Encyclopedia of Creativity, Invention, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

2013 Edition
| Editors: Elias G. Carayannis

Creativity in Puzzles, Inventions, and Designs: Sudden Mental Insight Phenomenon

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3858-8_385



There are many definitions of creativity. Here, one based on commonly held beliefs about creativity and observations from studies designed to unravel its secrets will be used (Akin and Akin 1996): creativity is the act of producing novel and valuable things. A creative product is different from existing ones on account of one or more features and adds exceptional valueto human purposes. Creativity is readily associated with art. Caravaggio’s realism, Van Gogh’s impressionism, and Vermeer’s depiction of light are just a few examples. In the annals of human civilization, some of the most valued human products include not only artistic but also scientific ones. Hence, developing a unifying theory of the creative process...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Akin Ö. Psychology of architectural design. London: Pion Ltd; 1986.Google Scholar
  2. Akin Ö, Akin C. Frames of reference in architectural design: analyzing the hyper- acclamation: “a-h-a-!”. Des Stud. 1996;17(4):341–61.Google Scholar
  3. Casakin H. Metaphors in design problem-solving: implications for creativity. Int J Des. 2007;1(2):23–35.Google Scholar
  4. Eastman C. Cognitive processes and ill-defined problems: a case study of design. In: Walker D, Norton LM, editors. IJCA’'69, International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence; San Mateo, CA: Kaufmann; 1969. p 669–90.Google Scholar
  5. MacKinnon DW. Creativity and the expression of possibilities. In: Kagan J, editor. Creativity and learning. Boston: Houghton Miflin; 1967.Google Scholar
  6. Hayes JR. The complete problem solver. 2nd ed. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum; 1989.Google Scholar
  7. Hayes JR, Nash JG. On the nature of planning in writing. In: Levy CM, Ransdell S, editors. The science of writing: theories, methods, individual differences, and applications. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum; 1996. p. 29–55.Google Scholar
  8. Kaplan CA, Simon HA. In search of insight. Cogn Psychol. 1990;22:374–419.Google Scholar
  9. Kedrov BM. On the question of the psychology of scientific creativity. Soviet Psychol. 1966–1967;5(2):16–37.Google Scholar
  10. Newell A, Simon HA. Human information processing. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall; 1972.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ArchitectureCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA