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  • Cited by 3
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    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Rheinberg, Falko and Engeser, Stefan 2018. Motivation and Action. p. 579.

    Csermely, Peter 2017. The Network Concept of Creativity and Deep Thinking: Applications to Social Opinion Formation and Talent Support. Gifted Child Quarterly, Vol. 61, Issue. 3, p. 194.

    Zou, Guangyu and Yilmaz, Levent 2010. Exploratory simulation of collective innovative behavior in global participatory science communities. p. 708.

  • Print publication year: 1998
  • Online publication date: June 2014

16 - Implications of a Systems Perspective for the Study of Creativity


Psychologists tend to see creativity exclusively as a mental process. In this chapter, I will propose that such an approach cannot do justice to the phenomenon of creativity, which is as much a cultural and social as it is a psychological event. To develop this perspective, I will use a “systems” model of the creative process that takes into account its essential features.

Creativity research in recent years has been increasingly informed by a systems perspective. Starting with the observations of Morris Stein (1953, 1963) and the extensive data presented by Dean Simonton (1988, 1990) showing the influence of economic, political, and social events on the rates of creative production, it has become increasingly clear that variables external to the individual must be taken into account if one wishes to explain why, when, and where new ideas or products arise from and become established in a culture (Gruber, 1988; Harrington, 1990). Magyari-Beck (1988) has gone so far as to suggest that because of its complexity, creativity needs a new discipline of “creatology” in order to be thoroughly understood.

The systems approach developed here has been described before and applied to historical and anecdotal examples, as well as to data collected to answer a variety of different questions (Csikszentmihalyi, 1988b, 1990, 1996; Csikszentmihalyi, Rathunde, & Whalen, 1993; Csikszentmihalyi & Sawyer, 1995; Feldman, Csikszentmihalyi, & Gardner, 1994).

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Handbook of Creativity
  • Online ISBN: 9780511807916
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