Creativity: Celebrations and tensions

Taylor, Stephanie (2023). Creativity: Celebrations and tensions. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 17(4) e12737.



In 1950, the President of the American Psychological Association emphasised the economic and political importance of creativity for US society. His account of creativity exhibits a number of tensions that can be identified in other psychologists' theories and conceptualisations of creativity. This paper considers the tensions from the perspective of critical discursive psychology. In the terms of that approach, the tensions derive from multiple non‐academic discourses around creativity, including popular discourses of creativity and art. The paper argues that conceptualisations of creativity from academic psychology have in turn entered wider discourses, invoked, for example, in recent celebrations of the global sector of the creative and cultural industries (CCI). The tensions within psychology's conceptualisations are significant, however, because they raise questions about the extent to which the psychology of creativity has a common reference and coheres around the study of a single phenomenon.

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