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Habitual creativity: revising habit, reconceptualizing creativity.

Glăveanu, Vlad Petre (2012) Habitual creativity: revising habit, reconceptualizing creativity. Review of General Psychology, 16 (1). pp. 78-92. ISSN 1089-2680

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Identification Number: 10.1037/a0026611


Current psychological scholarship is based on a dichotomy between habit, associated with automatic reflex behavior, and creativity, which involves deliberation, purpose and heuristic procedures. However, this account is problematic and contradicts everyday experience where mastery, for instance, is one of the highest levels of creative performance achieved within a habitual practice. This article argues that such a separation misrepresents both habit and creativity with important theoretical and practical consequences. A first step toward reconciling the two terms is made by revisiting a series of foundational strands of theory from psychology and related disciplines. In light of these sources, habit is reformulated as a social, situated, and open system, and habitual creativity defined as the intrinsically creative nature of customary action, reflected in the way habits adjust to dynamic contexts, the way they are used, combined, and ultimately perfected. Further distinctions are then made between habit, improvisation, and innovation. Both improvisational and innovative creativity are embedded in habitual forms and this is well illustrated by craftwork: a practiced type of activity on the basis of which artisans improvise, whenever obstacles or difficulties are encountered, and even get to innovate when their intention is to generate novel artifacts or work techniques. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 American Psychological Association
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2012 09:57
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 01:56

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