Creatology's Growth

Creatology has developed only a little over time.

Since it was conceived as a science in the 1970’s,

Creatology developed enough respect to be included as one of the many chapters about creativity in

the Encyclopedia of Creativity in 1999, which acts a little like a dictionary.

The chapter was written by Dr Magyari-Beck.

Woman sits under a tree at night holding a dinosaur egg given by the moon.

Methods used for research

The road that Creatology has taken… and will continue to take… comes down to how creativity is researched.

There is still so much debate about this, and so much confusion.

But, to understand how Creatology has developed and why the School of Creatology learns about and teaches creativity in a particular way,

it is important to clarify forms of research and the issues they create when it comes to learning about creativity.

Quantitative research measures something via numbers... quantities Qualitative research measures something via descriptions... qualities

Creatology through Science

Since the 1980’s, Dr. Sayed Mahdi Golestan Hashim continued to develop Creatology as an inter-disciplinary science of creativity and innovation.

He used quantitative research methods.

Quantative research measures something via numbers… quantity… and is objective by nature.

He was the founder and head of the Iran Research Centre for Creatology and International Center for Science of Creatology (which may have evolved as I can not find it), and the founder of The TRIZ Journal, last published in 2020.

TRIZ is an acronym for Teoriya Resheniya Izobreatatelskikh Starch, or translated to English, the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving.

It is a systemised method born in 1946 of the study of invention-making by Genrich Altshuller, a Soviet engineer and science-fiction author who studied patents. Samsung, Roles-Royce, General Electric and a few other companies seem to use this method to enhance their inventiveness.

The Doctor stated that,

The focus of Creatology is both the technical and non-technical applications of TRIZ”.

From what I can gather, TRIZ lay the foundation for the focus of his research, becoming a sub-discipline of his Creatolgy over time.

He went on to create the “Total Creativity and Innovation Management” approach for organisational innovation.

Sameh Said-Metwaly, Wim Van den Noortgate and Eva Kandy published a thorough literature review of 152 papers called

Approaches to Measuring Creativity: A Systematic Literature Review in 2017.

They collected data about the use and effectiveness of quantitative measurement tools of creativity in the context of the 4p’s… person, press, product and process.

They did not include any papers that involved qualitative research such as that which Magdalena Sasin (below) encourages the use of.

In the end, they concluded that,

“The measurement of creativity still appears to be an unsettled issue” (p.260).

In other words, quantitative forms of measurement of creativity… those which require our objectivity… aren’t giving us a reliable or holistic understanding of creativity.

Creatology through The Arts

Arts-based research is a qualitative form of research.

It measures something by its descriptions… its qualities… and requires our subjectivity.

This form of research uncovers new understandings about creativity by being creative.

Magdalena Sasin of the University of Poland promoted the use of Arts-Based Research in Creatology studies in a paper called Possible Applications of Arts-Based Research in Creatology Studies published in 2020.

She identified issues with Creatology becoming an inter-disciplinary science like that which Dr. Sayed Mahdi Golestan Hashim was using, such as the limited results of quantitative research, and complications brought by the interests and methods of other sciences, eg psychology, philosophy, economics, anthropology, sociology, technology.

These conclusions have been formed by other researchers too.

Instead, Ms Sasin suggests Creatology should be trans-disciplinary in its approach, using both forms of research, that is,

“Rising above those divisions and noticing the unity (formed by) combining various demonstrations of human activity to learn about the reality and understanding (of) it (creativity)” (p.42).

Issues in learning about creativity

I am lead to believe that the biggest hurdle to learning about creativity

exists between those who develop our understanding of it and those of us, who are not scientists, who want to learn about it.

This wall acts as a barrier between scientists’ understanding of creativity and our access to it, which is a huge problem, because we need this knowledge about creativity now more than ever.

The cause of this, from what I can see, are the ongoing debates in academic circles as to:

  • what creativity is,
  • whether or not creativity is a scientific phenomenon and therefore a phenomenon to be studied by science and formed as a science, and
  • how to measure it.

The questions themselves have become complicated.

So have the published papers on creativity. They are not easy to read or understand.

For example, Mark Batey of the Manchester Metropolitan University found,

Much of the ambiguity surrounding the measurement of creativity is attributed to the lack of consensus among researchers on its definition.

This confusion is just about creativity’s definition yet alone whether it’s a phenomenon and how to measure it!

Most of the definitions we have of creativity are born of the psychology and sociology fields.

As a result, creativity is typically seen (and tried to be measured) solely as an objectified human trait.

Issue #1

Creativity is not just a human trait. It’s not just within us or for us. Creativity exists without humans too.

Creativity is energetic in nature. It is a power.

Its fundamental principle is to generate new life and new growth so it has been fulfilling itself before people began to utilise it intentionally and unintentionally.

Issue #2

The nature of creativity within humankind is dualistic.

We experience it.. express it.. objectively and subjectively.

Creativity merges dualities. It is experienced in our inner and outer worlds, in consciousness and subconsciousness, as a personal and impersonal experience, utilises both lateral and literal thinking, etc.

In other words, we…

  • experience creativity quantitatively (eg how often we choose to use our creative capabilities), and
  • experience creativity qualitatively (eg the way we choose to use our creative capabilities).

I believe, due to creativity’s dualistic nature and that it occurs without humans, science will continue to struggle to learn about it using only quantitative… numerically-based / objective… research methods.

The key to learning about creativity in a reliable and holistic way is most likely a union of these different ways of learning about any subject:

  • quantitative methods… such as those found in the academic-process, and
  • qualitative methods… such as those found in the creative-process.

Getting on with learning about creativity

While debates about creativity continue, time is ticking.

We’ve got too many global and personal problems to wait for science to sort itself out.

Nor do we need to wait for the governments to change policies or laws, or for corporations to do anything differently.

Catch this…

25% of the Australian population

has a preference for creativity.*

That is 6,511,839 people!

If creativity is our #1 problem solving tool and creativity’s #1 purpose is to generate change…

with millions of people doing what they love behind it,

our grandkids might look back and be so grateful that us grass-roots Creators put our power to work.

* SGS Economics and Planning. “Valuing Australia’s Creative Industries”. Creative Industries Innovation Centre, 2013

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