Creativity: Hot and cold

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Summary

Cognitive theorists have frequently distinguished between two types of thinking, one associated with control and reason, and the other with emotional expression A similar distinction was made by Freud between secondary and primary process thinking This paper has investigated whether corresponding styles of creativity can be discovered A study was reported in which two types of behaviour appeared a permissive, expressive type, and a controlled, coping type Both of these correlated positively with self-reported creativity A second study contrasted the correlates of originality on tests of divergent thinking with originality on projective tests. Two clusters emerged, one representing competent, stable, resourceful personalities who scored high on divergent thinking tests of originality, the other representing impulsive, emotionally expressive, imaginative persons who scored high on projective test originality

It was concluded that there are two creativity styles corresponding to the two types of cognitive process, and these styles were labelled “cold” creativity and “hot” creativity. Both styles play a part, in varying proportions, in any creativity process

Performance on the divergent thinking tests of originality is more closely related to cold than hot creativity and, therefore, the distinction does not correspond with that between convergent and divergent thinking Nor does it correspond with differences between scientific and artistic interests and creativity.

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