Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 11–19

Cognitive Bases of Human Creativity

Review Article


Cognitive load theory has been concerned primarily with techniques that will facilitate the acquisition by students of knowledge previously generated by others and deemed to be important by society. The initial generation of that knowledge, a creative process, has been largely ignored. The recent expansion of cognitive load theory’s cognitive architectural base to incorporate evolutionary biological principles has opened the possibility of using the theory to consider the generation of knowledge as well as its transmission. It has been suggested that the logical base that underlies evolution by natural selection also underlies human cognitive architecture. The purpose of evolutionary theory is to explain the creation of new biological entities and processes. If human cognitive architecture is organized around the same principles, it should analogically be possible to explain knowledge generation. This paper will outline the relevant theoretical machinery, indicate data that support the theory, and indicate instructional procedures that, based on the theory, should facilitate creativity.


Cognitive load theory Creativity Human cognitive architecture Evolutionary psychology Instructional processes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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