Special Issue "Intelligence and Creativity"

A special issue of Journal of Intelligence (ISSN 2079-3200).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Roger Beaty
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Penn State University, 140 Moore Building, University Park, PA 16801, USA
Interests: creative cognition; cognitive neuroscience of creativity; creativity assessment; scientific creativity; figurative language production
Prof. Dr. Mathias Benedek
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, University of Graz, Graz, Austria
Interests: individual differences in creativity; creativity assessment; cognitive processes in creative cognition (memory, attention, cognitive control); internally directed cognition; neuroscience of creativity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The relationship between intelligence and creativity has been investigated for over half a century, dating back to the pioneering work of J.P. Guilford in the 1950s. Despite decades of research, however, researchers continue to debate the nature of the association between intelligence and creativity. Relevant research has become increasingly rich by considering specific facets of intelligence (e.g., Gf, Gr, and Gs) as well as specific conceptualizations of creativity (i.e., different aspects of creative potential and creative achievement). Moreover, recent advances in the measurement and modeling of these constructs have revealed new insights. These conceptual and methodological developments have paralleled new theories on the potential contribution of intelligence to creativity, such as the those emphasizing the role of cognitive control in creative thought.

With this Special Issue, we aim to highlight recent advances in the study of intelligence and creativity. Although the main focus of the special issue is intelligence, we also encourage submissions that explore other cognitive factors that may explain individual differences in creative thinking (e.g., implicit learning, executive functions, and experimental manipulations of cognitive control). The Special Issue will consider contributions that present empirical research and theoretical work that deepens our understanding of the relationship between intelligence and creativity.

Dr. Roger Beaty
Prof. Dr. Mathias Benedek
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Intelligence is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Creativity
  • Intelligence
  • Cognitive control
  • Divergent thinking
  • Executive functions

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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Article
Exploring Neural Signal Complexity as a Potential Link between Creative Thinking, Intelligence, and Cognitive Control
J. Intell. 2021, 9(4), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence9040059 - 30 Nov 2021
Viewed by 737
Abstract
Functional connectivity studies have demonstrated that creative thinking builds upon an interplay of multiple neural networks involving the cognitive control system. Theoretically, cognitive control has generally been discussed as the common basis underlying the positive relationship between creative thinking and intelligence. However, the [...] Read more.
Functional connectivity studies have demonstrated that creative thinking builds upon an interplay of multiple neural networks involving the cognitive control system. Theoretically, cognitive control has generally been discussed as the common basis underlying the positive relationship between creative thinking and intelligence. However, the literature still lacks a detailed investigation of the association patterns between cognitive control, the factors of creative thinking as measured by divergent thinking (DT) tasks, i.e., fluency and originality, and intelligence, both fluid and crystallized. In the present study, we explored these relationships at the behavioral and the neural level, based on N = 77 young adults. We focused on brain-signal complexity (BSC), parameterized by multi-scale entropy (MSE), as measured during a verbal DT and a cognitive control task. We demonstrated that MSE is a sensitive neural indicator of originality as well as inhibition. Then, we explore the relationships between MSE and factor scores indicating DT and intelligence. In a series of across-scalp analyses, we show that the overall MSE measured during a DT task, as well as MSE measured in cognitive control states, are associated with fluency and originality at specific scalp locations, but not with fluid and crystallized intelligence. The present explorative study broadens our understanding of the relationship between creative thinking, intelligence, and cognitive control from the perspective of BSC and has the potential to inspire future BSC-related theories of creative thinking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence and Creativity)
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Article
How Is Intelligence Test Performance Associated with Creative Achievement? A Meta-Analysis
J. Intell. 2021, 9(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence9020028 - 21 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1318
Abstract
This paper presents a meta-analysis of the links between intelligence test scores and creative achievement. A three-level meta-analysis of 117 correlation coefficients from 30 studies found a correlation of r = .16 (95% CI: .12, .19), closely mirroring previous meta-analytic findings. The [...] Read more.
This paper presents a meta-analysis of the links between intelligence test scores and creative achievement. A three-level meta-analysis of 117 correlation coefficients from 30 studies found a correlation of r = .16 (95% CI: .12, .19), closely mirroring previous meta-analytic findings. The estimated effects were stronger for overall creative achievement and achievement in scientific domains than for correlations between intelligence scores and creative achievement in the arts and everyday creativity. No signs of publication bias were found. We discuss theoretical implications and provide recommendations for future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence and Creativity)
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Article
The Relationship between Intelligence and Divergent Thinking—A Meta-Analytic Update
J. Intell. 2021, 9(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence9020023 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2935
Abstract
This paper provides a meta-analytic update on the relationship between intelligence and divergent thinking (DT), as research on this topic has increased, and methods have diversified since Kim’s meta-analysis in 2005. A three-level meta-analysis was used to analyze 849 correlation coefficients from 112 [...] Read more.
This paper provides a meta-analytic update on the relationship between intelligence and divergent thinking (DT), as research on this topic has increased, and methods have diversified since Kim’s meta-analysis in 2005. A three-level meta-analysis was used to analyze 849 correlation coefficients from 112 studies with an overall N = 34,610. The overall effect showed a significant positive correlation of r = .25. This increase of the correlation as compared to Kim’s prior meta-analytic findings could be attributed to the correction of attenuation because a difference between effect sizes prior-Kim vs. post-Kim was non-significant. Different moderators such as scoring methods, instructional settings, intelligence facets, and task modality were tested together with theoretically relevant interactions between some of these factors. These moderation analyses showed that the intelligence–DT relationship can be higher (up to r = .31–.37) when employing test-like assessments coupled with be-creative instructions, and considering DT originality scores. The facet of intelligence (g vs. gf vs. gc) did not affect the correlation between intelligence and DT. Furthermore, we found two significant sample characteristics: (a) average sample age was positively associated with the intelligence–DT correlation, and (b) the intelligence–DT correlation decreased for samples with increasing percentages of females in the samples. Finally, inter-moderator correlations were checked to take potential confounding into account, and also publication bias was assessed. This meta-analysis provides a comprehensive picture of current research and possible research gaps. Theoretical implications, as well as recommendations for future research, are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence and Creativity)
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Article
Serial Order Effect in Divergent Thinking in Five- to Six-Year-Olds: Individual Differences as Related to Executive Functions
J. Intell. 2021, 9(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence9020020 - 02 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 985
Abstract
This study examined the unfolding in real time of original ideas during divergent thinking (DT) in five- to six-year-olds and related individual differences in DT to executive functions (EFs). The Alternative Uses Task was administered with verbal prompts that encouraged children to report [...] Read more.
This study examined the unfolding in real time of original ideas during divergent thinking (DT) in five- to six-year-olds and related individual differences in DT to executive functions (EFs). The Alternative Uses Task was administered with verbal prompts that encouraged children to report on their thinking processes while generating uses for daily objects. In addition to coding the originality of each use, the domain-specific DT processes memory retrieval and mental operations were coded from children’s explanations. Six EF tasks were administered and combined into composites to measure working memory, shifting, inhibition, and selective attention. The results replicated findings of a previous study with the same children but at age four years: (1) there was a serial order effect of the originality of uses; and (2) the process mental operations predicted the originality of uses. Next, the results revealed that both domain-general EFs and domain-specific executive processes played a role in the real-time unfolding of original ideas during DT. Particularly, the DT process mental operations was positively related to the early generation of original ideas, while selective attention was negatively related to the later generation of original ideas. These findings deepen our understanding of how controlled executive processes operate during DT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence and Creativity)
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Article
Mathematical Creativity in Adults: Its Measurement and Its Relation to Intelligence, Mathematical Competence and General Creativity
J. Intell. 2021, 9(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence9010010 - 17 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1409
Abstract
Mathematical creativity is perceived as an increasingly important aspect of everyday life and, consequently, research has increased over the past decade. However, mathematical creativity has mainly been investigated in children and adolescents so far. Therefore, the first goal of the current study was [...] Read more.
Mathematical creativity is perceived as an increasingly important aspect of everyday life and, consequently, research has increased over the past decade. However, mathematical creativity has mainly been investigated in children and adolescents so far. Therefore, the first goal of the current study was to develop a mathematical creativity measure for adults (MathCrea) and to evaluate its reliability and construct validity in a sample of 100 adults. The second goal was to investigate how mathematical creativity is related to intelligence, mathematical competence, and general creativity. The MathCrea showed good reliability, and confirmatory factor analysis confirmed that the data fitted the assumed theoretical model, in which fluency, flexibility, and originality constitute first order factors and mathematical creativity a second order factor. Even though intelligence, mathematical competence, and general creativity were positively related to mathematical creativity, only numerical intelligence and general creativity predicted unique variance of mathematical creativity. Additional analyses separating quantitative and qualitative aspects of mathematical creativity revealed differential relationships to intelligence components and general creativity. This exploratory study provides first evidence that intelligence and general creativity are important predictors for mathematical creativity in adults, whereas mathematical competence seems to be not as important for mathematical creativity in adults as in children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence and Creativity)
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Article
An Experimental Approach to Investigate the Involvement of Cognitive Load in Divergent Thinking
J. Intell. 2021, 9(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence9010003 - 07 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1558
Abstract
Up to now, support for the idea that a controlled component exists in creative thought has mainly been supported by correlational studies; to further shed light on this issue, we employed an experimental approach. We used four alternate uses tasks that differed in [...] Read more.
Up to now, support for the idea that a controlled component exists in creative thought has mainly been supported by correlational studies; to further shed light on this issue, we employed an experimental approach. We used four alternate uses tasks that differed in instruction type (“be fluent” vs. “be creative”) and concurrent secondary workload (load vs. no load). A total of 51 participants (39 female) went through all tasks and generated ideas for a total of 16 different objects; their responses were scored in terms of fluency (number of responses generated), creative quality, and flexibility. We did find, as expected, that the be-creative instruction resulted in fewer and more creative ideas, as well as more flexible idea sets, but neither of the expected interaction effects became significant. Specifically, fluency was not affected more strongly by secondary workload in the be-fluent instruction condition than in the be-creative instruction condition. Further, the performance drop evoked by the secondary workload was not stronger in the be-creative instruction condition compared to the be-fluent instruction condition when creative quality or flexibility were examined as dependent variable. Altogether, our results do not confirm that be-creative instructions involve more cognitive load than be-fluent instructions. Nevertheless, the analysis of the serial order effect and additional correlational examinations revealed some promising results. Methodological limitations which may have influenced the results are discussed in light of the inherent suspense between internal and external validity (i.e., most likely the applied self-paced dual-task approach increased external validity, but undermined internal validity) and potentially guide future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence and Creativity)
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Article
When Figurative Language Goes off the Rails and under the Bus: Fluid Intelligence, Openness to Experience, and the Production of Poor Metaphors
J. Intell. 2021, 9(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence9010002 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1220
Abstract
The present research examined the varieties of poor metaphors to gain insight into the cognitive processes involved in generating creative ones. Drawing upon data from two published studies as well as a new sample, adults’ open-ended responses to different metaphor prompts were categorized. [...] Read more.
The present research examined the varieties of poor metaphors to gain insight into the cognitive processes involved in generating creative ones. Drawing upon data from two published studies as well as a new sample, adults’ open-ended responses to different metaphor prompts were categorized. Poor metaphors fell into two broad clusters. Non-metaphors—responses that failed to meet the basic task requirements—consisted of “adjective slips” (describing the topic adjectivally instead of figuratively), “wayward attributes” (attributing the wrong property to the topic), and “off-topic idioms” (describing the wrong topic). Bad metaphors—real metaphors that were unanimously judged as uncreative—consisted of “exemplary exemplars” (vehicles that lacked semantic distance and thus seemed trite) and “retrieved clichés” (pulling a dead metaphor from memory). Overall, people higher in fluid intelligence (Gf) were more likely to generate a real metaphor, and their metaphor was less likely to be a bad one. People higher in Openness to Experience, in contrast, were more likely to generate real metaphors but not more or less likely to generate bad ones. Scraping the bottom of the response barrel suggests that creative metaphor production is a particularly complex form of creative thought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence and Creativity)
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Article
Intelligence and Creativity: Mapping Constructs on the Space-Time Continuum
J. Intell. 2021, 9(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence9010001 - 30 Dec 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2271
Abstract
This theoretical article proposes a unified framework of analysis for the constructs of intelligence and creativity. General definitions for intelligence and creativity are provided, allowing fair comparisons between the two context-embedded constructs. A novel taxonomy is introduced to classify the contexts in which [...] Read more.
This theoretical article proposes a unified framework of analysis for the constructs of intelligence and creativity. General definitions for intelligence and creativity are provided, allowing fair comparisons between the two context-embedded constructs. A novel taxonomy is introduced to classify the contexts in which intelligent and/or creative behavior can be embedded, in terms of the tightness vs. looseness of the relevant conceptual space S and available time T. These two dimensions are used to form what is identified as the space-time continuum, containing four quadrants: tight space and tight time, loose space and tight time, tight space and loose time, loose space and loose time. The intelligence and creativity constructs can be mapped onto the four quadrants and found to overlap more or less, depending on the context characteristics. Measurement methodologies adapted to the four different quadrants are discussed. The article concludes with a discussion about future research directions based on the proposed theoretical framework, in terms of theories and hypotheses on intelligence and creativity, of eminent personalities and personality traits, as well as its consequences for developmental, educational, and professional environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence and Creativity)
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Article
Revealing the Role of Divergent Thinking and Fluid Intelligence in Children’s Semantic Memory Organization
J. Intell. 2020, 8(4), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence8040043 - 14 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1810
Abstract
The current theories suggest the fundamental role of semantic memory in creativity, mediating bottom-up (divergent thinking) and top-down (fluid intelligence) cognitive processes. However, the relationship between creativity, intelligence, and the organization of the semantic memory remains poorly-characterized in children. We investigated the ways [...] Read more.
The current theories suggest the fundamental role of semantic memory in creativity, mediating bottom-up (divergent thinking) and top-down (fluid intelligence) cognitive processes. However, the relationship between creativity, intelligence, and the organization of the semantic memory remains poorly-characterized in children. We investigated the ways in which individual differences in children’s semantic memory structures are influenced by their divergent thinking and fluid intelligence abilities. The participants (mean age 10) were grouped by their levels (high/low) of divergent thinking and fluid intelligence. We applied a recently-developed Network Science approach in order to examine group-based semantic memory graphs. Networks were constructed from a semantic fluency task. The results revealed that divergent thinking abilities are related to a more flexible structure of the semantic network, while fluid intelligence corresponds to a more structured semantic network, in line with the previous findings from the adult sample. Our findings confirm the crucial role of semantic memory organization in creative performance, and demonstrate that this phenomenon can be traced back to childhood. Finally, we also corroborate the network science methodology as a valid approach to the study of creative cognition in the developmental population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence and Creativity)
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Article
A Reappraisal of the Threshold Hypothesis of Creativity and Intelligence
J. Intell. 2020, 8(4), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence8040038 - 11 Nov 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2330
Abstract
Intelligence has been declared as a necessary but not sufficient condition for creativity, which was subsequently (erroneously) translated into the so-called threshold hypothesis. This hypothesis predicts a change in the correlation between creativity and intelligence at around 1.33 standard deviations above the population [...] Read more.
Intelligence has been declared as a necessary but not sufficient condition for creativity, which was subsequently (erroneously) translated into the so-called threshold hypothesis. This hypothesis predicts a change in the correlation between creativity and intelligence at around 1.33 standard deviations above the population mean. A closer inspection of previous inconclusive results suggests that the heterogeneity is mostly due to the use of suboptimal data analytical procedures. Herein, we applied and compared three methods that allowed us to handle intelligence as a continuous variable. In more detail, we examined the threshold of the creativity-intelligence relation with (a) scatterplots and heteroscedasticity analysis, (b) segmented regression analysis, and (c) local structural equation models in two multivariate studies (N1 = 456; N2 = 438). We found no evidence for the threshold hypothesis of creativity across different analytical procedures in both studies. Given the problematic history of the threshold hypothesis and its unequivocal rejection with appropriate multivariate methods, we recommend the total abandonment of the threshold. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence and Creativity)
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Article
The Influence of Situational Cues on Children’s Creativity in an Alternative Uses Task and the Moderating Effect of Selective Attention
J. Intell. 2020, 8(4), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence8040037 - 19 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1618
Abstract
Taking a perception-action perspective, we investigated how the presence of different real objects in children’s immediate situation affected their creativity and whether this effect was moderated by their selective attention. Seventy children between ages 9 and 12 years old participated. Verbal responses on [...] Read more.
Taking a perception-action perspective, we investigated how the presence of different real objects in children’s immediate situation affected their creativity and whether this effect was moderated by their selective attention. Seventy children between ages 9 and 12 years old participated. Verbal responses on a visual Alternative Uses Task with a low stimulus and high stimulus condition were coded on fluency, flexibility, and originality. Selective attention was measured with a visual search task. Results showed that fluency was not affected by stimulus condition and was unrelated to selective attention. Flexibility was positively associated with selective attention. Originality, net of fluency and flexibility, showed a main effect of stimulus condition in an unexpected direction, as children gave more original responses in the low stimulus condition compared to the high stimulus condition. A significant moderation effect revealed that children with better selective attention skills benefitted from a low stimulus environment, whereas children with weaker selective attention performed better in a high stimulus environment. The findings demonstrate differential effects of the immediate situation and selective attention, and support the hypothesis that creativity is impacted by immediate situation and selective attention, yet in unexpected ways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence and Creativity)
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Article
The Contribution of Executive Functions in Predicting Mathematical Creativity in Typical Elementary School Classes: A Twofold Role for Updating
J. Intell. 2020, 8(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence8020026 - 02 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2830
Abstract
The goal of the current study was to investigate the role of executive functions in mathematical creativity. The sample included 278 primary school children (ages 8–13). Two models were compared: the starting model tested whether executive functions (shifting, updating, and inhibition), domain-general creativity, [...] Read more.
The goal of the current study was to investigate the role of executive functions in mathematical creativity. The sample included 278 primary school children (ages 8–13). Two models were compared: the starting model tested whether executive functions (shifting, updating, and inhibition), domain-general creativity, and mathematical ability directly predicted mathematical creativity. The second model, which fitted the data best, included the additional assumption that updating influences mathematical creativity indirectly through mathematical ability and domain-general creativity. Updating was positively related to mathematical creativity. Additionally, updating was positively related to mathematical ability and domain-general creativity. Inhibition, shifting, domain-general creativity and mathematical ability did not have a significant contribution to either model but did positively correlate with mathematical creativity. This study reports the first empirical evidence that updating is a predictor of mathematical creativity in primary school children and demonstrates that creativity is a higher order cognitive process, activating a variety of cognitive abilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence and Creativity)
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Review

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Review
A Minimal Theory of Creative Ability
J. Intell. 2021, 9(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/jintelligence9010009 - 16 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1468
Abstract
Despite decades of extensive research on creativity, the field still combats psychometric problems when measuring individual differences in creative ability and people’s potential to achieve real-world outcomes that are both original and useful. We think these seemingly technical issues have a conceptual origin. [...] Read more.
Despite decades of extensive research on creativity, the field still combats psychometric problems when measuring individual differences in creative ability and people’s potential to achieve real-world outcomes that are both original and useful. We think these seemingly technical issues have a conceptual origin. We therefore propose a minimal theory of creative ability (MTCA) to create a consistent conceptual theory to guide investigations of individual differences in creative ability. Building on robust theories and findings in creativity and individual differences research, our theory argues that creative ability, at a minimum, must include two facets: intelligence and expertise. So, the MTCA simply claims that whenever we do something creative, we use most of our cognitive abilities combined with relevant expertise to be creative. MTCA has important implications for creativity theory, measurement, and practice. However, the MTCA isn’t necessarily true; it is a minimal theory. We discuss and reject several objections to the MTCA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence and Creativity)
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