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 Kirton adaptive-innovative inventory
[Knowledge and creativity]


Knowledge and creativity

The 'tension' view on the relationship between knowledge and creativity postulates that too much knowledge can hinder creative achievement and that this relationship is shaped like an inverted U, with maximum creativity occulting with some middle range of knowledge. The 'foundation' view argues that knowledge is positively related to creativity and that creative achievements are built on domain-specific knowledge (Bailin 1988; Gruber 1981; Hayes 1989; Weisberg 1986; Weisberg 1993; Weisberg 1999). As Weisberg (1999: 248) explains,

If we can get into the database of the creative thinker, we may be able to understand creative thinking as a process based on the direct application of knowledge. It is only when we examine the situation from outside, as an ignorant observer, that we feel the necessity to postulate basic differences between creative and noncreative individuals. That is, it may not be necessary to assume that creative individuals differ from the noncreative in any significant way, except for the knowledge they possess.

However, "it is still possible that a deeply knowledgeable person might never produce innovation within his or her domain of expertise" (ibid). Therefore, knowledge is necessary but not sufficient for creative achievement.

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