USING THE CASE METHOD TO EXPLORE COGNITION IN THE CREATIVE PROCESS

LESLIE JUDITH RIVKIND, Fordham University

Abstract

A rationale was offered for the use of the case method to examine cognition in the creative process. It was argued that such a tentative, speculative posture was necessary to ask questions that otherwise might not be raised regarding the nature of such cognition in an individual with special talent creativity of an extraordinarily high level. The literature on creativity was reviewed and subdivided into two broad categories: general psychological and psychoanalytic theories. Certain studies of cognitive style were also reviewed, since these had bearing on the questions being asked. The general studies were approached and reviewed according to their theoretical bases, and they were categorized as being studies of the creative person, the creative process, the creative product, or the creative environment. Since the questions being asked were formulated in regard to hypotheses generated by Arieti's psychoanalytic theory of creativity, the psychoanalytic theories were reviewed in depth and placed in historical context. The roots of Arieti's position in psychoanalytic tradition were thus traced, specifically with regard to the relative importance various psychoanalysts have attached to unconscious versus preconscious processes in creative thinking.^ The study was implemented by means of a search for an individual of distinguished repute for creativity in the visual fine arts, who would agree to fulfill the requirements of a proposed case study. The artist completed the requirements of the study, which consisted of: 20 hours of tape-recorded interviews with the author; a one-hour videotape with the author at Fordham University; being tested by the researcher with the Singer-Antrobus Visual Imagery Scale, the visual modality subscale of the Sheehan-Betts QMI Visual Vividness Scale, the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, and the Gordon Test of Visual Imagery Control; and, undergoing psychological assessment by a distinguished psychologist.^ Results of the interviewing were analyzed, using codes developed for the purpose by two raters. The major hypothesis that the tertiary process, a synthetic matching of imaginal and logical thinking, is an important factor in some forms of special talent creativity was supported by the data. ^

Subject Area

Psychology

Recommended Citation

RIVKIND, LESLIE JUDITH, "USING THE CASE METHOD TO EXPLORE COGNITION IN THE CREATIVE PROCESS" (1982). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8213617.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8213617

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