Scholars in Creativity
J. PAUL GUILFORD
While studying at the University of Nebraska, Guilford (1897–1987) became acquainted with Charles Spearman’s g-factor theory of intelligence. G-factor (or general intelligence), first identified in 1904, theorizes that intelligence is a broad trait which can be measured and reported at a single number. This belief was challenged by Guilford and later by Howard Gardner who proposed multiple intelligences. A majority of Guilford’s career was spent identifying individual factors of intellect through batteries of test and assessments.
In 1940 Guilford was hired by the Air Force to help determine why talented and capable pilots were not making it through training. Guilford developed a battery of tests based on observations of the tasks and abilities required of pilots to be successful at their jobs. Using factor analysis techniques and psychometric tests developed by L.L. Thurstone (1887–1955), Guilford isolated and identified specific factors and cognitive abilities. His findings were used to select future candidates and reduced the pilot failure rate by 1/3. This epic work set the standard for selection programs which were used from 1950’s–1970’s. Guilford’s seminal work identifying specific factors of intelligence, critical thinking, and creativity began to build his theory of the Structure of Intellect. His three-dimensional model helped him develop tests and assessments to identify specific theorized factors in intelligence. and validate his findings. Guilford believed that intellect could be trained and that existing intellect could be strengthened. His work was highly influential of Mary N. Meeker, who used Guilford’s SOI to influence education and learning.
MARY N. MEEKER
Meeker (1921–2003) is best known for applying J. P. Guilford’s Structure of Intellect (SI) to the field of education. She built her career on the belief that specific factors of human intelligence can be accurately identified through tests and assessments, and then specific factors in need of development can be improved through tailored curriculum and learning materials. Of the 180 factors identified in Guilford’s SI model, Meeker focused on 26 she found key to learning, education, and professional success. She, along with Guilford, believe that understanding of an individual’s unique intelligence should include knowledge of the range of abilities they possess. SOI Systems still operates today, and continues to build upon the seminal work of J.P. Guilford and Mary Meeker. During the 1980’s and 1990’s Meeker was engaged as a consultant for the state departments of education in California, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. (Wikipedia.com).
E. PAUL TORRANCE
"The Creativity Man" (1915–2003) as he was known, had his first teaching position in 1936 when he taught grade 8 and 9. The following year he taught Latin, French, Algebra, Geometry and History at Georgia Military College 1937. In 1944 he earned a Master of Arts with a major in Educational Psychology, his thesis was "Predicting and Measuring Success in Plane Geometry". In 1945 he became a Psychiatric Social Worker in the U.S. Army, and in 1949 Director of Counseling Bureau and Professor of Psychology Kansas State College. In 1951 he earned his Doctor of Philosophy. He became involved with the U.S. Air Force as Director of Survival Research. He conducted many longitudinal studies and did work with gifted children. In the 1960's published Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) still in use today. In 1988 the National Association of Gifted Children’s Creativity Award was named the E. Paul Torrance Award.
MacKinnon (1903–1987) is considered to be a pioneer in the field of creativity and personality research. He is the founder of the Institute of Personality and Research (IPAR) at UC Berkeley and has published a number of landmark studies and classic works in creativity research. He helped to enhance the scholarship of the creative person, with particular emphasis on traits and assessment. MacKinnon developed a complex method for studying personalities to produce rich data. MacKinnon's IPAR study was an undertaking of unprecedented size and range — a rigorous inquiry into what makes a person “creative,” what motivates such people’s work, how they are able to overcome self-doubt, what environmental conditions are most conducive to manifesting creativity, and whether it is possible to identify the creatively gifted before their talents bear tangible fruit. The subjects of IPAR’s most landmark study were forty of the era’s greatest architects, including Eero Saarinen, Philip Johnson, and I.M. Pei. Subsequent studies over the course of three decades focused on other groups of high achievement — Air Force officers, women mathematicians, research scientists, and managers. Their insights, which laid the foundation for contemporary research into the psychology of creativity, have been cited in innumerable publications for decades.
Barron (1922–2002) is considered by many as a forerunner in the psychology of creativity and personality studies. In particular, he is known for his research contributions to identifying links between creativity, health, and a successful life. Barron helped to identify characteristics and traits of the creative person. He studied the links between intelligence, personality and creativity. Amongst his findings, Barron advocated that creatives demonstrated high ego-strength, high levels of intuition, a preference for complexity, and high intrinsic motivation, which he called “cosmological commitment.” Barron’s contributions are staples for most creativity research today.
Helson (1925) is a pioneer to women and creativity. Her dedication to women is clear from her earliest work. I was so impressed with her tenacity and drive at a young age. Knowing that Journalism was not going to fulfill her, she went back to school. That path leading her to what was next, all on her own. Coming from an academic family, I see myself in her story. Her formal education is impressive but I was blown away by The Mills Longitudinal Study. According to the Berkeley website, the study began as the first-ever psychological study of women's leadership and creativity and has expanded to include such diverse topics as personality types, personality change and development, work and retirement, relationships, health, social and political attitudes, emotional expression and regulation, and wisdom. The Mills Longitudinal Study a 50-year investigation of adult development that has followed a group of women since they graduated from Mills College. They are currently engaged in our sixth follow-up assessment with the women, who are now in their early 70s. The Mills Study has produced over 100 scholarly publications.
MARY M. FRASIER
Mary Frasier (1938–2005) was a famous African American educator who specialized in the area of gifted education at the University of Georgia. Frasier worked to elevate the educational standing of African Americans as well as other minority groups who pass through the educational system, and transformed how people viewed gifted children. She developed the Frasier Traits, Aptitudes, and Behaviors (F-TAB), which is an instrument used by many school systems to identify children for gifted educational services. Frasier received a bachelor's in music education and a master's in guidance and counseling from South Carolina State College. She earned her Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Connecticut. (Retrieved from wikipedia.com on June 20, 2019).
CALVIN W. TAYLOR
Calvin W. Taylor (1915–2000) conducted pioneering and innovative research on scientific creativity. He and his collaborators developed criteria to measure the creativity and productivity of scientists and engineers. Taylor extended his research to medicine and education, making important contributions to both fields. He pioneered programs in architectural psychology and counseling psychology at the University of Utah. Taylor, through his own basic research and educational theory developed and implemented the Multiple Creative Talent Teaching Approach. Taylor stated that not all gifted individuals excelled in the same talents. Basing his ideas partially on Guilford's Structure of the Intellect model, Taylor found that typical intelligence tests measure only a small fraction of talents that have actually been identified. Taylor proposed that multiple talents should be evaluated in the classroom. Nine talent areas that Taylor has identified for instructional emphasis include academic, productive thinking, planning, communicating, forecasting, decision-making, implementing, human relations, and discerning opportunities. Several positive outcomes to this approach were postulated.
ALEX F. OSBORN
Alex Osborn (1888–1966) was a visionary thinker who is known as the “Father of Creativity” due to the extensive lifetime contributions he made to the field of creativity. Perhaps the two most impactful contributions which he gave to the world are brainstorming and the creative problem-solving process. Mr. Osborn had an insatiable appetite for learning and his passion for creativity and the thinking process called him to contribute further “treasures” to the world of creativity that went beyond both brainstorming (no criticism of ideas, go for quantity, build on ideas and encourage wild ideas) and the creative problem-solving process. These “treasures” included both the establishment of the Creative Education Foundation (CEF) in 1954 and the Creative Problem-Solving Institute (CPSI) in 1955 held annually in Buffalo, NY. "Each of us has an Aladdin's Lamp which psychologists call creative imagination." In 1955 he met Sidney J. Parnes and the two would work together in solidifying and spreading the work of both the CEF and CPSI throughout New York State and the rest of the country as well as the world.
SIDNEY J. PARNES
Sid (1922–2013) attended the Creative Problem-Solving Institute (CPSI) in Buffalo, NY in 1955. It was at this conference where Sid meet and spoke with Alex Osborn the leading developer of the CPSI conference and the Creative Education Foundation (CEF). Together these two men formed a bond which would open many doors as they worked together to build the field of creativity as a science. Sid Parnes and Alex Osborn cofounded the Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem-Solving Method. In 1956 Sid was named Director of CPSI. Sid’s work at CEF brought many exciting opportunities for him to speak with other pioneers in the field of creativity such as J.P. Guilford, E. Paul Torrance, and Frank Barron. in the 1960's Sid developed creativity and problem-solving curriculum. In 1967 Sid launched the Journal of Creative Behavior. Sid launched the “Creative Studies Project” starting in 1969 running through 1972, the largest research study of creativity and various factors that influence it. in the 1960's Sid, along with co-founder Ruth Noller, opened the International Creative Studies Center located at SUNY Buffalo State College.
RUTH B. NOLLER
During the 1940’s Noller (1922–2008) broke gender barriers and achieved three different academic degrees from SUNY University at Buffalo. There were many aspects of her accomplishments which pointed in the direction of creativity, but as indicated earlier, she did not know this yet. Ruth earned a Bachelor of Arts from University of Buffalo, majoring in Math and minoring in Science. In 1944 she earned her Master’s in Education and in 1952 earned her Doctorate in Education. Ruth served as a U.S. Naval Reservist at Harvard University 1944–1946. She worked with Grace Hopper and was the Mathematics-Engineering Officer on Mark 1, one of the first computers which was housed and operated on Harvard’s campus. Determined and marketed a formula for creativity C=fa (k, i, e): creativity is the function of a positive attitude combined with knowledge (semantics), imagination (divergence), and evaluation (convergence). Served as consulting editor for The Journal of Creative Behavior
Morris “Moe” Stein (1921–2006) was a man of many interests. His passionate about education and creativity are evident in his numerous works. Although he was a scholar in an academic and business setting, he deeply cared about people. During his long and illustrious career, one can see his thinking about creativity evolve. The application of his skillful academic works reveal a deep and evolving understanding of the critical role creativity in general, and creative problem-solving in particular, play in personal and organizational practices. Stein designed, developed and tested psychometric instruments such as the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) and Stein Technical Audit. The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) is a projective test designed to reveal one's social drives or needs by their interpretation of a series photos of emotionally ambiguous situations. This work is largely clinical in nature, as the title suggests. Stein wrote a book on the topic. The chapters of this work describe the administration and interpretation of the test. They further explore some specific conditions like Insulin Shock and Psychotherapy. In this and other work Stein dispelled the notion that IQ was the primary driver of creativity. He found that while it did play a role a score of 120 was more than adequate. This is the level of score commonly associated with the ability to do college work. (Stein 1955)
Howard Ernest Gruber (1922–2005) was an American psychologist and pioneer of the psychological study of creativity. Gruber graduated with a degree in psychology, and earned his Ph.D. from Cornell University. He worked with Jean Piaget and later co-founded the Institute for Cognitive Studies at Rutgers with Dorothy Dinnerstein. At Columbia University Teachers College, he continued to pursue his interests in the work of Charles Darwin. Gruber's work led to several important discoveries about the creative process and the developmental psychology of creativity. His work on Charles Darwin entitled Darwin on Man: A Psychological Study of Scientific Creativity, became the groundwork of his methodological approach for the case study of evolving systems. Key aspects of this approach are a radical focus on individuals as situated in a network of enterprise. The method uses a strong existential perspective as regards the "creative" individual who is said to act at all times with knowledge, purpose and affect. Creativity is purposeful work. (Retrieved from wikipedia.com June 20, 2019).