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October 2021

Creativity as blind variation and selective retention: Is the creative process Darwinian?

Journal/Book: Psychol Inq. 1999; 10: 10 Industrial Ave, Mahwah, NJ 07430-2262, USA. Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc Inc. 309-328.

Abstract: Darwinism provides not only a theory of biological evolution but also supplies a more generic process applicable to many phenomena in the behavioral sciences. Among these applications is the blind-variation and selective-retention model of creativity proposed by Campbell (1960). Research over the past 4 decades lends even more support to Campbell's model. This support is indicated by reviewing the experimental, psychometric, and historiometric literature on creativity. Then 4 major objections to the Darwinian model are examined (sociocultural determinism, individual volition, human rationality, and domain expertise). The article concludes by speculating whether the Darwinian model may actually subsume all alternative theories of creativity as special cases of the larger framework.

Note: Review Simonton DK, Univ Calif Davis, Dept Psychol, 1 Shields Ave, Davis,CA 95616 USA

Keyword(s): TIME-SERIES ANALYSIS; MINORITY INFLUENCE; INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES; JAPANESE CIVILIZATION; MULTIPLE DISCOVERIES; CLASSICAL COMPOSERS; ARTISTIC CREATION; VISUAL IMAGES; WORK HABITS; EMINENCE


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