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Creative environment

A creative environment is defined as the physical, social, and cultural environment in which creative activity occurs (Sternberg and Grigorenko, 1997; Harrington, 1999). These include zones of concentration and absorption. Some researches argue that "it easier to enhance creativity by changing conditions in the environment than by trying to make people think more creatively" (Czikszentmihalyi, 1996: 1).

Arieti (1976) introduced the term creativogenic society to describe a type of society that enhances creativity. Simonton (1999), who used quantitative methods, found four characteristics of a supportive social environment enabling the flourishing of creativity: domain activity, intellectual receptiveness, ethnic diversity, and political openness. Florida (2002) came to similar conclusions in this research in his study of 'creative cities, ' i.e. broad social, cultural and geographical milieu conducive to creativity.

One of the characteristics of creative people is that they tend to deliberately chose or construct an environment conducive to creativity. As Simonton (1994: 417) notes,

Thinkers like Confucius wandered around the court of China, looking for a prince who would favor their ideas. Similar peregrinations are commonplace in the history of civilization. Ionian Greek philosophers, artists of the Italian Renaissance, American writers of the "lost generation, " and intellectuals of Nazi Europe - all sought more propitious settings. The same thing is now happening to distinguished scientists of the former Soviet Union; many are seeking new homes for their first-class science. In these instances, the person chooses the context instead of letting the context warp the person. It may be even a sign of a genius that such people design their world to satisfy their needs.

Creative environment. Dictionary of Creativity: Terms, Concepts, Theories & Findings in Creativity Research / Compiled and edited by Eugene Gorny., 2007.
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