Encyclopedia of Creativity, Invention, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Living Edition
| Editors: Elias G. Carayannis (Editor-in-Chief)

Big Creativity Versus Little Creativity

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6616-1_200060-1

The distinction between Big C creativity and little c creativity is often used in the creativity research. The former is taken to represent high-level creativity and the creativity of famous creators. The latter is taken to represent creativity displayed by people who are not famous. Sometimes little c creativity is used in discussions of children’s creativity, “personal creativity,” or everyday creativity, a concept that is becoming increasingly popular.

The origin of the Big C/little c dichotomy is uncertain. Peter Merrotsy explored the origin in detail in the 2012 Creativity Research Journal. He reviewed 15 years of research, aided by Advanced Google Searchand other internet resources, but he could not pinpoint the origin. He did see a possible trend that may help explain the distinction. This trend was from the study of eminent creators to the study of more ordinary and mundane forms of creativity and the people who display it. Merrotsy reasoned that there was a need to...


Creativity Research Creative Potential False Dichotomy Creativity Literature Personal Creativity 
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© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GeorgiaAthensUSA