Creativity in Context: Update to the Social Psychology of Creativity

Creativity in Context: Update to the Social Psychology of Creativity

Creativity in Context: Update to the Social Psychology of Creativity

Creativity in Context: Update to the Social Psychology of Creativity

Synopsis

Creativity in Context is an update of The Social Psychology of Creativity, a classic text for researchers, students, and other interested readers. Creativity in Context incorporates extensive new material, going far beyond the original to provide a comprehensive picture of how the motivation for creative behavior, and creativity itself, can be influenced by the social environment. Teresa Amabile describes new findings from both her own research and from the work of many others in the field, detailing not only the ways in which creativity can be killed by social-psychological influences, but also the ways in which it can be maintained and stimulated. The research and the theory have moved beyond a narrow focus on the immediate social environment to a consideration of broad social influences in business organizations, classrooms, and society at large; beyond a documentation of social influences to a consideration of the cognitive mechanisms by which social factors might impact creativity; and beyond subject populations consisting of children and college students to an inclusion of professional artists, research scientists, and other working adults. Amabile describes a greatly expanded set of methodologies for assessing creativity, and introduces a set of methodologies for assessing the social environment for creativity in non-experimental studies. Throughout, the book maintains a clear focus on a comprehensive view of creativity- how the social context can influence motivation and how motivation, in conjunction with personal skills and thinking styles, can lead to the expression of creative behavior within that context. The result is aclarified theory of how creativity actually happens, with strong implications for supporting and increasing essential aspects of human performance.

Excerpt

When Westview Press expressed an interest in republishing The Social Psychology of Creativity, I was very pleased. The book, originally published in 1983, had been out of print for three years, and I felt frustrated whenever researchers or students called to ask where they might find a copy. However, although I was pleased to know that the book would once again be available, I was well aware of the many recent advances that are not represented in the original. It is my hope that this updated edition, retitled Creativity in Context, will both preserve the original and provide some insight into recent developments in the field. As indicated by the change in title, the updates will build upon and expand beyond the boundaries of the original work.

It has been 13 years since I began writing The Social Psychology of Creativity. Although those years have passed quickly, there have been significant changes in my research and in my thinking about creativity. I have worked with a great many new students and colleagues, and although we have continued to explore a number of the research questions outlined in the 1983 edition of this book, we have also moved in new directions. We have begun to study the ways in which social factors can serve to maintain creativity, going well beyond our earlier focus on the ways in which social factors can kill creativity. We have considered personality factors--stable individual differences--in motivational orientation and how they affect creativity in a number of domains. We have begun to think in detail about the cognitive mechanisms by which motivation might have an impact on creativity. And we have stretched the scope of our research by expanding to new populations (for example, professional artists and research scientists), new settings (specifically, business organizations), and new methods (such as surveys, interviews, and the examination of existing creative works).

As I began my study of creativity, over 20 years ago, I envisioned myself as carefully and methodically adding planks to the grand framework of psychological science. In retrospect, my work over these past two decades seems rather more like a surprising journey in search of the pieces to an important puzzle; although much of it was unpredictable, it does nonetheless fit together. This journey has taken me far beyond the domain of traditional social psychology, where I began, to many disparate domains that all hold pieces of this puzzle--cognitive, personality, developmental, and industrial psychology; organizational behavior; and organizational development. It has been a journey marked by both stability and change, by planning and chaos, by systematic research and opportunistic investifgations. Although the puzzle now has a definite shape, there are still wide gaps. I

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.