Creativity, Personality Approach

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Individual Perspective of Creativity: Personality Psychology

Which are the personality traits of the creative individual, the attributes of genius and the peculiarities of the creative personality? Psychological theories have tried to explain both the creative process and the creative individual. In late fifties and early sixties, several researchers leaded by J.P Guilford, started to pay special attention to the specific components that shapes creativity in individuals, far from relating it as an intelligence by-product, as it was the mainstream psychologists thinking during the first half of 20th century, especially among behavior doctrines. This suddenly interest, came from the need of the United States of America to find and promote talent in their human capital in order to avoid the age of conformity that their nation was dooming to (Sawyer, 2006). Other social and political implications are glimpsed: USA, as self-called nation of freedom, needed to face Soviet Union progresses in the space race during the cold war when soviets first put into orbit the Sputnik (1957). Science and technical innovations were needed, not just to move forward in their arm wrestle with USSR but to continue growing as a powerful economic exporting nation, and creativity was the key factor to boost them. Therefore, since creativity flourished better in free breeding grounds, free world leader should head creative innovations. This binomial creativity-scientific innovation has been a great concern for the USA since then. As we can assume from that point, substantial funds started to arrive to psychologist institutions in order to finance research programs as Sawyer (2006, p.41) explains “funding research to identify creative talent in early life, to educate for creativity and to design more creative workplaces”. During that time, creativity was thought to be strong correlated with intelligence as the adult creative people (artists, scientists, and writers) got pretty high scores on test of general intelligence (Barron & Harrington, 1981) so the more intelligence an individual has, the more creative she/he is but later, after Jacob Getzels and Philip Jackson (1962) research, it was found out that this axiom wasn’t too much accurate. Their studies laid the foundation for the threshold theory: “The threshold theory states that creativity requires a certain threshold level of intelligence, generally around an IQ of 120, but above that threshold creativity does not increase with higher intelligence” Sawyer, 2006, p.44.

From the study of Barron and Harrington (1981), we found some extra basic findings on conventional concepts of intelligence measured by IQ and creativity. IQ score of 120 is not a limit, but expresses the fact that people with low or average intelligence coefficient is not often represented among creative individuals. Furthermore, correlation between creativity and IQ is variable, and it usually goes from weak to moderate depending on which aspects of creativity and intelligence are analyzed and how they are measured, as well as in which field creativity is expressed. In this sense, for instance, the role of intelligence in art and music would be different from that in mathematics and science. Therefore, it seems that creativity and intelligence are somehow related, but how strong are they linked? Many scholars have conducted studies about the relationship between intelligence and creativity and there are positions for and against this ideas, some have even considered an overlap between the two: creativity as part of intelligence or vice versa. However, as proposed by Sternberg and O'Hara in UCM Communication and information notebooks (2005), in spite of all existing researches, psychologists have not reached a consensus on the nature of the relationship between creativity and intelligence, not even on the importance or scope of this relationship. To understand the relationship between creativity and intelligence, we have...
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