Research

Creativity, difference, and perspective-taking

This research project examines creativity as a social, cultural and distributed phenomenon grounded in difference. It starts from the premise that creativity doesn’t take place ‘inside the head’ but between people, objects and institutions. It envisions creativity thus as a quality of relationships and interactions rather than one of individual minds or isolated artefacts. Self – other differences are particularly important for the dynamic of creativity. Being able to engage with this difference by taking the perspective of others is postulated as a fundamental process of creativity and innovation. The perspectival model of creativity advanced by Vlad Glăveanu (2015) defines creative acts as dialogues of perspectives in which difference, perspective-taking and reflexivity play an important role. This model is being used to investigate different topics from difference and their role in education to perspective-taking in the context of the refugee crisis. This line of research is supported by the collaboration between Vlad Glăveanu (Webster University Geneva, Switzerland), Constance de Saint Laurent (University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland), and Alex Gillespie (London School of Economics, UK). Its findings are reported in the following publications:

Glăveanu, V. P. (2015). Creativity as a sociocultural act. Journal of Creative Behavior, 49(3), 165–180. Request Article

Glăveanu, V. P., & Gillespie, A. (2015). Creativity out of difference: Theorising the semiotic, social and temporal origin of creative acts. In V. P. Glăveanu, A. Gillespie & J. Valsiner (Eds.), Rethinking creativity: Contributions from social and cultural psychology (pp. 1–15). Hove/New York: Routledge. Request Article

Glăveanu, V. P. (2016). Perspective. In V. P. Glăveanu, L. Tanggaard & C. Wegener (Eds.), Creativity: A new vocabulary (pp. 104-110). London: Palgrave. Request Article

Glăveanu, V. P. (2016). Difference. In V. P. Glăveanu, L. Tanggaard & C. Wegener (Eds.), Creativity: A new vocabulary (pp. 36-42). London: Palgrave. Request Article

de Saint-Laurent, C., & Glăveanu, V. P. (2016). Reflexivity. In V. P. Glăveanu, L. Tanggaard & C. Wegener (Eds.), Creativity: A new vocabulary (pp. 121-128). London: Palgrave. Request Article

Glăveanu, V. P. & Beghetto, R. A. (2017). The difference that makes a ‘creative’ difference in education. In R. A. Beghetto & B. Sriraman (Eds.), Creative contradictions in education (pp. 37-54). Cham: Springer. Request Article

Glăveanu, V. P., & de Saint Laurent, C. (in press). Taking the perspective of others: A conceptual model and its application to the refugee crisis. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology Request Article

 

Collaborative creativity

This research project uses experiments to examine the similarities and differences in creative ideation between individuals and dyads. It employs an innovative methodology that includes recording dyad interaction with subjective cameras – small devices placed at eye level and recording activity from the perspective of the participants – and combines quantitative, output-based, and qualitative, process-based, types of analysis. The literature in this area often points to the fact that individuals tend to outperform groups when it comes to creative ideation, both in terms of quantity and quality. By focusing on the temporal dynamic and quality of ideas, as well as coding the reactions of partners to idea generation, we found that dyads have a different orientation than individuals when it comes to generating creative ideas. They tend to be oriented towards the feasible and towards establishing common ground in the conversation, something that often makes creative ideas produced in a social condition more practical (without being necessarily less original). This research project is supported by the collaboration between Vlad Glăveanu (Webster University Geneva, Switzerland), Alex Gillespie (London School of Economics, UK) and Maciej Karwowski (University of Wroclaw, Poland). Its findings are reported in an article currently under review. Past work within this line of research includes the paper:

Glăveanu, V. P. (2011). How are we creative together? Comparing sociocognitive and sociocultural answers. Theory & Psychology, 21(4), 473-492. Request Article

 

Political imagination and the refugee crisis

This research project advances the notion of political imagination and investigates its dynamic in relation to the European refugee crisis. Political imagination designates all those imaginative processes individuals and communities engage in to construct of image of otherness and act (in social and political terms) based on this construction. While a positive political imagination can unite communities and makes societies more open and tolerant, a negative one can easily lead to discrimination, intolerance and exclusion. The latter is often the case when it comes to refugees and, in particular, to social media reactions to the migration crisis that began in 2015. In this project we analyzed memes and internet forum comments related to refugees and focus on the imagination involved in constructing their perspective (i.e., their thoughts, feelings and intentions when it comes to the host society). This research project is supported by the collaboration between Vlad Glăveanu (Webster University Geneva, Switzerland), Constance de Saint Laurent (University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland), and Ioana Literat (Teachers College, Columbia University, USA). Its findings are reported in the following publications:

Glăveanu, V. P., & de Saint-Laurent, C. (2015). Political imagination, otherness and the European crisis. Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 11(4), 557-564. Request Article

de Saint Laurent, C., & Glăveanu, V. P. (in press). Cultural psychology and politics: Otherness, democracy and the refugee crisis. In B. Wagoner, I. Bresco & V. P. Glăveanu (Eds.), The road to actualised democracy. Charlotte, NC: Information Age. Request Article

Glăveanu, V. P., de Saint Laurent, C., & Literat, I. (in press). Making sense of refugees on social media: Perspective-taking, political imagination, and Internet memes. American Behavioral Scientist Request Article