Defining Creativity: How Far Have We Come Since Plucker, Beghetto, and Dow?

Jeb S. Puryear, Kristen N. Lamb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Defining creativity remains an Achilles heel of creativity research. In 2004, Plucker, Beghetto, and Dow placed a call to action for more consistent, clearer conceptions of creativity to move research forward and support practitioners across fields. The present study replicated and expanded on their study by surveying articles from business, education, psychology, and creativity journals (n = 600). Results suggested small but notable improvements in the reporting of explicit definitions and field-specific trends addressing creativity in contexts. There were also strong suggestions from the data that elements present in creativity conceptions are strongly field-specific. Although these findings were encouraging, issues regarding congruence across and within fields persist even on core elements such as novelty and usefulness. At a time when academic research is becoming more integrative, the degree of and implications of this lack of coherence and transparency are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-214
Number of pages9
JournalCreativity Research Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2 2020


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