Positive Psychology and Scripture Part II:  Strength of Creativity

In the subsequent posts I will be making, I will give the definition of the strength and then the supporting scripture verse(s). I will then explain a bit of the factors involved in use and development of the strength in the individual. All of the information on each of these strengths come from Character Strengths and Virtues (Seligman & Peterson. 2004)

Creativity [originality, ingenuity]:

Thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualize and do things; includes artistic achievement but is not limited to it.

SCRIPTURE

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:21
So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:27
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

I believe there is no better reference for creativity than the book of Genesis in Scripture. God has produced ideas that were original, novel and new, us, humanity. There has been nothing like us before. We were created in his image to glorify Him.

CREATIVITY

Definition

Creativity entails two essential components: original and adaptive

  • must produce ideas or behaviors that are recognizably original.
  • This means that the ideas or behaviors are novel, surprising, or unusual.
  • To be adaptive the individual’s must make a positive contribution to that person’s life or to the live of others.
  • solutions to the various problems that they encounter at both home and work

Correlates and Consequences

Two primary conclusions can be drawn about the attributes of highly creative individuals (Cassandro & Simonton, 2003; Simonton, 1990a, 2000, 2002).

  • First of all, creative people are not necessarily intellectually brilliant,
  • The secondly they have a creative disposition (Feist, 19987).
  • This means that they tend to be independent, nonconformist, unconventional, even bohemian, and
  • are likely to have wide interest, greater openness to new experiences, and a more behavioral and cognitive flexibility and risk taking boldness.

Creativity does not bear an essential connection with mental disorder.

  • symptoms are often the consequence of their creativity rather then the other way around.
  • For example, creators must frequently overcome obstacles and face criticisms that seldom plague others.
  • highly creative individuals possess certain traits, such as ego-strength, that provide compensatory mechanisms.
  • Creators appear to exploit their symptoms (e.g., bizarre ideas, manic behavior) to increase their effectiveness.

Development

Creativity is best nurtured in homes that provide many opportunities for intellectual, cultural, and aesthetic stimulation.

  • These homes contain many books and magazines and family recreation will often include concerts, exhibits museums, and travel.
  • The parents tend to be more highly educated than average and encourage the development of independent interests.
  • Creative growth is most favored by teachers who are flexible and who support free exploration.

The 10-year rule (Hayes, 1989) says that no person can make creative contributions to a particular domain without first devoting a full decade to the mastery of the necessary knowledge and skills.

Enabling and Inhibiting Factors

  • facilitated by environments that are supportive, reinforcing, open, and informal.
  • can be increased simply by instructing individuals to “be creative!”
  • highly creative individuals tend to work on several problems or projects simultaneously, frequently incubating ideas about one while working on another.

On the negative side, the expression of creativity can be prevented when persons

  • put under time pressure,
  • when their work is closely supervised
  • constantly subjected to critical examination,
  • when severe constraints are imposed on the range of solutions.

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