T. B. Ward (1994) investigated creativity by asking participants to draw alien creatures that they imagined to be from a planet very different from Earth. He found that participant drawings reliably contained features typical of common Earth animals. As a consequence, Ward concluded that creativity is structured. The present investigation predicts that this limitation on creativity is not restricted to drawings: the use of different technology will not change creative output. To investigate this question, participants performed Ward's task twice: once using pencil and paper and once using software made to design creatures (the Spore Creature Creator). Only minor significant differences were found. This preliminarily suggests that changing tools does not affect the overall rigidity of the creative process. This lends further support to Ward's thesis on the structural rigidity of creativity. We conclude by suggesting an elaboration to Ward's thesis that will be explored in future work. We suggest that aesthetics might be one of the factors that contribute to creative constraint, in that creatures that are too unusual would be less interesting.

cognition, creativity
Journal of Creative Behavior
Department of Cognitive Science

Cockbain, J. (Jessica), Vertolli, M.O. (Michael O.), & Davies, J. (2014). Creative imagination is stable across technological media: The spore creature creator versus pencil and paper. Journal of Creative Behavior, 48(1), 13–24. doi:10.1002/jocb.38