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Characteristics of the creative process

The psychodynamic approach describes the creative process as a combination of two mental mechanisms, which Freud called primary and secondary processes; the first is archaic, illogical and is a function of the unconscious, while the second is a function of the awake mind and relies on common logic.

The psychometric approach (Guilford, 1954; Plucker and Renzulli, 1999) uses the concept of divergent thinking (Baer, 1993; Runco, 1991) and assesses the quality of the creative process by testing such factors as fluency (or number of generated ideas), flexibility (the variety of perspectives represented by ideas), originality (statistical infrequency of ideas) and elaboration.

Associative theory treats creative thinking as the formation of "associative elements into new combinations which either meet special requirements or are in some way useful" (Mednick, 1962). Arthur Koestler (1964) introduced the term 'bisociation' to designate "any mental occurrence simultaneously associated with two habitually incomparable contexts" which he considered the essential mechanism of the creative process.

Characteristics of the creative process. Dictionary of Creativity: Terms, Concepts, Theories & Findings in Creativity Research / Compiled and edited by Eugene Gorny., 2007.
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