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Intelligence and Creativity Are Pretty Similar After All


This article reviews the history of thought on how intelligence and creativity, two individual differences important to teaching and learning, are connected. For decades, intelligence and creativity have been seen as essentially unrelated abilities. Recently, however, new theories, assessment methods, and statistical tools have caused a shift in the field’s consensus. New lines of work on creative thinking strategies, executive cognitive processes and abilities, and cognitive neuroscience have revealed that intelligence and creativity are much more closely linked than the field has thought. The deep connections between these concepts offer opportunities for a more fertile conception of both intelligence and creativity, one that emphasizes similarities between solving problems with right answers and thinking flexibly, critically, and playfully.

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Correspondence to Paul J. Silvia.

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Silvia, P.J. Intelligence and Creativity Are Pretty Similar After All. Educ Psychol Rev 27, 599–606 (2015).

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  • Creativity
  • Intelligence
  • Divergent thinking
  • Assessment
  • Executive control