DOI: 10.14704/nq.2013.11.2.675

Loving or Fearing Creativity? It’s all in the Definition

Marta Davidovich Ockuly, Ruth Richards


How do we make creativity a bigger part of our lives? This article begins with mentorship at Saybrook, and how at best this can open people’s minds to love of learning, and finding one’s own creative path, rather than fear of how “one is doing” while following someone else’s well-worn trajectory. The article then moves to an original inquiry initiated by the first author as first-year doctoral student, out of concern for developing love of creativity (rather than fear) in her own students. Her professor added some research questions and joined the inquiry. The key question to 114 respondents, contacted online through social media, was “What does creativity mean to you personally?” The answer is not obvious in a culture that often links creativity only with the arts or with famous people, or with creative product—and evaluation of its worth—rather than with the joys of an open-minded creative process conducted in a risk-free atmosphere. The research involved 8 questions via Survey Monkey. Respondents emerged young, tech savvy, highly educated, and often female. Creativity evoked process for 97%, in personal terms for 75% and typically involved everyday (not eminent) creativity. Creative product came up, as did the arts, but not in isolation. Common descriptors included: ideas, imagination, and expression. The authors suggest creativity be presented to learners so as to inspire and engage, using process more than product. Some important implications are discussed.

NeuroQuantology | June 2013 | Volume 11 | Issue 2 | Page 256-262


creative process; creativity; defining creativity; evaluation; graduate education; imagination; mentoring; originality; potential;Ruth Richards; self-expression; wellbeing

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Supporting Agencies

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

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