Revisiting the Systems Approach: Commentary on Glăveanu’s Paper “The Psychology of Creativity: A Critical Reading”

Open access


In responding to Glăveanu’s critical views on the psychology of creativity, this commentary summarizes seminal work that has been carried out on creativity since 1950s. It underscores the value of the systems approach and discusses key methodological issues related to this approach, including creativity assessment, the necessity for multi-level analyses, the bandwidth-fidelity-dilemma, the challenge of operationalizing creativity for empirical studies and the lack of communication across disciplines. It calls for more external support, cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration and the establishment of a more open, tolerant and creativity-conducive environment to encourage and unleash creativity in creativity research from creativity researchers.

Amabile, T. M. (1982). Social psychology of creativity: a consensual assessment technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 43, 5, 997-1013.

Amabile, T. M. (1983). Social psychology of creativity: A componential conceptualization. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45, 357-377.

Amabile, T. M. (1996). Creativity in context: Update to The Social Psychology of Creativity. Boulder, CO: Westview.

Amabile, T., & Pillemer, J. (2012). Perspectives on the Social Psychology of Creativity. Journal of Creative Behavior 46, 1, 3–15.

Cronbach, L. J., & Gleser, G. C. (1965). Psychological tests and personnel decisions (2nd ed.). Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

De Dreu, C. K. W., Baas, M., & Nijstad, B. A. (2008). Hedonic tone and activation level in the mood-creativity link: Toward a dual pathway to creativity model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 739-756.

EMCI IP summer school 2013 and 2014:

Friedman R. S., Forster, J., & Denzler, M. (2007). Interactive effects of mood and task framing on creative generation. Creativity Research Journal, 19, 141-162.

Glăveanu, V. P. (2014). The psychology of creativity: A critical reading. Creativity. Theories – Research – Applications, 1, 10-32; DOI: 10.15290/ctra.2014.01.01.02.

Gino, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2012). The dark side of creativity: Original thinkers can be more dishonest. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102, 445-459.

Hennessey, B. A., & Amabile, T. (2010). Creativity. Annual Review of Psychology, 61, 569–598.

Kaufman, J. C., & Beghetto, R. A. (2009). Beyond big and little: The Four C Model of Creativity. Review of General Psychology, 13, 1, 1-12.

Polzer, J., Milton, L. P., & Swann, B. (2002). Capitalizing on diversity: Interpersonal congruence in small work groups. Administrative Science Quarterly, 47, 296-324.

Moren, S. (2009). Creativity: A systems perspective. In T. Rickards, Runco M. A., & Moger, S. (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Creativity (pp. 292-301). UK: Routledge.

Miron-Spektor, E., Gino, F., & Argote, L. (2011). Paradoxical frames and creative sparks: Enhancing individual creativity through conflict and integration. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 116, 2, 229-240.

Rhodes, M. (1961). An analysis of creativity. Phi Delta Kappan, 42, 305-310.

Runco, M. A., & Pagnani, A. (2008). Psychological research on creativity. In J. Sefton-Green, P. Thomson, K. Jones, & L. Bresler (Eds.), The Routledge international handbook of creative learning (pp. 63-71). London: Routledge.

Scott, G. M., Leritz, L. E., & Mumford, M. D. (2004). The effectiveness of creativity training: A quantitative review. Creativity Research Journal, 16, 36, 361-388.

Simonton, D. K. (1995). Exceptional personal influence. Creativity Research Journal, 8, 371-376.

Simonton, D. K. (2006). Historiometric methods. In A. Ericsson, N. Charness, P. J. Feltovich, & R. R. Hoffman (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of expertise and expert performance (pp. 319-335). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Tang, M. (2010). China’s young inventors: A systemic view of the individual and environmental factors. Dissertation of the Department of Psychology and Pedagogy, University of Munich, Germany. Retrievable under

Werner, C., Tang, L. M., Schmidt, J., Mielke, A., Spörrle, M., Neber, H., Zhou, Z., Zhao, X., & Cao, G. (2011). Applied creativity across domains and cultures: Integrating Eastern and Western perspectives. Creative Personality, 9, 228–240.

Westmeyer, H. (1998). The social construction and psychological assessment of creativity. High Ability Studies, 9, 1, 11-21.

Journal Information

Cited By


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 174 169 13
PDF Downloads 54 53 5