There has been a broad consensus on the definition of creativity for more than 60 years, with most researchers agreeing that creativity represents to some degree of a combination of two core elements (Barron, 1955; Guilford, 1950, 1967). The first is newness, novelty or originality. The second is task-appropriateness, usefulness or meaningfulness. In more recent years, these two elements have been defined within a particular sociocultural and historical context (Beghetto, 2013; Glăveanu, 2013; Plucker, Beghetto, Dow, 2004). This context is not separate from other aspects of creativity, such as task-appropriateness and novelty; rather, context establishes the criteria for what counts as original and task appropriate. This interdependent relationship among originality, task appropriateness, and context has been represented in the following notation (Beghetto & Kaufman, 2014):

C = [O x TA]Context

As illustrated in the above formulation, creativity requires both originality and task appropriateness as defined within a particular context. Something that is deemed as original in one context (e.g., primary school science fair) may, for instance, be judged as quite mundane in a different setting (e.g., university science lab). In this way, judgments of creativity are determined by a particular sociocultural and historical context. Creativity and context are inseparable. (read more here)

James Kaufman and Ron Beghetto’s Four C Model of Creativity has shed new light on this context.


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