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Cognitive Creativity as a Trait

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Jane Doe
Psychology 134
Professor John Doe
3 April 2018



Annotated Bibliography

Haslam, Nick. Introduction to Personality and Intelligence. Sage Publications Ltd., 2007.

The book focuses on an analysis of traits and their characteristics. It defines a trait as a form of thinking, behavior or feeling. It is an individual’s relatively enduring characteristics; it is consistent in the face of various situations. It differentiates an individual from another; some individuals may have similar traits but at differing levels. Cognitive creativity relates closely to personality traits; this supports the view that it is a trait. The development of creativity associates with personality traits such as; openness to experience, conscientiousness, and extraversion.

Openness to experience depicts a willingness to explore possibilities, new, insightful, and imaginative solutions. Conscientiousness, on the other hand, shows the will to achieve. Extraversion facilitates social interaction and the ability to acquire and use new ideas. An analysis of trait characteristics provides a basis of determining why cognitive creativity is a trait. An individual’s creative ability remains consistent through the years; this is unlike skills which can be taught and forgotten. Creativity is a natural ability. Skills, on the other hand, occur through education, training and life experiences. Creativity, as a trait, changes gradually. Skills, however, may exhibit drastic improvement through comprehension and knowledge acquisition.

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Many individuals may acquire a similar set of skills through similar training experiences. Cognitive creativity involves an individual’s personal development; his/her creative abilities set him/her apart from other people.

Hoyes, J. R. and C. Mellon. “Cognitive Processes in Creativity.” Occasional Paper, no. 18, 1990. Iowa State University. Accessed 1 Nov. 2017.

According to the paper, creativity describes a variety of everyday activities such as a person’s potential in the production of creative works, and everyday behavior. Creativity focuses on whether an individual’s actions are; new, original, valuable, and exciting. The individual’s cognitive processes play a role in determining creativity level. Research studies on the correlation between acquired skills and creativity levels in individuals yield disappointing results. The measure of real life depiction of creativity relates to personality; researchers succeed in the identification of personality traits in creative individuals. Some of the personality traits associated with creativity include; flexibility, drive for originality, independence, and devotion to working. Devotion to working involves hard work; this is not a skill that can be taught, but results from the individual’s drive to succeed. Independence in creative individuals shows through the desire for autonomous actions and thoughts; some individuals lack this ability.

Skills involve following of outlined rules and procedures. Creativity goes beyond this; thus it should not be regarded as a skill. The drive for originality focuses on new ideas and not duplication of existing ones. Skills focus on improving existing abilities. The paper gives empirical evidence on why creativity relates to trait and not acquired skills. Personality is an inborn and unique characteristic; its association with creativity shows that it determines creativity.

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Creativity, in individuals, remains a constant factor from childhood to adulthood; this enduring nature throughout an individual’s lifespan is a characteristic of traits. Unlike traits, skills undergo rapid changes when a condition such as training stops or advances. Creativity remains the individual’s stable attribute.

King, J., L. Goodson, and F. Rohani. “Higher Order Thinking Skills.” Center for Advancement of Learning and Assessment, 2013. Accessed 1 Nov. 2017.

The book lists creativity among the central higher order thinking skills; they develop through individual experience. The ability to solve problems creatively depends on the concepts of; context, self-correcting, procedural knowledge, level of comprehension, intelligence and insight. Creativity refers to the use of convergent and divergent thinking skills in producing new ideas. He/she goes beyond acquired and learned rules and concepts. Through creativity, a person establishes connections between unrelated events and established logical meaning. The book explores the contributions of various theories in exploring cognitive creativity. They include Piaget’s and Bruner’s which focus on the development of creativity through active learning, discovery and inquiry. The hands-on approach supports the view that creativity is inborn but is a trait that can be enhanced. It shows that existing creativity develops through experiences and knowledge expansion.

The tabular analysis depicts critical thinking as an intense preparation and desire, rather than external locus of evaluation. Creativity as a higher order thinking ability develops through experiences; these experiences also develop a person’s trait and personality; the characteristics are unique. However, learning environments and appropriate teaching strategies equip individuals with skills of enhancing their creativity levels.

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Creativity involves individuals’ ability to go beyond learned knowledge in coming up with ideas; this depends on personality traits. It thus focuses on the individual’s traits and not learned skills. Cognitive creativity is an inward trait, rather than a skill. It, however, depends on various skills for its development and efficient application in problem-solving and critical thinking.

Smith, Steven M., Thomas. B. Word, and Ronald. A. Finke. Introduction. The Creative Cognition Approach, 2009, A Bradford Book, pp. 1-9.

According to the authors, thinking processes determine an individual’s creativity. There are also other factors such as; culture, individual abilities and the environment. Theoretical models used in the analysis and understanding of cognitive creativity have their foundation on association and Gestalts’ psychology. According to association, creativity improves through reward of creative acts exhibited; this increases the probability of subsequent creative acts. Gestalts’ point of view, on the other hand, attributes creativity to special internal processes and inner drives. A personality analysis approach is efficient in identifying creative individuals, and assessing their talents. The cognitive aspect analyzes the mental processes that lead to their creativity.

Traits associate with an individual’s personality; mental processes play a crucial role in determining traits. Among the trait characteristics is the level of creativity in individuals. Subsequently, the analysis of cognitive creativity based on personality theories of Gestalts and association show that it is a trait. Personality analysis used in determining individuals’ unique characters can be used in showing their creativity levels. Creativity is not a skill. Skills are activities individuals carry out efficiently; he/she acquires them through learning experiences.

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Traits, on the other hand, develop through influences of genetics and life experiences. An individual cannot be taught creativity however, his level of creativity can be enhanced through the acquisition of supplementary skills. The book provides adequate evidence on the trait nature of cognitive creativity. It associates creativity with internal processes and genetic dispositions; this shows that creativity is an inborn ability and not a skill developed through training. Training cannot create, but only enhances creativity; this view receives support from various experts on creativity research.


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