People Can Be Trained To Be Creative, Study Finds

People Can Be Trained To Be Creative News

Psychology News – A recent study, published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, sheds light into how people can be trained to be creative. It explores the narrative method of training creativity recently devised by a group of researchers for a national project at the Ohio State University.

In the project, titled Project Narrative, the researcher duo, Angus Fletcher and Mike Benveniste devised a new method based on narrative theory to spark creativity and foster innovation. They conducted a trial run of their curriculum in the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College.

Their creativity training method has three components: the narrative theory of creativity, divergent thinking, and perspective-shifting.

Creativity By Narration

Fletcher and Benveniste have tried to debunk the myths around creativity and ‘resurrect’ the creativity that children lose from middle school onwards as they begin logical training. Their narrative theory of creativity seeks to boost creativity by mimicking how young children express their creativity—by telling stories. They believe that everyone is creative and, to be creative, people need special training.

Fletcher elaborates, “Project Narrative is all about how stories work in the brain. It is the foundation that helped us put together this new way of thinking about and training for creativity.”

Balancing Creativity With Logic

The new method delicately balances spontaneous creativity with “divergent thinking”, a thought process with a computational approach that sees the brain as a logic machine. The new creativity training curriculum, it works through exercises designed to foster analogical thinking and problem solving, as well as expand working memory.

Approaching Creativity With New Perspective

The Fletcher–Benveniste training for creativity also uses the technique of perspective-shifting to help people ‘imagine’ and ‘create’ radically new possibilities and meet new challenges with creative thinking and foresight.

A Three-pronged Approach

The researchers involved in Project Narrative are enthusiastic that their method can help adults to be creative and enable companies to successfully tap into the potential of creative people within their workforces. This can help companies by reducing hiring costs and devising innovative long-term risk-management strategies.

To Know More You May Relate To

Fletcher, A., & Benveniste, M. (2022). A new method for training creativity: Narrative as an alternative to divergent thinking. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1111/nyas.14763

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