Editorial: Novel Approaches for Studying Creativity in Problem-Solving and Artistic Performance

Philip A. Fine*, Amory H. Danek, Kathryn J. Friedlander, Ian Hocking, William Forde Thompson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialResearch

1 Citation (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


Creativity can be observed across multiple domains of human behavior including problem solving, artistic and athletic engagement, scientific reasoning, decision making, business and marketing, leadership styles, and social interactions. It has a long history of research in many disciplines, and involves a variety of conceptual and methodological approaches. However, given its multi-faceted character, and the multidisciplinary (though not necessarily interdisciplinary) nature of creativity research, it is perhaps unsurprising that such research has tended to examine discrete areas of study, thereby adopting a focused approach that lacks opportunity for cross-fertilization. It is therefore important to encourage interdisciplinary discourse and novel methodological approaches to investigating all aspects of creativity. This can best be achieved by sharing and integrating research ideas, methods, and findings across multiple domains and disciplines, including but not restricted to psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, linguistics, medicine, education, and performance science.

The aim of this Research Topic is to showcase recent creativity research involving new methodological approaches across a range of creativity domains and academic disciplines. Broadly speaking, we see three ways by which such novel methodological approaches can develop. Firstly, adopting technologies such as brain stimulation and EEG allow researchers to investigate creativity in new ways, and new digital research platforms allow researchers to more easily access domain-specific online populations. Secondly, traditional methodologies, already shown to be effective in one field of creativity research, can be employed to investigate hitherto neglected creativity domains. Thirdly, taking advantage of the interdisciplinary nature of creativity research, we can interrogate one domain of creative performance using research perspectives from another, such as viewing medicine as a performance science akin to music (Kneebone, 2016) or investigating insight moments with magic tricks (Danek et al., 2014). This novel juxtaposition of methods from multiple domains and disciplines allows new research questions to be addressed. These three ways of developing novel methodological approaches thus involve: the development of novel methods; the novel application of tried-and-tested methods; and the novel combination of previously separate methodologies.

The Research Topic contains 27 articles (20 Original Research articles, one Case Report, one Review, and five methodological or theoretical contributions). Twelve address questions of creative cognition, covering insight, divergent thinking, and problem solving. Eleven articles investigate creative arts and artistic performance, with a further four addressing other aspects of creativity. Given the focus of the Research Topic, we have decided to address the articles in terms of their methodological approaches, rather than the type of creativity under investigation. Indeed, we hope to encourage the development and ultimately the wider application of those methodological approaches described herein to any aspect or domain of creativity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2059
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2019
Externally publishedYes


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