Defining Creativity: Consensus and Controversy

How do we define creativity, and how does that definition support or hinder diversity? Join a discussion with creativity scholar Mark Runco.

This presentation will begin by examining the various definitions of creativity used in the field of creative studies. It will include a discussion of how the definitions are related to attempts to support creativity and fulfill creative potentials. Variations among the definitions of creativity will be briefly summarized, as will the ongoing debate about the possibility of including value in a definition.

A second part of this presentation will describe how the originality that is a part of most definitions of creativity hinges on diversity. This is apparent in work specifically on the cognitive processes involved in creativity, but it is also apparent in various interpersonal situations (e.g., organizations, brainstorming, education).

The presentation, like the research on creativity, will in some ways be interdisciplinary. It will run 45-60 minutes and allow plenty of time for questions and follow-up.

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Law, Science and Innovation and the Accommodating and Accounting for Diverse Creativities research cluster funded by the Institute for Humanities Research.

Mark Runco's Bio

Mark Runco earned a PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the Claremont Graduate School. He studied creativity as a student and has kept at it since graduating in 1984. He has published over 300 books, articles and chapters on creativity and closely related topics and has developed and taught a variety of courses and seminars on creativity and Innovation. He earned tenure at the University of Hawaii, Hilo, and then moved to California State University, Fullerton, where he directed the Creativity Research Center of Southern California. Next was an Endowed Professorship at the University of Georgia, where he was also Director of the Torrance Creativity Center. In addition, he has held adjunct positions at Buffalo State University and the Norwegian Business School.

He is currently the Director of Creativity Research at Southern Oregon University (www.soucreativityconference.com), as well as a Fellow and Past President of Division 10 of the APA. He is Emeritus Editor of the Creativity Research Journal and was owner and CEO of Creativity Testing Services, LLC (www.creativitytestingservices.com) until December 2020. His creativity textbook, now in its 3rd edition, has been translated into 10 languages. The 3rd edition of the Encyclopedia of Creativity, which he co-edited, was released in 2020 (www.markrunco.com). His various awards and grants (e.g., Spencer Foundation, Creative Education Foundation) and further details on his career can be found, along with his CV, at www.markrunco.com.

Thursday, September 23, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Institute for Humanities Research
Lauren Whitby