Written by: Zarina Markova
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Consider these behaviours?
Josh is a resident of a remote rural area. For the past three years he has been sitting on the porch of his dilapidates shack, knitting himself purple mittens with no thumbs. He talks to himself incessantly about everything he has ever seen or done. Is he creative?
Joseph is Josh’s neighbour. Joseph is the local wit. His jokes are expressions of associations between extremely remote ideas. They are never funny. Is Joseph creative?
During a routine procedure in a laboratory, a scientist accidentally spills a small amount of chemical into a large container filled with sweet cream. The cream immediately turns into four cows (a reversal phenomenon). Is the scientist creative?

[twocol_one_last]Contrast Poem
A dog is friendly,
A dog is intelligent,
A dog is loyal,
But a dog isn’t human.[/twocol_one_last]
[twocol_one]Adjective Poem
Fog is white.
Fog is white, wet.
Is white, wet, thick.
White, wet, thick, cold.
[twocol_one_last]Five Senses Poem
The desert.
The desert is red and yellow.
It tastes like a chilli pepper.
It sounds like snakes.
It smells like the sun.
It looks like red rocks and sand.
It makes me feel hot and thirsty.[/twocol_one_last]

Definitions of creativity

Creativity involves fluency, flexibility, and originality
Fluency: producing lots of ideas;
Flexibility: producing ideas of various types;
Originality: producing uncommon ideas.
(Guilford, 1959)

Creativity is ‘the forming of associative elements into new combinations which either meet specified requirements or are in some ways useful. The more mutually remote the elements of the new combination, the more creative the process of solution’
(Mednick, 1962)

Creativity results in ‘a novel work that is accepted as tenable or useful or satisfying by a significant group of others at some point in time’
(Stein in Parnes and Harding [eds.], 1962)

Creativity involves fluency, flexibility, elaboration (building and embellishing existing ideas) and originality
(Guilford, 1968)


  • Gallagher, J. J. 1966 Research Summary on Gifted Child Education State of Illinois: Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Guilford, J.P. 1950 Creativity. American Psychologist, 5
  • Guilford, J.P. 1968 Intelligence. Creativity and their Educational Implications. San Diego, Robert R. Knapp Publications
  • Lefrancois, G.R. 1988 Psychology for Teaching Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Company