Creativity Glossary _____________________________ _____

Creativity Glossary
Attribute listing – to consider as a quality or characteristic of the person,
thing, group,
Closed System – one right answer, convergent thinking (example: CSAP,
spelling, addition), external motivation
Convergent thinking – an idea or question response is derived from existing
information. Example – “Why do rulers have numbers on them?”
Creativity – The process of sensing problems or gaps in information,
forming ideas or hypotheses, testing and modifying this hypothesis, and
communicating the results. (E. Paul Torrance)
Critical Thinking - Critical thinking is the art of analyzing and evaluating
thinking with a view to improving it (
Divergent thinking – results in greater fluency – when students generate a
new idea. As a teacher, you can help by asking open-ended questions.
Example – “How many ways can a ruler be used?”
Elaboration – planned or done with careful attention to numerous details or
parts (Webster) embellishment, clarification
Flexibility – the ability to take different approaches to a problem or view a
situation from different perspectives.
Flow – the pure enjoyment of creating – focused attention and complete
involvement, freedom from worry about failure, distortion of sense and time,
reward in the experience of creating, disappearance of self-consciousness,
merger of action and awareness
Fluency – the ability to produce a quantity of ideas, answers, or problem
solutions – to create many alternatives (Torrance).
Force-Fitting - putting together two items not normally associated with each
other to solve a problem or create a solution
Global “C” – creativity that leads to transformation within a domain –
known by people in a particular field
Ideation – the process of forming ideas or images; imagine or conceive
Imagery - figurative description or illustration; rhetorical images; the
formation of mental images, figures, or likenesses of things – need to be
Improvising - to compose and perform or deliver without previous
preparation; spur of the moment
Incubation - process of unconscious recombination of thought elements that
were stimulated through conscious work at one point in time, resulting in
novel ideas at some later point in time (waiting for the egg to hatch!)
Innovative - ahead of the times; forward-looking; producing something like
nothing done or experienced or created before
Insight – an understanding of the motivational forces behind one's actions,
thoughts, or behavior; self-knowledge OR an understanding of relationships
that sheds light on or helps solve a problem.
Lateral Thinking – deliberate thinking tools to break away from the rut of
traditional thinking
Local “c” – creativity used in every-day life (such as problem-solving)
Metaphors & Analogies – finding similarities between unlike things
Novelty – new, unique, original
Open System – dynamic and changing, very flexible, divergent thinking,
internally motivation, based in process and understanding
Originality – fresh, new, novel, never been done before
Persistence/Resistance to Closure – a characteristic of a creative person,
does not give up easily and is frequently consumed by a task
Problem-Solving – A “problem” is “a question or situation that presents
doubt, perplexity, or difficulty or a question offered for consideration,
discussion, or solutions.” (Webster 1995).
Productive Thinking – developing new, uncommon, or unique ideas (CDE
uses “creative thinking” and “productive thinking” interchangeably). (CDE
and NAGC).
Resolution - the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of
action, method, procedure
Solution Focus or Solution Finding – judging different solutions based on
the criteria of which solution will be most successful
Synectics – group problem solving
Synergy – the combination of all components of creativity to create high
potential for generative creativity.
Synthesis – creating something new with parts from separate elements.
Tolerance for Ambiguity – a characteristic of a creative person, not
discouraged when answers are not clear-cut, easily adapt when situations
give partial information
Visualization – to form a mental image of something