Creative Cognition: Conceptual Blending and Expansion in a Generative Exemplar Task

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Author: Brian J. Birdsell, Hirosaki University, Japan
Email: : brian@hirosaki-u.ac.jp
Published: October 7, 2019
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijpbs.5.si.03

Citation: Birdsell, B. J. (2019). Creative Cognition: Conceptual Blending and Expansion in a Generative Exemplar Task. IAFOR Journal of Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences, 5(si). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijpbs.5.si.03


Abstract

Creativity is a multifaceted and complex human trait that allows one to generate and explore unlimited novel ideas and artifacts. One method to study creativity is to use a creative cognition approach (Finke, Ward, & Smith, 1992; Smith, Ward, Finke, 1995; Ward, Smith, & Finke, 1999), which examines the cognitive processes and structures that lead to the generation of creative ideas. Participants in this study were asked to draw and describe a creature on a distant planet, similar to a prompt used by Ward (1991). Results suggest that the participants relied on what has been termed, structured imagination (Ward, 1994, 1995), or a repertoire of existing knowledge that constrains the production of imaginative ideas. Five responses were then selected for deeper analysis to show how two cognitive processes, conceptual blending (Fauconnier & Turner, 2002) and conceptual expansion, are used to blend and expand known concepts in order to produce a novel idea. This paper discusses implications this research has for theories of creativity and its real world applications, as well as its importance for educational objectives.

Keywords

creativity, structured imagination, conceptual integration, blending