s throw. What do John the Baptist and Winnie the Pooh have in common? –They have the same middle name. What do you get when you combine the Godfather with a lawyer? –An offer you can’t understand. Barrier: Play is frivolous
What do the squares look like to you? Try to think of at least three different things. Barrier: Play is frivolous
Now what do you see? Barrier: Play is frivolous
During what kinds of activities and situations do you get your ideas? What, then is the right way of living? Life must be lived as play. — Plato Barrier: Play is frivolous
Overcoming Barrier #5 Use play as a way to think new thoughts Barrier: Play is frivolous
Mental Blocks 1.The right answer 2.That’s not logical 3.Follow the rules 4.Be practical 5.Play is frivolous 6.That’s not my area Barriers to creative thinking
A solar energy lab technician has a problem. Her research lab is experimenting with a solar cell material, gallium arsenide, which is causing her problems in the slicing stage of cell production. Her task is to use a special high-speed wafer saw to make precision cuts in the material. But every time she cuts the material it cracks. She tries changing the position of the saw. The material still cracks. She is quite frustrated. Barrier: That’s not my area
At home that weekend, she is in her husband’s shop watching him make cabinets. She notices that when he wants to make precision cuts on certain types of wood, he reduces (rather than increases) the saw’s cutting speed. She gets an idea: why not try the same approach on the gallium arsenide. She does, and it works. Barrier: That’s not my area
What this woman did exemplifies an important part of creative thinking: recognizing the basic idea of one’s situation and applying it to another. The benefits of transferring knowledge gained in one area to another seem obvious. Why don’t people do it more often? One answer is specialization. Barrier: That’s not my area
Steve Jobs: “Innovation is usually the result of connections of past experience. But if you have the same experiences as everybody else, you’re unlikely to look in a different direction. For example, I went to Reed College in Portland. At Reed, most of the men took modern dance classes from a woman named Judy Massey. We did it to meet the women. I didn’t realize how much I learned about movement and perception from that class until a few years later when I worked for Nolan Bushnell at Atari. I was able to relate how much resolution of movement you need in terms of perceiving things for video games.”
Barrier: That’s not my area
Overcoming Barrier #6 Be an explorer Barrier: That’s not my area
Mental Blocks 1.The right answer 2.That’s not logical 3.Follow the rules 4.Be practical 5.Play is frivolous 6.That’s not my area 7.Don’t be foolish Barriers to creative thinking
Barrier: Don’t be foolish Looking at the fool’s wildly-colored clothing and donkey-eared cap, it’s easy to regard him as a simpleton….. don’t be fooled! It takes intelligence, imagination, cleverness, and insight to play this role. The fool was consulted by Egyptian pharaohs and Babylonian kings. His opinion was sought by Roman emperors and Greek tyrants. He played an important role at the courts of the Chinese emperors. The fool was prominently employed by European royalty in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
What did the fool do? Simply stated, it was his job to whack the king’s thinking out of habitual thought patterns. The king’s advisors were often “yes- men” — they told him exactly what he wanted to hear….. Therefore, he gave the fool a license to parody any proposal under discussion and to shatter the prevailing mindset….. By listening to the fool, the king improved his judgment, enhanced his creativity, and protected himself from groupthink. Barrier: Don’t be foolish
Some suggestions: Put on Your Fool’s Cap –The fool’s job is to shake, assault, massage, caress, and take a whack at the habits, rules, and conventions that keep you thinking the same old stuff. Laugh at It –There is a close relationship between the “haha” of humor and the “aha!” of discovery. –Humor works wonders to stimulate the flow of ideas. Reverse your Perspective –You’ll see the things you usually don’t look at. –It may “free your thinking from deeply engrained assumptions”. Barrier: Don’t be foolish
Overcoming Barrier #7 Change perspectives even if it means being different Barrier: Don’t be foolish
Mental Blocks 1.The right answer 2.That’s not logical 3.Follow the rules 4.Be practical 5.Play is frivolous 6.That’s not my area 7.Don’t be foolish 8.Avoid ambiguity Barriers to creative thinking
In the following line of letters, cross out six letters so that the remaining letters, without altering their sequence, will spell a familiar English word. BSAINXLEATNTEARS
What would I have left if I cross out SIXLETTERS?
Barrier: Avoid Ambiguity Why don’t we like ambiguous situations? –They’re confusing –They cause communication problems There are instances, however, when ambiguity can be a powerful stimulant to your imagination.
One way to “think something different” is to look at things ambiguously. For example, what is half of 8? –One answer if 4 What if the question is ambiguous? –How about 0 –How about 3 –How about eig Barrier: Avoid ambiguity
Overcoming Barrier #8 Take advantage of the ambiguity of the world Barrier: Avoid ambiguity
Mental Blocks 1.The right answer 2.That’s not logical 3.Follow the rules 4.Be practical 5.Play is frivolous 6.That’s not my area 7.Don’t be foolish 8.Avoid ambiguity 9.To err is wrong Barriers to creative thinking
Barrier: To err is wrong From a practical standpoint, “to err is wrong” makes sense…..engineers whose bridges collapse, stock brokers who lose money for their clients…..won’t keep their jobs long. Nevertheless, too great an adherence to the belief “to err is wrong” can greatly undermine your attempts to generate new ideas.
To err is wrong History of discovery is filled with people who used erroneous assumptions and failed ideas as stepping stones to new ideas. Columbus thought he was finding a shorter route to India Thomas Edison knew 1,800 ways not to build a light bulb
Remember these two benefits of failure. First, if you do fail, you learn what doesn’t work. Second, the failure gives you an opportunity to try a new approach. If you hit every time, the target is too near or too big.—Tom Hirshfield, physicist Barrier: To err is wrong
Overcoming Barrier #9 Don’t be afraid of mistrakes Barrier: To err is wrong
Mental Blocks 1.The right answer 2.That’s not logical 3.Follow the rules 4.Be practical 5.Play is frivolous 6.That’s not my area 7.Don’t be foolish 8.Avoid ambiguity 9.To error is wrong 10.I’m not creative Barriers to creative thinking
A major oil company was concerned about the lack of creative productivity among its engineers. To deal with this problem, a team of psychologists was brought in to find out what differentiated the creative people from the less creative ones. After three months of study, the psychologists found that the chief differentiating factor that separated the two groups was: Barrier: I’m not creative
The creative people thought they were creative, and the less creative people didn’t think they were. Barrier: I’m not creative
Overcoming Barrier #10 Believe in your creativity Barrier: I’m not creative
The hallmark of creative people is their mental flexibility. They are able to shift in and out of different types of thinking depending on the needs of the situation at hand. Sometimes, they’re open and probing, at others, they’re playful and off-the- wall. At still others, they’re critical and fault- finding. And finally, they’re doggedly persistent in striving to reach their goals. From this, I’ve concluded that people who are successful in the creative process are able to adopt four main roles, each of which embodies a different type of thinking. Which creative person are you now?
The 4 creative rolls 1.Explorer ― open and probing 2.Artist ― playful and off-the-wall 3.Judge ― critical and fault-finding 4.Warrior ― doggedly persistent
First off, you — as a creative thinker — need the raw materials from which new ideas are made: facts, concepts, experiences, knowledge, feelings, and whatever else you can find. However, you’re much more likely to find something original if you venture off the beaten path. So, you must become an Explorer and look for the materials you’ll use to build your ideas. Explorer
For the most part, the ideas and information you gather as an explorer will be like so many pieces of colored glass at the end of a kaleidoscope. They may form a pattern, but if you want something new and different, you’ll have to give them a twist or two. That’s when you shift roles and let the Artist in you come out. Artist
Now, ask yourself, ‘Is this idea any good? Is it worth pursuing? Will it give me the return I want? Do I have the resources to make it happen?’ To help you make your decision, you adopt the mindset of a Judge. During your evaluation, you critically weigh the evidence. Judge
Finally it’s time to implement your idea. You realize, however, that the world isn’t set up to accommodate every new idea that comes along. As a matter of fact, there’s a lot of competition out there. If you want your idea to succeed, you’ll have to take the offensive. So, you become a Warrior and take your idea into action. As a warrior, you’re part general and part foot-soldier. Warrior
Your Explorer is your role for searching for new information and resources Your Artist is your role for turning these resources into new ideas Your Judge is your role for evaluating the merits of an idea and deciding what to do with it Your Warrior is your role for carrying your idea into action Summary