History of Creatology

I loved when my daughter said I was a Creatologist so much that it gave me an inspired idea.

Maybe I could call my research into creativity, ‘Creatology’?

allowing creativity to become a subject in its own right.

Not dance, not media, not writing; not an art form as such, but creativity standing on its own two feet.

But during three restless nights, I felt an increasing anxiety…

and good-old Google proved me right.

A gold grandfather clock stands high in front of mountains.

It turned out ‘Creatology’ was already in use. Not much, but in use none-the-less.

It seems to be a term that referred to the creation process outlined in the Christian Bible as late as the 1990’s as the ‘science and discipline of the first days’, but maybe it didn’t catch on. I was raised in the Catholic church, attended a Catholic secondary school and univertisity, and I don’t remember it referred to.

There are also occasional references to it in a couple of economic reformation books found on ‘Google books’. Without buying the books themselves, I don’t have an understanding of how they use the term other that it’s referred to as a dialectic (a way of finding truth in opposing ideas).

There is also a reference to a group of scientists who used a system of Creatology that seemed to focus on the “mysteries of creations”. It’s in the Egyptian Book of the Dead (p.24) which I haven’t read either.

However,

I found two academic researchers who both claim to have invented not only the term Creatology,

but Creatology as a science of human creativity in the 1970’s…

Rafael Nelson M. Aboganda of the Philippines and Dr. Istvan Magyari-Beck of Hungary.

Rafael Nelson M. Aboganda

Following an encouraging message chat, I publish the following with his permission.

In 1971, Creatology as a science of creativity was conceptualised by a creativity research group lead by

Mr Aboganda and Ricardo S. Cortez of the now Philippine Department of Science and Technology.

In the Creativity Journal he founded, they described Creatology as “the study and investigation of the total process of creativity, the environment and conditions under which this process occurs, the resulting ‘creative product’ and the ways and means in which it may be facilitated and developed. It also examines the creative personality of the creator – inventor, innovator, scientist, technologist, entrepreneur, industrialist, writer, author, poet, artist etc,”.

Dr. Mel Rhodes (1916-1976), an assistant professor in the Education Faculty at the University of Arizona in America, uncovered four themes of human creativity and released them as a framework in 1961 in An Analysis of Creativity. They are now well known as the “4P’s”.

Mr Aboganda and his researchers set upon the journey of establishing how to measure these 4P’s.

Listed from most to least studied around the world, the framework consists of:

  • the creative process (in humankind),
  • the creative press (environment),
  • the creative person (characteristics etc), and
  • the creative product (the tangible, made thing).
The 4p's of Creativity, by Dr. Mel Rhodes

Mr Aboganda published a paper through the Philippine Inventors Commission (PIC)in 1972 called, “Towards a Positive Understanding of Creativity – Creatology, The Science of Creativity” which I can not find.

It was quickly followed by a 18-month study into the process of invention and innovation development, but then their research stalled due to a loss of funds and support from other researchers.

Mr Aboganda has formed two foundations:

the Likhaan Institute of Creatology and Innovation, the education and research center of Likhaan Agglomerates, Inc., located in Makati City, the business center of the Philippines. Likhaan Institute has been conducting creativity and innovation training courses (for more than 50 years), soon they will offer a master’s degree course in creativity and innovation in consortium with the NBS College (owned by National Book Store, the largest bookstore in the Philppines) and the Asian Development College located in Tacloban City in Eastern Visayas, Philippines. and

The Invent school, that seems to be incorporated within the Cre8tology Corporation.

Mr Aboganda created a video defining Creatology and summarising his work, publishing it on YouTube. It’s called What is Creatology?- the science of creativity and innovation.

He also has a number of publications available at Academia.edu.

Dr. Istvan Magyari-Beck

Dr. Magyari-Beck’s (1941-2022) work came not long after.

The Doctor was a Hungarian scholar and Professor Emeritus at the Corvinus University of Budapest’s department of Philosophy.

He coined the word ‘Creatology’ and introduced it as a term for “an interdisciplinary science about the creative functions in their any possible respects and parts” in a presentation at a conference in 1977, followed by publication in the conference’s book in 1979.

The Doctor suggested, that due to creativity’s “complexity, it needs a new discipline of Creatology in order to be thoroughly understood”. His opinion was published in “Implications of a systems perspective for the study of creativity”, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, chapter 16 of the Handbook of Creativity.

He created a matrix to demonstrate the aspects of the science to be researched, with all of the aspects being categorised into 3 levels, called the Creatology Matrix .

Dr. Istvan Magyari-Beck

Each of the levels and aspects, particularly the second aspect of ‘process’, are then broken down even further.

The tables of these are published in Creatology from 1977 to 2007. The First Thirty Years of a New Science of Creativity.

Here is a PDF of Creatology: Past, Present and Future.

For these and more readings, check out his his publications page.

Creatology Pyramid

There are four levels of creative units in the Creatology Matrix:

  1. culture/civilization,
  2. organization,
  3. group, and
  4. person.

There are three aspects within each level in the Matrix:

  1. ability,
  2. process, and
  3. product.

Our mission is simply to maintain the interest towards the complex phenomena of creation…

thus we can search for its common laws, rules and their manifestations and conscious – goal orientated – applications,

not to speak of the nurturing of creativity and making it more preferable for groups, organisations and cultures.

Creativity is the only weapon accepted by Creatologists.

Dr Istvan Magyar-Beck

(Creatology: Past, Present and Future. 2014. p.15-16)

Unknown Researcher

There may be a third researcher!

I’m sure I read an online article a few years ago that referenced a man who claimed to have coined ‘Creatology’ in 1954.

However I can’t find it in my notebooks nor online. If I come across it, I’ll add it here.

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