Creativity is a Measure of Practical Intelligence and is a Learned Skill

Posted by on Nov 29, 2020 in Creativity | 0 comments

Creativity is defined as the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality.  It is characterized by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to search for and find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions.

Creativity is a valuable skill because it can be used as a tool for developing new ideas, increasing efficiency, and coming up with solutions to complex problems.  And contrary to popular belief that creativity is an innate talent, it is a skill that can be learned and developed over time.

Sternberg and Lubart, in their “Investment Theory of Creativity” (1995) suggest there are six factors associated with creativity.  They are personality, intelligence, knowledge, thinking style, motivation, and environment.

Starting with personality, what kind of person are you?  Are you curious about how things work, how they can fail, and how you can make them work better?  People are not born creative or uncreative.  Rather, they develop a set of attitudes toward life that characterize those who are willing to go their own way.  Examples of such attitudes toward life are willingness to (a) redefine problems in novel ways, (b) take sensible risks,  (c) “sell” ideas that others might not initially accept, (d) persevere in the face of obstacles, and (e) examine whether their own preconceptions are interfering with their creative process.

Intelligence is usually associated with IQ.  The problem is that IQ tests do not measure your creativity.  Creativity is more a measure of practical intelligence.  Robert Baum, Director of Entrepreneurship Research at the University of Maryland, defines practical intelligence as “an experience-based accumulation of skills and explicit knowledge as well as the ability to apply that knowledge to solve everyday problems.

The knowledge, skills, and attitudes we accumulate over our lifetime improve our ability to be more creative.  Our thinking style changes from learning, understanding, and solving problems on our own as we were taught in school to one that allows us to be more open-minded and unbiased.  Typically this occurs due to our motivation to be successful in the workplace and the work environment in which we interact.

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