Posted: 4 Jun 2010

See all articles by Beth A. Hennessey

Beth A. Hennessey

Wellesley College

Teresa M. Amabile

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit

Date Written: January 2010


The psychological study of creativity is essential to human progress. If strides are to be made in the sciences, humanities, and arts, we must arrive at a far more detailed understanding of the creative process, its antecedents, and its inhibitors. This review, encompassing most subspecialties in the study of creativity and focusing on twenty-first-century literature, reveals both a growing interest in creativity among psychologists and a growing fragmentation in the field. To be sure, research into the psychology of creativity has grown theoretically and methodologically sophisticated, and researchers have made important contributions from an ever-expanding variety of disciplines. But this expansion has not come without a price. Investigators in one subfield often seem unaware of advances in another. Deeper understanding requires more interdisciplinary research, based on a systems view of creativity that recognizes a variety of interrelated forces operating at multiple levels.

Suggested Citation

Hennessey, Beth A. and Amabile, Teresa M., Creativity (January 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Beth A. Hennessey (Contact Author)

Wellesley College ( email )

106 Central St.
Wellesley, MA 02181
United States

Teresa M. Amabile

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02163
United States

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