Florist arranging bouquetCreativity is the ability to come up with novel ideas or works. The term is often used to apply to artistic undertakings such as photography, painting, or sculpting, but creativity is also at play when someone invents a new product, makes a scientific discovery or solves a challenging problem.

What is Creativity?
Creativity is often conceived of as a personality trait. Creative people tend to come up with novel ideas and thoughts, or pursue artistic endeavors. Almost any form of new knowledge requires some degree of creativity, and creativity drives the development of science, art, philosophy, and virtually every other domain of knowledge. Creativity is intimately related to culture because culture enables people to draw upon new ideas and experiences. Recent research into animal intelligence indicates that many animals are able to demonstrate creativity in problem-solving, but higher levels of creativity are often conceived of as primarily human traits.

Creativity and Intelligence
The concept of different types of intelligence was popularized by Howard Gardner, who argued in favor of a much more extensive definition of intelligence that accounted for social skills, creativity, the ability to navigate the natural world, and many other kinds of intelligence. While Gardner did not specifically list creative intelligence as a form of intelligence, he does outline several kinds of intelligence related to creativity, including musical intelligence, spatial intelligence, and emotional intelligence. Many researchers have drawn on his theories to argue in favor of creativity as a form of intelligence, and some people argue that creativity is fundamental to intelligence because it drives novel problem-solving and the ability to come up with new processes.


  1. Creativity and emotional intelligence. (n.d.). Six Seconds. Retrieved from
  2. Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple intelligences: The theory in practice. New York, NY: Basic Books.
  3. Sternberg, R. J. (2003). Wisdom, intelligence, and creativity synthesized. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Last Updated: 08-4-2015

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