The Role of Affect in Creative Projects and Exploratory Search
Posted: 22 Jun 2008
Date Written: February 2007
The theory of creativity and exploratory search developed by Simon, March, and their followers in the Carnegie school relies on a coolly cognitive account of motivation. We argue that a more robust theory would give affect greater prominence. Our approach is inspired by Dewey's ( Human Nature and Conduct. Prometheus: Amherst, MA) analysis of the three components of human conduct habit, intelligence, and impulse, where impulse is Dewey's term for affect. The Carnegie approach incorporates the first two, but has little to say about the third. We review literature on affect in psychology, psychodynamics, and neurobiology, showing how it allows us to characterize more effectively the motivational underpinnings of individual creativity and collective creative projects. This in turn enables us to sketch the key role of affect in exploratory search as compared to other domains of organizational activity.
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