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Primary process

Primary process (synonyms: archaic, primitive, or paleologic thinking) is the generally unorganized mental activity characteristic of the unconscious. This activity is marked by the free discharge of energy and excitation without regard to the demands of environment, reality, or logic. It prevails in dreams and some mental illnesses, especially psychoses, but also plays a significant role in the creative process. It produced images that seem strange and illogical for awakened consciousness. The production of these images is governed by the mechanisms of condensation and displacement.

Creative process combines both primary and secondary processes{Secondary process}. As Arieti (1976: 12) puts it, "from appropriate matching with secondary process mechanisms that these primitive forms of cognition, generally confined to abnormal conditions or to unconscious processes, become innovating powers."

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