Creativity and intelligence are two areas of cognitive functioning and performance which have been examined by researchers, educators, and others. Creativity can be defined as a person's cognitive abilities in areas such as fluency, flexibility, originality, elaboration, visualization, metaphorical thinking, problem definition, and evaluation. Intelligence is defined as the ability to perform various mental tasks which include reasoning, knowledge, comprehension, memory, applying concepts, and manipulating figures. The study of creativity and intelligence has developed based on studies in cognitive, developmental, and educational psychology.
Given that psychology as a discipline may be defined as the systematic study of the mind and behavior, when one studies creativity and intelligence, one learns how to improve performance and lead those persons who are creative, gifted, and talented to new heights. Specifically, when one studies creativity, one gains information about students' abilities in imagination, discovery, and the ability to invent. When one studies intelligence, one gains information about students' abilities in logic, memory, and organization.
Creativity and intelligence have played a significant role in the history of psychology and an even greater role in the history of humankind. Progress in education is evident in at least three occurrences. First, interest in measuring individual differences has led to the development of tests to quantify creative and intellectual abilities. Second, attention to persons who have been identified as creative, gifted, talented, or highly intelligent has led to the development of special programs, learning experiences, and scholarships for these students. Third, the needs of these students have led to re search on the students themselves. The results of numerous empirical studies have been published to aid parents, educators, and the gifted or creative individual in understanding the needs of those with special abilities.
Certain issues related to creativity and intelligence have evolved from discrepancies that have been found in obtaining relationships between creativity and intelligence. It is a mistake to lump creative and intelligent people together: Creative ability is not synonymous with intellectual ability. Many students who are very high in intelligence, as measured by a test, are not high in other intellectual functions, such as creativity. Many students who are high in creativity are not also high in intelligence.
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