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Creativity appears to be an important part of cognitive capacities and problem solving. Creativity is one’s ability to generate ideas that are novel, surprising, and compelling (Kaufman and Sternberg, 2010). This chapter will focus on the creative-cognitive approach, which seeks to further understand how human minds produce creative ideas.
This chapter examines creativity from the perspective of the creative cognition approach. That approach views the generation of novel and useful ideas as being the result of applying basic cognitive processes to existing knowledge structures. Processes considered include the retrieval of information at various levels of abstraction, the priming of information from recent exposure to ideas, conceptual combination, and analogical thought. The chapter traces work from several modes of inquiry, including laboratory studies using specialist and nonspecialist samples, anecdotal/historical accounts, and in vivo studies of high-level creative professionals to converge on a cognitive perspective on creativity.