Psychology, Psychologists, and the Creativity Movement: The Lives of Method Inside and Outside the Cold War



“The neglect of this subject by psychologists is appalling.”1 So said psychologist Joy Paul Guilford in his 1950 presidential address to the American Psychological Association (APA). The subject was creativity, and the neglect did not last for long. Before the decade was out, another onetime APA President, Henry Murray, called the post-Guilford burst of research into creativity an “evolution of the human spirit.”2 Participants of a 1959 conference on creativity suggested that the “Creativity Quotient” had dislodged the “Intelligence Quotient” as the parameter of choice for psychologists in the field of mental testing.3 And a 1975 collection on creativity research looked back to Guilford’s 1950 address as marking a “paradigm shift” in psychology.4 Pronouncements such as these hint at the importance of the self-styled “creativity movement” whose structure, motivations, and methods are the subject of this chapter.


American Psychological Association Creativity Research Instructional Medium Psychometric Method Creative People 
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  1. 1.
    Joy Paul Guilford, “Creativity,” American Psychologist 5 (1950): 444–454, on 445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Henry Murray, “Vicissitudes of creativity,” in Creativity and its Cultivation: Addresses Presented at the Interdisciplinary Symposia on Creativity, ed. Harold H. Anderson (Harper: New York, 1959), 40–67, on 43.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Calvin W. Taylor ed., Proceedings of the Third (1959) University of Utah Research Conference on the Identification of Scientific Talent (Wiley: New York, 1959), 282–286.Google Scholar
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    Irving A. Taylor and J. W. Getzels eds., Perspectives in Creativity (Chicago: Aldine Pub. Co., 1975), 1.Google Scholar
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    On the creativity movement and teaching machines see especially Sidney J. Parnes, Programming Creative Behavior: Pinal Report, Office of Education, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Title VII, Project No. 5-0716 (State University of New York at Buffalo, 1966).Google Scholar
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© Mark Solovey and Hamilton Cravens 2012

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