Theories of Creativity

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Abraham Maslow, Psychology Pages: 5 (1934 words) Published: December 17, 2011
Theories of Creativity and Quality
Theories of Creativity and Quality

Theories of creativity are vast. Several psychological theories on the process of creativity are chronicled. Some theorists explain creativity as intrinsic creative motivations, which individuals create a project for the sake of creating (Wibell, 2011). Other theorists convey the brain controls levels of creativity, and mental illness has an impact on creative process. Further, many believe the humanistic theory of creativity spawns the creative process. Through self-actualization creativity comes in peak experiences. The quality of the work depends on what is measured. The quality of the creative work depicts the message of the writing. The message can be entertaining, or educational. The humanistic theory of creativity stems from self-actualization described by Abraham Maslow, a pioneer in humanistic psychology. Maslow believes that creativity is divided into three categories; primary creativity, secondary creativity, and integrated creativity. This theory encompasses the gestalt of human intelligence and emotional state as well as the needs that must be met in order for someone to be completely able to express his, or her creativity. Primary creativity according to Maslow, allows self to escape from life stress. Individuals channel life stresses into creative art such as painting, sculpture, or writing. Secondary creativity results from the use of higher thought powers. Secondary creativity takes over from primary creativity and adds to it through the preparation stages (Bergquist, 2011). Integrated creativity stems from combining primary and secondary creativity that results in great works in art, philosophy, and scientific discoveries. The creative integration is also characteristic of self-actualized emotionally healthy individuals. Self-actualization is the full use of talents, capacities, and potentials. In order for the individual to reach the self-actualization level a series of hierarchy achievements must be accomplished; creativity can flourish only after the levels described have been reached. For example, the need for safety can come in various forms such as a safe place to live. Creativity may be hard to accomplish if an individual is homeless with the exceptions of J.K Rowlings the author of the Harry Potter series, and Tyler Perry, playwright; both homeless, living in cars when writing mega-hit products. The mental illness theory allows the writer to access the parts of the brain that generates abnormal ideas, which can differ from the norm as they may be considered strange. Not everyone who is considered creative is stark-raving mad, however; there are certain elements that tend to be present in highly creative people who cause them to view the world differently and choose to portray it in a different light. Additionally, people whose thought processes differ from the majority have a tendency to want to escape from reality and may choose to do so through the creative arts. The extent of level of mental illness is not necessarily relevant to an individual’s creative ability. In individuals such as Vincent Van Gogh—where it was believed he suffered from mental illness—the level of this illness was not fully determined or relevant, yet his creative works remain very much alive in the world today. The mental illness theory suggests that individuals intensely creative—and whose creative ideas are viewed as strange—are believed to suffer from mental illness that also diminishes their ability to fully function in society. This theory offers the possibility that an "abnormality" is present in some people to cause the desire to explore a darker side of their psyche. Any difference in a person's thought process that differs from the norm can be considered a mental illness in some way, or can be linked to one; this difference is not necessarily a negative thing because if this abnormality is mild, and...
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