Talking about Creative Potential: Insights from Psychological Science
Izabela Lebuda; Serena Mastria; Samira Bourgeois-Bougrine; Sergio Agnoli
Chair: Giovanni E. Corazza
Coordinator: Sergio Agnoli
We can define creative potential as the hypothetical level at which an individual could demonstrate maximal creative performance or behavior. Which are the elements defining and influencing the realization of this potential? This is the question addressed in this symposium, which intends to offer new insights coming from the most recent results emerged in the psychological research. In particular, this symposium will address this issue adopting a multidisciplinary perspective, exploring the meaning of creative potential from distinct points of view, viz. using differential, psychometric, and neuroscientific points of view. It will first analyse the role of self-perceptions in the expression of the creative potential. How creative self-beliefs can influence the fulfilment of the individual creative potential will be discussed. How the creative potential can be explored from a neuroscientific point of view will be then addressed focusing on the brain dynamics leading to the production of potential original ideas. Moreover, how virtual environments can help in the expression of individual’s creative potential will be addressed through a study contrasting the production of creative ideas in real and virtual environment. Finally, how motivation and creative potential can be jointly explored to understand the creative success will be analyzed presenting a comprehensive model predicting creative achievements inside and outside of the school environment. All in all, through different approaches to the analysis of the creative potential, the present symposium will offer a multifaceted picture of the elements influencing the achievement of the best creative performance.
How do Creative Self-Beliefs Contribute to the Fulfilment of the Creative Potential?
Izabela Lebuda; Maciej Karwowski
This talk provided a conceptual overview of the Creative Behavior as Agentic Action (E-CBAA) model (Karwowski & Beghetto, 2017). This model theorizes the role played by different sets of creative self-beliefs: creative self-efficacy, creative personal identity, creative metacognition and creative mindsets for a translation of creative potential (e.g., divergent thinking) to the creative activity and accomplishments. We are going to illustrate how creativity researchers might continue to clarify, develop, and contribute to this line of inquiry taking into account more dynamic and social approaches.
The Creative Brain: Predicting Creative Potential through EEG Alpha Power
Serena Mastria; Sergio Agnoli; Marco Zanon; Alessio Avenanti; Giovanni Emanuele Corazza
The aims of this study were to explore whether: (1) EEG alpha power was modulated by the time-course of the divergent thinking process (i.e., idea generation); (2) EEG alpha power changes could predict ideational originality as an indicator of creative potential. Participants were asked to perform a modified version of the Alternative Uses Task (AUT), in which they had to sequentially produce four alternative uses for common objects. Originality of the creative production was used as a measure of participant’s creative potential. The results showed that alpha power changed as a function of the time-course of idea generation: the first idea was indeed associated with alpha desynchronization, while the following ideas were associated with alpha synchronization. Interestingly, creative potential (as measured through response originality) was predicted by the alpha power activity as a function of the time-course of ideational process and of the involved cortical areas. Our results will be discussed in terms of the functional significance of the brain mechanisms involved in the idea generation process.
Creative Potential Expression in Virtual and Real Environments
Samira Bourgeois-Bougrine; Jean-Marie Burkhardt; Peter Richard; Todd Lubart
The aim of this study was to explore the following questions: Do virtual environments unleash everyone’s creative potential? Which combination of internal creative resources favours fluency in a brainstorming task in virtual and real environments (VE and RE respectively)? What type of creative resources facilitates the production of original ideas in VE and RE? For this purpose, our study involved brainstorming sessions in two conditions: a real meeting room (RE) and a similar meeting room in virtual environment (VE). Creative potential of 60 participants was assessed via the creative profiler. The results showed that at team level, fluency and originality were significantly improved in VE compared to RE. However, at individual level, the results suggested that VE did not favour everyone. Participants in VE with high risk-taking propensity were significantly more creative (fluency and originality) than the other participants (e.g., those with similar profile in RE as well as participants with low scores in risk taking in VE). Similar profile was observed for divergent thinking and mental flexibility but at a lesser extent. The results are discussed with regards to social and motivational causes, latent inhibition and attentional mechanisms involved in creative behaviour.
The Role of Motivation and Creative Potential in the Prediction of the Creative Success Inside and Outside of School
Sergio Agnoli; Mark Runco; Christiane Kirsch; Giovanni Emanuele Corazza
In this presentation a latent variable modelling approach to investigate the influence of motivation on creative achievement in different environments will be discussed. In particular the results emerged from a recent study will be presented, which explored motivation in conjunction and interaction with other creativity-related predictors, such as openness to new experience and response originality in a divergent thinking task as a measure of individual creative potential. Specifically, the inside school and the outside school environments were analyzed in a sample of university students. Results showed that the interaction between openness and intrinsic motivation was the strongest predictor of creative achievement. This interaction predicted both outside and inside school creative achievement, which was further influenced by extrinsic tendencies. In particular, intrinsic motivation predicted creative achievement only when associated with a medium or high level of openness to experience. Creative potential, instead, only predicted creative success in the outside of school creative environment. Implications emerging from these results will be finally discussed.

Dr. Izabela Lebuda
Educator and psychologist, Assistant Professor at Psychology of Creativity Lab at the University of Wroclaw, collaborates with the Quality of Life Research Centre at Claremont Graduate University. Her scientific research currently focuses on the determinants of creative development and achievements e.g. the facilitators and inhibitors of professional efficacy, and the well-being of eminent artists and scholars.
Contact: Instytut Psychologii, University of Wroclaw, Poland.
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Dr. Serena Mastria
Is currently research fellow at the Department of Electrical, Electronic, and Information Engineering "Guglielmo Marconi" (DEI) and the Marconi Institute for Creativity (MIC). During her doctoral training in psychophysiology at the Emotional Perception Laboratory at the University of Bologna, she focused on the functional significance of physiological indexes underlying emotion and perception. She conducted several studies on visual perception of natural scenes, with particular regard to the brain’s response associated to picture novelty and picture emotionality, which have been published in well-known peer-reviewed Journals in the field. Currently, her research interest lies in the cognitive neuroscience of creativity, with a specific focus on brain mechanisms associated to the generation of novel ideas.
Contact: Marconi Institute for Creativity, University of Bologna, Italy.
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Dr. Samira Bourgeois-Bougrine
Earned her Ph.D. in ergonomics and human factor engineering. Her initial research focused on human-machine interactions, ergonomic analyses of behaviour and best practices in the aviation agency in terms of pilots and air traffic controllers. Samira Bourgeois went on to focus her research on analyses of best practices in the creative process of engineers and writers, based on in-depth analyses of responses to interviews and activity traces. Her current work focuses on ways to enhance creativity in educational settings, through pedagogies that seek to improve specific aspects of the creative process.
Contact: Laboratoire Adaptations Travail Individu (LATI), Paris Descartes University, France.
Dr. Sergio Agnoli
Is senior researcher, Ph.D., at the Marconi Institute for Creativity (MIC), a body created as a joint initiative of the Fondazione Guglielmo Marconi and the University of Bologna, to investigate and divulgate all of the most recent scientific evidence on creative thinking. He has held teaching appointments at the University of Bologna, University of Padova and the University of Ferrara, where he served as teaching assistant for many university courses. He is member of the APA Division 10 (Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts). His research interests include: cognitive and emotional substrates of creative thinking; creative thinking process; emotional development and emotional intelligence; psycho-physiology of emotions. In these fields, Sergio Agnoli has published many contributions in peer reviewed international conferences and journals and he established collaborations with several research groups and universities.
Contact: Marconi Institute for Creativity, Italy.
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