Many researchers believe that creative cognition is unique to those with expertise in their domain. Others believe that it can be attributed to insight in certain situations. In this essay I will explore different motivators of creativity to highlight why these factors are produced by insight rather than expertise.
What do the invention of the iPad, outrageous lyrics and outfits like Lady Gaga’s, and the ridiculous tales of the Harry Potter series all have in common? Creativity. Every week, we are excited, shocked and enlightened by novel and useful creations like these. Highly creative scientists, artists and inventors have changed our world and our understanding of it – but what muse, inspiration or insight came to create these ideas? Creativity researchers have studied the mechanisms for hundreds of years, generally studying the properties that creative people generally portray, such as intelligence, personality types or traits. Among all of these properties, however, researchers also wonder if creative cognition is based on expertise or insight.
The study of creative cognition highlights the processes and mechanisms that are important and particular to creativity. The four stages of the creative process are as follows: preparation, incubation, illumination, verification. (Wallas, 1926) By taking a closer look at these four stages and the creative contributions that people bestow upon their particular domain, it can be inferred that creativity does not spring from expertise on any subject, but from the insight that a person has at the moment or moments in which their idea is developed. There are several instances in that support this particular theory: Kekulé’s discovery of the molecular structure of Benzen while dozing in front of the fireplace, Spencer Silver’s and Arthur Fry’s collaborative invention of the Post-It Note, and Sir Alexander-Fleming’s accidental discovery of penicillin. These events, like many...