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Eric Rietzschel: what is the future of creativity research?

What is the future of creativity research?

In the past half century, creativity research mostly focused on the predictors of creativity: who are those creative people, and why are they so creative? By now, we know quite a bit more: creative people are curious, driven, flexible, willing to take risks, and persistent. If you want to help people to be creative, those are the ingredients you should stimulate or facilitate.

Eric Rietzschel

But in reality, there’s rarely a lack of ideas! The problem is that it often ends there: having good ideas, without realizing any actual change. In the coming years, we will therefore see more research on the consequences of creativity. What happens to all those ideas? When do people consider something ‘creative’, rather than just ‘weird’? And when are people receptive towards novel and radical ideas?

For example, research at our faculty has shown that people differ substantially in their opinions on creativity, and that they’re more open to creative ideas if they get the opportunity to revise and improve those ideas. In other words, creativity and value of ideas are not fixed, but depend on whoever gets to work with them. One person’s utter nonsense may be the catalyst for someone else’s eureka moment. The question therefore, is not whether something is a good idea in itself, but whether an idea has potential. In the end, that is what creativity is about: creating, or learning to see, new possibilities.

dr. E.F. (Eric) Rietzschel
First name
Assistant professor
Creativity; innovation; group processes; team performance
Last modified:01 April 2020 09.04 a.m.
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