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Types of creative persons

Historically, there have been many attempts to classify creative behaviour and creative persons. Rank (1932/1968) wrote about three types of persons typifying the three stages in the development of creative personality: 1) the adaptive or average man, 2) the neurotic man, and 3) the artist or man of will and deed. Adapted man is one who is dominated by the fear of life. Such people continually seek the security of belonging and unity with others. They tend to be dependent, and to conform. The neurotic is dominated by the fear of death, and continually tries to separate himself from the others, although he feels guilty for doing so, as children feel when exercising their own will against their parents. In the artist fears are balanced. They acquire discipline from the others while preserving their own individuality.

Taylor (1959) distinguished between five types of creativity which correspond to certain types of creative persons: 1) expressive creativity, or independent expression, without reference to the quality of the product; 2) productive creativity, when the individual gains mastery over some section of the environment and produces an object; 3) inventive creativity, which requires the new use of old parts; 4) innovative creativity, when new ideas or principles are developed; and 5) emergent creativity, which requires the 'ability to absorb the experiences which are commonly provided and from this produce something quite different.'

Ochse (1990) classified various types of people and behaviours commonly described as creative into three major categories: 1) people who are designated as creative because of their lifestyle, interpersonal functioning and attitudes; 2) people who perform well on creativity tests or other given tasks that are described as creativity; 3) people who produce something of cultural value, creative geniuses.

Csikszentmihalyi (1996) similarly wrote about tree types of creative persons: 1) brilliant, those who express unusual thoughts, 2) personally creative, those who experience the world in novel and original ways, and 3) creative unqualifiedly, those who effect significant changes in their culture.

Policastro and Gardner (1999) proposed a typology of creators based on two factors: 1) the extent to which the creator accepts the current domain as given (as compared to challenging the delineation of domains), and 2) the extent to which the creator is concerned with a world of objects and symbols that denote objects and objects' relations (as compared with a focus on the world of persons). They distinguish between four kinds of creators: 1) the master, an individual who accepts the current domain as delineated and seeks to realize genres of that domain to the most superlative degree; 2) the maker, an individual who, whatever his or her mastery of the current domains, is driven by a compulsion to challenge current domain practices and, ultimately, to create new domains or subdomains; 3) the introspector, a person whose creativity is devoted to the exploration of his or her own psyche; and 4) the influencer, who explores the personal world, but directs his or her creative capacities towards affecting other individuals.

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