An Quotation from "The Contribution of Psychiatry to the Study of Creativity:  Implications for A.I. Research"

(an article by Antonio Preti, MD; Paola Miotto, MD, CMG, Psychiatry Branch, Cagliari, Italy)

(Some syntax and grammar modifications have been made.)

   "Creativity is one of the cognitive functions which contributes to sociobiological adaptation.  It can be defined as the ability that allows the production of new or unusual associations among known ideas or concepts.  This definition highlights those aspects most relevant to the creative process:  the elaboration of information (knowledge -- what is already known) through contrast and comparison of data; and the production of associations which are original, i.e. not already part of acquired knowledge (memory).  Other definitions of creativity are quite possible. Frank Barron, one of the most authoritative researchers in this field offers an articulate description of creativity. Creativity is first conceived in terms of the characteristics of the creative product and the social acknowledgement it obtains.  Creations are products which appear new and are considered valuable by consensus.  Secondly, the creative product can be considered in its own context by the difficulty of the problem resolved or identified, by the elegance of the solution proposed, or by the impact of the product itself.  Thirdly, creativity can be conceived on the basis of the abilities that favor it, i.e. as skill or aptitude.  Many studies recognize creativity as a cognitive ability separate from other mental functions and particularly independent from the complex of abilities grouped under the word 'intelligence'.  Although 'intelligence' -- the ability to deal with or process a large amount of data -- favors the development of creative potential, it is not synonymous with creativity.  Higher scores in tests which measure intelligence factors do not guarantee expression of a creative talent.  The two most complete studies on this subject, that of Terman, (who studied a group of talented children who were followed right through their lives), and that  of McKinnon (who studied architects indicated as cleverer than the mean by their colleagues), showed that individuals gifted with intelligence attain significantly higher levels of personal and social achievement than the mean of the general population and have better physical and mental health (although with higher suicide rates), but they do not show greater creative abilities than others."

    "Many characteristics seem to distinguish the thought processes of more talented individuals:  verbal fluency, fluency of ideas, redefinition, openness to experience, independence of thought, capacity to bring together remote associations, and efforts in the production of ideas.  These are all abilities which favor the expression of creativity among gifted individuals.  Each of these qualities concur to produce creative results, which are to be understood not as a single act, as the Romantic myth states, but the derivation of a process which implies many different phases.  A traditional conceptualization recognizes four chief phases of the creative process:  1.)  the phase of preparation, marked by the collection of information relevant to the resolution of a problem or the creation of an artistic work;  2.)  the phase of incubation, during which ideas germinate at a subconscious level, and in which the problem under examination generally finds no solution based on usual knowledge;  3.) the phase of illumination, or insight, during which elements of the argument under study, are suddenly distinguished from one another, or conversely are associated in new combinations;  4.)  the phase of elaboration, during which the new idea is developed and tested against scientific and social standards.  Among the most often quoted examples is the anecdote reported by the chemist Kekulè, who recounted that he conceived the ring structure of benzene after a dream in which a serpent biting its tail appeared to him."

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