The association of creativity with divergent and convergent thinking

Syed Fahad Javaid, James Paul Pandarakalam

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The inspirational aspect of creativity remains shrouded in mystery. Methodological problems have hindered research into creativity, and such a situation makes the interpretation and comparison of studies problematic. The link between creativity and psychopathology is overstated by the print, electronic, and celluloid media. This paper attempts to explain the creative process from a psychological and psychiatric perspective leaving room for different unexplained aspects of generativity for open discussion. A selective survey of the literature was performed to identify scholarly views of creativity and psychopathology. Data sources included PubMed, Google Scholar, and Scopus. The concept of inspiration was examined from psychological, psychopathological, and biological standpoints. A better understanding of creativity has clinical implications. Psychopathology can facilitate creativity, but it is not the maker of creativity that involves a harmonious blending of divergent and convergent thinking. The present trend in psychiatry of medicalizing all unusual behavior is not at all productive in fostering creativity among children. The cognitively gifted children differ widely from children with autistic spectrum disorders; the creative thinking of gifted children is polythetic, whereas such potentials of autistic individuals are generally monothetic. The study of creativity helps develop an expanded model of the mind. However, research into creativity has produced contradictory results. The assumed link between creativity and mental disorder could be clarified only when we elucidate the creative process. Further research is needed in regard to the psycho-biological nature of creativity, including genetic links, implications for neuropharmacology, and the treatment of pathology or psychological disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatria Danubina
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • convergent thinking psychopathology
  • creativity
  • divergent thinking
  • inspiration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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