Opening the Black Box of Creativity

Opening the Black Box of CreativityOpening the Black Box of CreativityOpening the Black Box of CreativityOpening the Black Box of Creativity

The public lecture “Opening the black box of creativity” offered by Dr. Vlad Glaveanu, Head of Psychology and Counseling at Webster University Geneva on 26 October, opened a new lecture series on Creativity and Innovation including monthly talks and events. This first lecture focused on the creative process and the concepts and theories developed to explain it within psychology and connected disciplines.

In a historical perspective, creativity has been confined initially to the work of geniuses, rare and eminent creators. Later on, particularly from mid-20th century, a widespread idea emerged that creativity is a potential specific for each and every individual, taken separately. It was especially after the 1980s that the role of other people and collaboration within creativity came to the fore. The talk reviewed a series of models of the creative process, ranging from stage models to an examination of the cognitive processes specific for creating (e.g., divergent and combinatorial thinking). Dr. Glaveanu proposed and illustrated, in the end, a sociocultural approach to creativity, one grounded in the notions of position, perspective, and reflexivity.

Creativity has ultimately been conceived as a process of repositioning oneself in relation to the situation, adopting new perspectives on it and placing them in dialogue. Several theoretical, methodological and practical implications of adopting a distributed view of creativity were discussed. The lecture was well attended, bringing together around 70 guests from Webster and other organisations in and around Geneva. The next event in the series is a public lecture given by Dr. Michael Hanchett Hanson from Teachers College, Columbia University, on the topic of participatory creativity.