What is creative thinking? What are its conditions, and how can it be fostered? In the spring of 1958, six eminent scientists gathered at the University of Colorado to consider these questions in a symposium. The participants were Jerome S. Bruner of Harvard, Richard S. Crutchfield of the University of California, Mary Henle of the New School for Social Research, Robert B. MacLeod of Cornell, David C. McClelland of Harvard, and Herbert A. Simon of the Carnegie Institute of Technology. Each day, for three days, two papers were presented, leaving ample time (if time is ever ample) for discussion of each. The discussions were recorded, transcribed, and then circulated among the participants for whatever use they cared to make of them in revising their papers. This volume is the result.
Contemporary Approaches to Creative Thinking is a sequel to an earlier symposium, published as Contemporary Approaches to Cognition by Harvard University Press in 1957. In that symposium the entire range of cognitive processes was examined by Jerome S. Bruner, Egon Brunswik, Leon Festinger, Fritz Heider, Charles E. Osgood, and David Rapaport. One of the participants in the earlier conference was asked to participate again--not only because his work is highly relevant but also in the hope of maintaining some continuity between the symposia.
The study of creativity, as no other subject, brings into