The Selection-Automaton Model of Creativity as Non-Linear System Dynamics - Culturing Creativity in East Asia Examined Using 50 Interviews to Study Culture Impacts on the Insight Process
Journal of Policy Studies 1999, Policy Studies Association of Japan
Posted: 1 Apr 2013
Date Written: September 1, 1999
POPULATIONS INTERACTING - This paper presents a new model of the creative process, the Selection Automaton model. This model brings to bear on the questions of creativity research the tools and concepts of non-linear system dynamics. The emergence of creative works and creative insights is understood as a non-linear system dynamics avalanche event. Populations of things interacting in creative performance are identified and understood using non-linear system dynamics concepts such as the connectedness, diversity, and patchings parameters. Levels are identified in creative performance - a thoughts in mind level, an emotional reactions level, a moves and improvisations in performance level, and a parts of organizations level.
STRUCTURE OF THE MODEL OVERALL - There are three dimensions of creativity that evince these levels - four generator automatons (the cognition, insight, social, and domain automatons), four paradox generators (negation, hubris, feedback, and parallel projects), and four application generators (thoughts, emotional reactions, performance moves, and organization parts). Creativity dynamics applied to these same four aspects of society generate a number of new domains of interest today - high performance, innovation, emotional intelligence, organizational learning, knowledge management, and network economics. Self emergence of unplanned patterns in non-linear systems, works and insights in creativity, self-governing in social revolution, and trans-geographic communities in internet domains are shown to be the same process in different domains. Submodels of Csikszentmihalyi’s systems model and of the insight process within creativity are also presented.
NON-LINEAR CREATIVITY DYNAMICS - The identification of populations, emergence phenomena, and levels, in creativity, allows us to deploy all of the concepts and results of non-linear system dynamics to understand creativity phenomena and enhance creative performance.
EMBEDDED INSIGHT MODEL - The selection automaton model of creativity subsumes, within it, a selection automaton model of the insight process. Recent research has found certain social psychological conditions that foster and others that hinder creative performance by affecting particular steps in the insight process, and certain cultural attributes that foster or remove such social psychological conditions. We can combine these to come up with hypotheses about the barriers and enablers to creative performance in any culture, for our example here, East Asian culture, in particular, Japanese culture.
THE SAMPLE - To refine these hypotheses 50 creative Japanese were interviewed about the role of insight in their own creation processes and about the role of particular steps in their insight process in the overall process. Barriers and enablers in Japanese society and their immediate situation to these insight process steps were obtained. Qualitative analysis of the resulting transcripts made four of the five hypotheses unlikely. Only the lack of disagreement, variety, contending issues, and the like in Japanese society was felt by these creative Japanese as a block or detriment to their work. All other hypothesized difficulties and obstacles, such as social conformity in Japan, were not reported by respondents as obstacles at all.
CONCLUSION - I conclude that most obstacles to creative performance lose power once people identify themselves as "creative", hence, probably only work by limiting the number of people moving to make such a self-identification.
LIST OF MODEL COMPONENTS: 1. population automaton - the great number of populations of different things that interact in creativity, enhanced by complexity theory use of intelligent agent theory from artificial intelligence research 2. genetic automaton - the specific type of population automaton involved in creativity, enhanced by complexity theory use of genetic algorithms from artificial intelligence research 3. generative automatons - four levels of populations of things that interact genetically to generate creative outcomes, the levels come from an analysis of the paradoxes within a survey of an extended image of creative dynamics in society (presented in the article cited above) 4. paradox generators - four aspects of human life that generate paradoxes found in the interactions of the populations involved in creativity, these aspects come from an analysis of the paradoxes within a survey of an extended image of creative dynamics in society (presented in the article cited above) 5. application automatons - four aspects of human life, corresponding to the aspects that generate paradoxes, that, when creativity dynamics are applied to them, result in whole new domains we think of as outside creativity yet they are creativity dynamics at work 6. application areas - the particular new fields and domains, generated in the last 20 years in business and society, that result when creativity dynamics are applied to the four aspects of life that are called application automatons above 7. explosive re-interpretation as the punch-line effect of the humor connection - the point where humor research and creativity research intersect - the effect of a creative work on a field evaluating it, the punch-line effect, of causing explosive (lots, quickly) re-interpretation of aspects of the domain that the field works in, caused by the creative work 8. insight as a phenomenon that emerges from interactions of populations involved in creativity - the emergence dynamics of population automatons in complexity theory applied to how insight emerges from the interactions of persons, works, fields, and domains in creativity; insight as a "avalanche" event in complexity theory terms 9. the sociological levels: person, work, field, domain - Csikszentmihalyi’s categories from his systems model of creativity 10. the population levels: thought, emotion, performance, organization - the four aspects of persons wherein genetic population dynamics take place, generating creativity dynamics 11. the twelve paradoxes (of 16) where population levels intersect sociological levels - the paradoxes within creative performance generated where sociological levels and population levels intersect.
Keywords: automata, non-linear system dynamics, system avalanches, insights as avalanches, butterfly effect, punch-line effect, creativity, invention, insight
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