Creativity is essential to innovation and social change and is a central research topic at Aalborg University. Despite the current interest in the topic there is still a lack of knowledge of what creativity actually is ‘in real life’ and how it is possible to promote it. The most prevalent ways of studying creativity proceed by presenting research participants with predetermined assignments that must be solved cognitively and/or by comparing individual performances under different testing conditions. Within this largely psychometric and experimental research tradition, creativity is understood as a mainly cognitive phenomenon concerned with the ability to think divergently and to imagine alternative futures. However, real-life problems that call for creativity are situated, contextual and ‘messy’.
Creativity in Everyday Life: the aim of this sub-project is to seek to develop methodologies that are relevant to capture emergent phenomena such as creative acts, skills and practices. This will involve the development of creative methodologies that have a higher degree of validity in relation to the phenomena under scrutiny than traditional ones. We will study how people in natural settings generate novelty and adapt to novel experiences, objects or ideas. This latter aspect involves research into everyday life improvisations.
Improvisation in Team Sports: this sub-project explores people’s perception of the relation between novelty and improvisation in two different settings: an elite sports team (handball) and an elite research team. The overall aim is to study (1) the processes where novelty and improvisation seem to co-appear and (2) the need for improvisation and how it develops over time within the respective teams. Furthermore, it will allow us to study the appearance of new ideas and innovative practices within each single team and the possible genesis of creative identities among the team members.