Thomas B. Ward

Thomas B. Ward is Professor of Psychology at the University of Alabama.

  • The Creative Cognition Approach

    The Creative Cognition Approach

    Steven M. Smith, Thomas B. Ward, and Ronald A. Finke

    The Creative Cognition Approach begins with a new look at an ancient subject, dreams. It then takes up intuition and insight from a contemporary cognitive perspective, and the importance of using prior knowledge in the incremental view of creative problem solving, which is contrasted with the importance of various forms of fixation and sudden insight.

    Mental processes are the essence of creative endeavor. The Creative Cognition Approach extends this particular view of creativity, first proposed and developed by the editors in their earlier book Creative Cognition, to the programs and theoretical views of some of the most prominent researchers in the areas of problem solving, concept formation, and thinking. Chapters cover a wide range of approaches and processes that play a role in creative cognition, from those that have their roots in associationism (the notion that creative ideas are produced incrementally), to the Gestalt point of view (particularly insight), to current computational approaches. Each chapter deals with central issues in cognition and creativity, and many consider new ways in which creativity can be studied under controlled conditions.

    The Creative Cognition Approach begins with a new look at an ancient subject, dreams. It then takes up intuition and insight from a contemporary cognitive perspective, and the importance of using prior knowledge in the incremental view of creative problem solving, which is contrasted with the importance of various forms of fixation and sudden insight. Studies are presented that provide new methods for distinguishing insight problem solving from analytic problem solving, and a general description of recall, problem solving, and creative thinking is provided along with relevant experimental evidence.

    Numerous laboratory studies of creative idea generation are described that reveal the conceptual structures that give rise to imaginative thinking. Visual representations are considered in the context of memory distortions, and in the use of diagrams in scientific discovery. Models that help clarify the relation between comprehension and creativity are discussed, and a novel integration of ideas (primary and secondary process thinking, conditioning, genetic algorithms, chaos theory, the thermodynamics of crystallography) are brought together in a connectionist framework. A multivariate investment approach is used to study creative performance, and criteria for assessing and enhancing creative realism are detailed.

    A Bradford Book

    • Hardcover $58.00 £48.00
    • Paperback $30.00 £25.00
  • Creative Cognition

    Creative Cognition

    Theory, Research, and Applications

    Ronald A. Finke, Steven M. Smith, and Thomas B. Ward

    Creative Cognition combines original experiments with existing work in cognitive psychology to provide the first explicit account of the cognitive processes and structures that contribute to creative thinking and discovery.

    Creative Cognition combines original experiments with existing work in cognitive psychology to provide the first explicit account of the cognitive processes and structures that contribute to creative thinking and discovery.

    In separate chapters, the authors take up visualization, concept formation, categorization, memory retrieval, and problem solving. They describe novel experimental methods for studying creative cognitive processes under controlled laboratory conditions, along with techniques that can be used to generate many different types of inventions and concepts. Unlike traditional approaches, Creative Cognition considers creativity as a product of numerous cognitive processes, each of which helps to set the stage for insight and discovery. It identifies many of these processes as well as general principles of creative cognition that can be applied across a variety of different domains, with examples in artificial intelligence, engineering design, product development, architecture, education, and the visual arts.

    Following a summary of previous approaches to creativity, the authors present a theoretical model of the creative process. They review research involving an innovative imagery recombination technique, developed by Finke, that clearly demonstrates that creative inventions can be induced in the laboratory. They then describe experiments in category learning that support the provocative claim that the factors constraining category formation similarly constrain imagination and illustrate the role of various memory processes and other strategies in creative problem solving.

    • Hardcover $30.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00