Frequently Asked Questions About Creativity
Is It True That Children Have Active Imaginations?
Studies of the brain activity of preadolescent children offer empirical evidence that children do indeed have active imaginations (Diamond, 1999). Even when wide awake, children experience more frequent theta wave activity, a daydreamlike state that mature adults experience primarily as their minds hover between being awake and falling asleep. Theta wave brain activity is more relaxed, freewheeling, and receptive to fleeting mental images. Eminent creative individuals in various fields report a host of techniques to capture theta wave activity (Goleman & Kaufman, 1992; Runco & Pritzker, 1999). Evidently, children are adept at forming varied and unusual images while adults tend to have the advantage when it comes to storing and retrieving information, drawing upon experience, and making judgments about what is appropriate and effective. So, children may not be "more" imaginative, but they certainly do have active imaginations.
Are Children More or Less Creative Than Adults?
Children are differently creative than adults. Children have unique ideas but may not yet have the ability to execute them well or communicate them clearly to others (Fishkin, 1998). Originality in children "reflects their lack of inhibitions rather than their intentional and metacognitive efforts..." (Runco, 2004, p.22). Evidently the creative assets of childhood include a tolerance for ambiguity, a propensity for nonlinear thinking, and receptivity to ideas that might be quickly discarded by an adult as too fanciful to merit further consideration. The line of demarcation between fantasy and reality is not as firmly drawn for children as it is for adults, so ideas from one realm slip through easily into another. This may enable children to respond in ways that are nonstereotypic, a trait that many adults, particularly those in the arts, find enviable (Kincade, 2002).
Is Being Creative Valued Mainly Because It Provides an Emotional Release?
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