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Creativity Research in Romania

Creativity Research in Romania (10)

This is the first of a series of guest-edited papers featuring creativity research in different countries. These papers have been invited by our Guest Editors and then blind peer-reviewed by members of our Editorial Board. We are delighted to feature Romanian research in our first issue in this series. The research papers published here have been invited by Guest Editor, Dr Ana Constantin, and feature creativity research by academics at Romania’s oldest university, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi.

(First published here in 2012).

The present article explores the nature of creativity in craft and does so with the help of a case study of traditional Easter egg decoration. It starts by positioning the domain of folk art in relation to fine art and within a larger category of everyday life forms of creative expression. Following this, a cultural psychology approach to creativity is introduced and its framework used to unpack the actors and processes involved in craftwork. Analysing what is characteristic for folk art uses these particular theoretical lenses and requires paying attention to externalisation, integration, internalisation, and social interaction aspects, which are discussed in turn. Findings reveal fundamental features of craft such as its materiality, the presence of a strong traditional background, the importance of continuous learning, and the role of family and community relations. Towards the end, connections are made with the existing literature and final reflections offered on whether the characteristics above say something about creativity more generally, beyond the context of craft.



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by Ana-Maria Hojbota and Dr Ana Constantin.

(This article was originally published in the journal in 2013)

This research-based article comprises a fascinating exploration of the complex relationship between creativity and conflict. The authors point out that, although creativity has sometimes been seen as a catalyst for conflict, it can also be positively employed in conflict situations. This paper is in two parts, the first examines the impact of conflict on creative behaviour, the second looks at the ways in which creativity affects conflict whether positively or negatively. A particular strength of this paper is the way in which it addresses the complexity of this relationship head on. Useful suggestions for further research are also included.

Abstract

The authors investigate the relationships between creativity and conflict, by exploring existing conceptualisations and deriving additional propositions suggested by the published literature. Respecting the biunivocal direction of the influences between conflict and creativity, the article has a twofold organisation: the first part focuses on the impact of conflict on creative behaviour, and the second one investigates the influences of creativity in approaching conflict situations. The results and trends in the area that intersect the two fields of research are commented upon, and a series of hypotheses about the nature of the alliance between the two are developed, directly or indirectly derived from the empirical studies and concurrent theoretical models.

Key words: creativity, conflict, affectivity

(First published in 2013)

Professor Boris Plahteanu was born in Bessarabia, in Chişinău, on September 22st 1941. During the war, his family moved to Romania. He graduated from the Politechnical Institute, Iaşi as a valedictorian, and completed his PhD in mechanical engineering in 1973 more specifically in the area of industrial engineering. He was immediately recruited as a Member of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. Since 1990, Professor Plahteanu has been a Member of the National Inventics Institute of Iaşi, Editor in Chief of the Journal of Inventics, and Scientific Manager.

Since 2002 he has been General Manager of the National Inventics Institute and is Coordinator of the Regional Centre of the European Network PATLIB for the promotion of intellectual property. With about 87 patents submitted to the National Trademark Office, Boris Plahteanu is the winner of several national and international trophies with over 60 Golden Medals in the international fair of inventions, and he owns several Romanian and international distinctions.

Thursday, 05 May 2016 14:23

Guest Editor - Prof Ana Constantin PhD

Professor Emeritus, Ana Constantin PhD, is a former Professor in the Department of Psychology in the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, The ‘Alexandru Ioan Cuza’ University, Iași, Romania. Her first love has been, for years, the study and teaching of creativity, with its psychological and educational implications. Her second main area of interest is conflict resolution. She still teaches classes for undergraduate students and her main efforts are focused on encouraging former young Fellows and her doctoral students to undertake research in creativity and to publish studies in highly appreciated journals.

The terminology psychologists employ to explain thinking and behaviour can vary according to the theoretical perspectives they adopt. In other words, different psychologists may use different terminology to describe the same phenomenon. For example, psychologists working in the Freudian tradition may refer to ‘the unconscious’ whereas others may prefer to talk about ‘the long term memory’ or ‘deep levels of processing’. The terminology selected normally reflects the psychologists’ assessment of what they judge best describes or explains the phenomenon being addressed.

In this fascinating paper, the authors argue that unconscious thinking is an active process which has a key role to play in the generation of creative ideas and solutions. As they point out, for many years ‘the unconscious’ was regarded as entirely passive and the idea of an active unconscious is a relatively new one. They also offer a useful discussion on the phenomenon of ‘incubation’ in creativity and its relationship to unconscious thought.

But do you need a psychologist to tell you how to think more effectively? Wouldn’t you agree that if you simply think long and hard about a decision and carefully weigh up all the options, that you’ll stand the best chance of coming to a good conclusion?

Abstract

Creativity often relies on temporarily holding back one's conscious thoughts from the respective task, which supports the emergence of valuable creative insights into the respective situation in the next phase of conscious deliberation. This phenomenon of incubation has been frequently explained as a consequence of the mere shift of attention away from the task, which in turn would allow for a fresh look at the relevant information upon one's returning to its conscious analysis. The present paper argues that the unconscious plays an important and active role in incubation, ignored by the aforementioned perspective. To this purpose, we review the relevant research on a specific theory, that has been recently developed, focused on unconscious thought and we bridge the two areas of study – on creativity and on unconscious thinking. Specifically, we first identify the common mechanisms and moderators, shown to be involved both in incubation and in unconscious thought, that suggest that the latter might be at the psychological core of the former. Secondly, we highlight experimental results that provide evidence for the thesis that unconscious thinking is an active process by which information is organized and mental associations are spurred, both in general reasoning and in creativity tasks, further suggesting that creative incubation effects are of a significant magnitude due to the active involvement of unconscious thinking.

Keywords: Creativity, incubation, unconscious thinking, bottom-up processing, associations

In this research paper, Marian Panainte explores the relationship between emotional experience and acting. What is the actor’s emotional experience when emotionally-involved and how does this differ from his or her experience when adopting a more detached, technical approach to acting? And what are the implications of this?

Abstract

Over time, there have been many debates about the paradoxical relationship between the real emotions of actors and the emotions that a character should express on stage. Diderot's Paradox (Diderot, 1830) has been and continues to be the basis for a dispute in which opposing views are present: on one hand, there is the view of those who claim that the actor himself must experience the emotions he expresses on stage; on the other hand, there are scholars who oppose the idea that the actor experiences and expresses the emotions of the character.

First, Diderot argued that a good actor does not feel anything and that is why he produces the strongest reactions in the audience. A sensitive actor could not interpret the same role, with as good and as successful a performance. Moreover, Diderot (1830) states that there are so many varied and complex situations in one major role, that it would be impossible for the actor to be able to know and experience all of them. An extreme sensitivity on the part of the actor would have negative consequences on performance; people expressing many emotions only serve as an example for great actors in the light of a modèle idèal.


Keywords: emotional labour, actors' emotions, absorption, involvement/detachment style

What is the Mozart Effect? Does it exist? If it does, does it have any effect on creativity? These are the questions these authors have sought to answer.  After briefly reviewing the evidence concerning the beneficial effects of music, these authors provide a useful review of the literature regarding the controversy surrounding the Mozart Effect. The point out that most previous investigations have explored the relationship between Mozart’s music and performance on spatial-temporal tasks, so they are particularly interested in finding out whether the Mozart Effect has any bearing on creativity. One of the strengths of this paper concerns the way in which these researchers explore the range of explanations for their research results – a valuable learning experience for all would-be researchers.

Abstract

An exciting debate has arisen over the music of Mozart, mostly due to the books of Campbell (1997) 'The Mozart Effect', and Shaw (2000) 'Keeping Mozart in Mind'. The debate concerns whether or not there is such a phenomenon as a 'Mozart Effect'. Previous research presented The Mozart Effect as a way of temporarily improving spatial abilities by only listening to Mozart's music for just ten minutes. Most of the papers on this topic were concerned with finding out the influence of Mozart's music on spatial abilities.

The aim of the present study is to determine whether this Mozart Effect has any influence on creativity: Is the Mozart Effect a myth or reality? We sampled 135 high school students that were randomly assigned to (1) listen to Mozart (Mozart group), (2) listen to House – a genre of electronic dance music (House group) or (3) sit in silence (control group) while completing a creative thinking task. We expected participants that completed the task while listening to Mozart to perform better on the creative thinking task than the other groups. The results showed The Mozart Effect to be a myth. Mozart's music had no significant positive impact on the creativity of the subjects when assessed by the battery of tests developed by Stoica-Constantin and Caluschi (2005).

Keywords: Mozart Effect, creativity, music.

Both creativity and talent are defined in many different ways. This paper provides a valuable insight into how talented Romanian students are currently being identified and their talents nurtured, as perceived mainly by school counsellors. Their recommendations and those of the authors are highly relevant for anyone interested in improving educational provision for highly creative and talented students.

Abstract

The identification of high potential for creative achievement as an integrated part of talent, and nurturing it, have always been significant challenges for education. We aim to explore how educationists perceive talent and strategies for its promotion in the Romanian cultural and socio-economic environments. To achieve a first image on this topic, we investigated school counsellors' perceptions on talent promotion inside the Romanian formal educational system. Thus, our approach was indirect, exploring the situation of the practices regarding talent in our country, through the lens of the professionals, as reflected in their current activity.

Our survey focused on the following issues: identification of talent, teacher training in the psycho-pedagogy of excellence, types of special programs and their impact, and general educational context. Results suggest that practices regarding talent identification and development tend to differ from one region to another, indicating the lack of an integrated, coherent and unitary methodology. Respondents suggest that cognitive dimensions have priority, with great importance granted to academic results, achievement in national and international contests and nominations from teachers. Among existing activities aimed at promoting talent, the non-formal seem to be most appreciated. School counsellors point to the fact that initial training in this domain is insufficient and that the educational offer is scarce. The research results also point to the crucial task of integrating the complex concept of talent, with all its components including creativity, into workable teaching and counselling applications.

Keywords: creativity, talent, creativity-supporting environment, education

This paper explores the relationship between being creative, creative styles and attachment styles from a psychological perspective. Non-psychologists may find some of the terminology unfamiliar, but this is explained by the authors. In particular, the authors are concerned with exploring the relationship between creativity and emotional processes, not least because of the close relationship between emotion and attachment. They cite evidence from other authors that positive emotions tend to support creativity and negative emotions inhibit creativity and this might seem logical. But then they cite other evidence that indicates the reverse – so what’s going on? As this paper reveals, the situation is far more complicated than it might appear at first glance.

Abstract

Creativity and its dynamics are too important to be ignored in the current trend among scientists: determining the exact nature of the relationship between cognition and emotion within complex mental processes. On the one hand, this trend establishes a broader view of rational processes, including their relation to unconscious processes; on the other, the importance of emotional factors involved in the creative process must be reconsidered. The authors of this study have started from the premise that, impregnated by emotion and functioning as Internal Working Models, attachment styles can have a significant influence upon the creative process. These Internal Working Models come from our biological need to stay in contact with each other and they are systems of mental representations and emotions that help us in all future social relationships, (Bowlby, 1969).

The purpose of our research is to pinpoint the relationship between creative styles, attachment styles and creativity processes. Our research was conducted on a sample of 170 subjects, and we applied the Attachment Questionnaire by Collins and Read (1990), the Creativity Questionnaire (De A'Echevarria 2008 and the Creativity Styles Questionnaire-Revised (Kumar, Kemmler and Holman, 1997). The research findings underline two aspects, as follows:

1. The self-reported performance of subjects during the various phases of the creative process is influenced by the creative strategies they use (creative style).
2. Attachment style does not influence the self-reported performance of subjects on the creative process, but only their creative styles.

Significant differences were found only between the anxious and avoidant attachment styles and the secure and combined attachment styles. These findings suggest the role of attachment styles as an emotional matrix or an Internal Working Model for the creative process.

Keywords: Attachment styles, creative styles, creative processes

These authors acknowledge the multi-dimensional nature of creativity including its relevance across disciplines. They stress that the Romanian research reported in this paper is part of a wider project on the social representation of women in IT.  In the study reported here they focus especially on the position of creativity in the social representation of women in IT. 

Abstract

Including the theory of social representations (Moscovici, 1961) into the sphere of recently used paradigms in creative research (Glăveanu & Tanggaard, 2014) has offered a great anchorage to our study which involved an investigation into the place attached to creativity in the case of a special 'social object', the woman in the IT field. We were interested in this representational universe as a professional reality which is considered non-normative for women (Newton & Stewart, 2013). Thus, in an indirect way, our research verifies, within this social representation (SR), the confrontation between two perceptions: that professional or research domains 'tangential' to mathematics are highly creative (Hill & Rogers, 2012), versus women's lack of interest in these sectors and, implicitly, in expressing this type of creativity (Hill, Corbett, & Rose, 2010). Survey and the questionnaire methods were used to collect information from different Romanian institutions and from 157 individual subjects. Data have been analysed globally, but also segmentally, based on two criteria: the professional branch and the subjects' gender. The results indicate that, in the social representation of women in IT, creativity is highly placed, even in the central nucleus (Figure 1) and confirmed in 60% of all possible situations taken into account. Particular analysis identified that the main source of this result is a process of in-group double bias (Tajfel, 1974): from the IT-guys and from women. Thus, surprisingly, the non–normativity of the object of representation has fostered the role of creativity, even if the price paid has been the inclusion of certain paradoxical aspects.


Keywords: creativity, women, IT, social representation (SR)

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