As everyone knows, true creativity comes from simple formulas and the memorization of data. This chapter focuses on divergent thinking tests, which are still the most common way that creativity is measured. Guilford derived the core ideas behind divergent thinking as well as many popular measures. The people who score the Torrance Tests are specifically trained to distinguish responses that are truly original from those that are just bizarre. There are other tests that measure creativity, but most are either a variation on divergent thinking or use some type of raters. For example, the Evaluation of Potential Creativity (EPOC) has begun to be used in some studies and may be promising, but is still largely rooted in a mix of divergent thinking scoring and raters. Another test is the Finke Creative Invention Task, which is clever but also requires raters for scoring.
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The Big Five, which this chapter discusses in more detail, are extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience. Each of these five factors represents a continuum of behavior, traits, and inclinations. There are some popular personality measures that use different theories, such as Eysenck’s Personality Questionnaire, which looks at extraversion and neuroticism as well as psychoticism. The personality factor most associated with creativity is openness to experience. Indeed, one way that researchers study creativity is by giving creative personality tests. Being open to new experiences may also help creative people be more productive. King found that people who were creative and high on openness to experience were more likely to report creative accomplishments. DeYoung and S. B. Kaufman, of course, are not the only people to blend or split different factors of personality to present new models. Fürst, Ghisletta, and Lubart suggest three factors: plasticity, divergence, and convergence.
This chapter explores three ’classic’ studies of creativity and mental illness. The first is Jamison whose focus is on the connection between bipolar disorder and creativity. The second is Andreasen, who used structured interviews to analyze 30 creative writers, 30 matched controls, and first-degree relatives of each group. The writers had a higher rate of mental illness, with a particular tendency toward bipolar and other affective disorders. The third major work is Ludwig, who utilized the historiometric technique. All three studies have come under serious criticism. Many of the studies of Big-C creators are historiometric, akin to Ludwig’s work. Some such studies claim that eminent creators show higher rates of mental illness. A much more common approach is to look at everyday people and give them measures of creativity and mental health. Typically, researchers look at what are called subclinical disorders—in other words, they’re not clinically significant.
One school admissions area that already uses creativity is gifted admissions—which students are chosen to enter gifted classes, programs, or after-school activities. Both education and business play great lip service to creativity. Puccio and Cabra review the literature on creativity and organizations and do a nice job of highlighting how every couple of years, a new report from industry emphasizes the importance of creativity. It is important to note that there is a large inconsistency between gender differences on creativity tests and actual creative accomplishment. Although gender differences on creativity tests are minor or nonexistent, differences in real-world creative accomplishment are large and significant. This chapter shows how creativity can play a role in admissions and hiring. Hiring measures tend to have better validity, even the general mental ability (GMA) measures; even if minorities score lower, the accuracy of prediction is consistent by ethnicity.
Creative people are also often seen as being outsiders and eccentric. Sen and Sharma’s examination of creativity beliefs in India tested beliefs about the Four P’s and found that creativity was more likely to be described as a holistic essence of an individual, and less likely to be focused on the product or process. Romo and Alfonso studied Spanish painters and found that one of the implicit theories that the painters held about creativity involved the role of psychological disorders. Plucker and Dana found that past histories of alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco usage were not correlated with creative achievements; familial drug and alcohol use also was not significantly associated with creative accomplishments or creative personality attributes. Humphrey, McKay, Primi, and Kaufman did find that illegal drug use predicted self-reported creative behaviors even when openness to experience was controlled.
One of the best known psychologists of the 20th century was Jean Piaget. The memory he described was from when he was about 2 years old, a kidnapping attempt in which his nurse tried to protect him. According to the storehouse metaphor, memory is kind of a warehouse. When one remembers an event from one’s life, one looks through this warehouse. Remembering a past event is also a kind of simulation, a simulation of what happened in the past, rather than a veridical reproduction of the past. In fact, our best understanding is that brains are massively parallel simulation devices. Constructive theories deal with filling in gaps at encoding as the event transpires, whereas reconstructive theories deal with filling in gaps at retrieval as one tries to remember the event. When thinking about memory illusions it is important to make a similar distinction.Source:
This chapter focuses on an area that has been at the center of the debate between the approaches: processing ambiguous words and sentences. Interestingly, an important factor for ambiguity resolution appears to be the frequency of the different meanings of the ambiguous words. Subordinate- bias effect is as follows: in a neutral, nonbiasing context, words that are balanced cause longer reading times than words that are either unbalanced or unambiguous. Different languages impose different rules about how grammatical categories may be combined. In the garden path model, sentence processing happens in two stages: an initial structure building stage in which the only information that is used is syntactic, and then a second stage in which the structure is checked against semantic and pragmatic information. Constraint-based models take a very different approach to how sentences are initially parsed and how mistakes are sometimes made.Source:
This chapter shows the importance, for older persons, of support groups. In spite of the changes that have occurred in the American family, and all the negative things that fill the popular press concerning family relationships, the family is still the backbone of support for most older people. To some extent, the type of family support older people obtain depends on whether they are living in the community or in an institutional setting such as a group home, retirement village, or nursing facility. Whether a person is married, has great impact on that person’s support within a family setting including emotional, financial, and physical support, particularly in times of illness or infirmity. The success of a second marriage depends to a considerable extent on the reaction of the adult children of the elderly couple. Older grandparents, no matter how motivated, can find caring for grandchildren to be very tiring.
Delirium, also known as acute confusional state, organic brain syndrome, brain failure, and encephalopathy, is a common occurrence among medical and surgical patients and causes extensive morbidity and mortality. This chapter provides an updated review of delirium, including pathophysiological correlates, clinical features, diagnostic considerations, and contemporary treatment options. The defining features of delirium include an acute change in mental status characterized by altered consciousness, cognition, and fluctuations. The chapter explores the risk factors for delirium. These can be divided into two categories: predisposing factors and precipitating factors. Imbalances in the synthesis, release, and degradation in gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamate, acetylcholine, and the monoamines have also been hypothesized to have roles in delirium. GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS) and medications such as benzodiazepines and propofol have known actions at GABA receptors and have been associated with delirium.
This chapter shows how the United States and the world are experiencing an aging evolution we are growing older. America is going through a revolution. As a whole, Americans are becoming older, and there are many more older people among people than ever before in our history. Obviously all cohorts of the population youth, young adults, middle-aged, young-old, oldest-old are heterogeneous. When some people think about the elderly as a whole, they picture frail, weak, dependent persons, some in nursing homes and many confined to their homes. The chapter demonstrates the differences the various age categories have in relation to selected chronic health conditions that cause limitations of activity. Widowhood is much more common for elderly American women than for older men. The aging of Baby Boomers will solidify the shift America is experiencing with the aging of its population. Centenarians make up a small percentage of the total U.S. population.