Implicit theories of scientific creativity

Alena Plháková, Eva Reiterová

Abstract

The study was aimed to chart the implicit theories of creativity of mathematicians and psychologists. The research sample consisted of 93 psychology students and 80 applied mathematics and informatics students at Palacký University in Olomouc who were asked to describe typical mental activities and behaviors of highly creative mathematicians and psychologists. From the contents of their replies, a list of these experts’ characteristic features was created. It was found out that the implicit theories of creative mathematicians included a good level of logical and analytical thinking, high natural intelligence, exactness, flexibility, absent-mindedness, and specific relation to the world to which belonged insulation from reality, closeness, poor communication skills, and sense of superiority toward non-mathematicians. The major components of the creative psychologist’s im­plicit theory are positive relationships to people, especially clients, the ability to produce new therapeutic procedures, to publish, and to carry out research. Other typical features are openness to new experience, persistence, nonconformity, flexibility, and broad horizons not only in the field of psychology but also in the area of culture and arts. Mental processes and behaviors ascribed to creative specialists appear to be closely related to the respective domain of science.

(Fulltext in Czech)

Keywords

implicit theories, creativity, expertise, intrinsic motivation

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