Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Creativity/archive1

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Nominated by ACEO (talk · contribs) (who placed these comments on Talk:Creativity): This is one of the better articles on psychology that I have seen in Wikipedia (and my job, incidentally, is to teach and research psychology, a subject in which I have three degrees). It is well-written, comprehensive, and factually accurate.

  • Comment: I haven't yet read through the article, but after scrolling down I noticed the image of the brain in the "Creativity in psychology" section. What use is this image serving? Most people know what a brain is or looks like, so I would remove the image or replace it with a better one. Although I don't know if an image like this exists or can be made, one could be highlighting areas of the brain that involve or are thought to involve creativity.--Dark Kubrick 20:27, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
The only use the picture serves is illustrative. There are some theories in the neurology of creativity section about specific areas, but it is certainly beyond me to produce a graphic highlighting these areas. If anyone else can, they are welcome, but in the meantime I suggest we leave this picutre for its illustrative value. BrettRob 23:11, 31 August 2006 (UTC) Changed to a more relevant one showing the frontal lobe. BrettRob 03:25, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment: As someone who has spent a fair bit of time editing this article, I would love to support its nomination for FA. However, looking at it objectively, I think there are a few things that need to be done before I will be happy:
  • The Creativity in Art & Literature section is important, and should be expanded (based on referenced material!). The article is meant to be on Creativity in all its forms, but there is currently too much emphasis of psychological/cognitive perspectives. Some mention of creativity in music would also be appropriate.
  • The History section is currently based on only one book. The book (which I have not read) seems comprehensive, but is perhaps a little biased towards the author's Polish nationality, and is mainly about aesthetics rather than creativity. Other sources should be used for balance. Fixed. The section now has 3 sources and more frequent inline citations. BrettRob 05:04, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
  • The Neurology of Creativity section (also based on one source) is probably too long for this article. I would prefer to see it shortened, or moved to its own page with a summary here. I have drastically shortened (and moved) this section and hopefully made it more accessible. BrettRob 03:25, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
BrettRob 23:45, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Object - There's some language and phraseology issues that, while they'd work well in a textbook meant for instruction, work less well in an encyclopedia meant for reference. Additionally, the article could use a lot more references, which would likely help clear up the phraseology problem too. Here are two examples that jumped out at me:
I don't think I'd agree that it needs "a lot more references". A few more in the right places, certainly, but wouldn't a lot more would be overwhelming for casual researchers? BrettRob 05:04, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
*"It is fair to say that without creativity, human beings would have remained in a palaeolithic existence." - Says who? Fair point, removed this para. BrettRob 00:12, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
*" is useful to explicitly distinguish between creativity and innovation." - Says who? Added inline citation. BrettRob 00:12, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Besides thoses, there are long passages and sections without a single inline citation. This makes referencing facts found in wikipedia very difficult, for, say, a college student doing research on the subject. He can't reference wikipedia himself, he has to go to the sources wikipedia referenced. An FA should make this as easy as possible. Fieari 23:53, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree. The worst sections are the ones I mentioned above - Creativity in Art & Literature, History of Creativity, and Neurology of Creativity. Each of these sections is based on only one reference. I'll be working on this. BrettRob 00:12, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment: I'm not necessarily prepared to oppose on this basis but the article strikes me as a bit of a mish-mash with little coherent organization. Much of the article appears to be a list of instances in sources where creativity is mentioned, e.g. we jump from a discussion of "creativity and madness" to creativity in industry and so on. This makes the article very disjointed, for instance the section "creativity in organizations" is just a fact that is thrown into the article, with nothing to provide a bearing as to the importance of this fact, its bearing on the rest of the article, or the reaction of other scholars. The article in general seems to be a large list of individual facts rather than an article presenting a comprehensive picture of the topic. Christopher Parham (talk) 03:39, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Some good points. I have tried to address them by moving the sections around a bit. It is difficult to give the Creativity in Various Contexts section a more logical flow, because the different contexts have been studied very seperately and it is difficult to find unifying themes. I have tried to explain that fact with a few introductory sentences at the beginning of the section (so that at least the reader is aware of why it seems so disconnected). I will keep thinking about how to improve this. BrettRob 06:21, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Object. Unrelated to the point above, on which I think you've made a good start, the last large section of the article is paraphrased very closely from the source article, [1]. This section urgently needs to be rewitten in original language. Christopher Parham (talk) 06:35, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Fixed. BrettRob 03:25, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Object at this time. I have a lot for respect for people who undertake to edit such a nightmarishly large and slippery subject, and I'll leave content commentary to people who have studied it. Though I do have a few unformed doubts, especially of unlucky generalizations like "Renaissance men had a sense of their own independence, freedom and creativity" — what, all of them? And it's not proper these days to leave the Renaissance women altogether out of the story. But mainly, I have some more superficial points:
Accessibility: the level of difficulty is uneven, with strikingly varying expectations of the reader's background knowledge. The image captions seem aimed at, uh, the very young or something like that ("Leonardo Da Vinci is well known for his creative works"), while for instance the final paragraph is highly academic. It begins "The findings of contemporary neurology regarding the nature of creativity provide a physical substrate for manifestations of a paradigm of paradigms concerning creativity — concerning innovative thought — based on recombinant conceptualization". If the italicized phrase at the end is important, it should be explained, or linked to stubs created for the purpose, and well, I feel stupid today, but what does "paradigm of paradigms" mean?
Absolutely agree. Fixed the whole last section, which I think was the worst offender. BrettRob 03:25, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Style: there are concrete problems with the prose, which needs to flow better. The paragraphing is choppy, with lots of one-sentence paragraphs, the section "Neurology of creativity" being a disaster area in this regard. I don't think a drive-by copy-edit would solve this problem very constructively, or I'd try to help. There's also some awkward phrasing. "Creativity is regarded to have occurred when there takes place the production of a creative product" — ouch — "In Rome, these Greek concepts were partly shaken", " both the Greeks and Romans had no words..." (= "neither the Greeks nor the Romans had any words..."), etc. I'll try to help on this issue.
Thanks for your edits. I need some help with this. BrettRob 03:25, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Images: it's very difficult to illustrate this subject, no doubt. The images selected frankly don't "illustrate" — throw light on — the sections much. (And, again, I don't admire the captions — the one on Newton is OK, the others not so much.) When you say above that the brain image is purely "illustrative", no it isn't, I wish it were — do you mean it's purely decorative? Bishonen | talk 22:12, 1 September 2006 (UTC).
Agreed. I have replaced the brain with a more informative picture. Any specific suggestions for the others would be welcome. BrettRob 03:25, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for all the above points, which were well taken as potential objections to make the article about the possibility of work on creativity. Having just re-read the article, I can see how it still requires some further development, but I think that it might not be too long before this particular paper can become a Featured Article. My responses to the above would be:

1. I shall respond to the person who mentioned the brain picture first. BrettRob, thank you for putting in the image which displays the frontal lobe, as this does mean that this image is informative, and remember, appropriate images where appropriate is a quality of featured articles.

2. One of the objections was that perhaps there is too much focus on psychology, but I might be a little biassed here, as my background is in psychology - also, I did think that readers of this article might primarily be interested in psychology. In fact, I was quite struck by how this was not exclusively on psychology, covering grounds such as economic creativity. Some one called for a case for musical creativity to be considered - that point is well-taken, and there is a lot of literature on the psychology of music, with journals wholly devoted to this subject.

To contrast your psychological viewpoint, have a look at this comment on the talk page (I sit somewhere between the two of you in my opinions). Consider how important creativity is to artists, writers, musicians, etc. The current section on this topic is inadequate and unreferenced.BrettRob 00:29, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

3. There was a call for this article to be better structured and more coherent (I am using to seeing loosely structured pieces in undergraduate essays!) I think that its current re-organization is not too problematic, except for one thing. Its introduction is arguably too long, and arguably, it still needs a more precise summary of what is to follow at the start of the article.

4. Within psychology, I do think that this article does cover a good range of ground, but I still note some omissions. There is nothing, for example, on age and creativity, and how older adults may still engage in creative work. I also felt that the section on madness and creativity could have covered more ground, looking, for example, at reduced lateral inhibition in psychotics as a possible reason as to why some psychologists have linked creativity to psychosis. This would give the article more scope for bringing this section into greater correspondence with the neurology of creativity section, thus making the article better and less incoherently structured.

Thank you, BrettRob, for all your hard work on this article. I seem to recall contributing to the bit about Wallas in this paper. My only remaining comments are that I think this article needs: (a). A section dealing with the relationship between intelligence and creativity; (b). Some greater cognizance of the work of Robert Sternberg.

That done, I wonder whether we might be there? Thank you again for all the comments that my nomination aroused. ACEO

Thanks, ACEO and everyone. This will serve us well as a to-do list moving forward. I would like to encourage anyone who has the knowledge and the time to help out - I can't really give much more of my time to this in the short term. Particularly as it is so close (in my opinion) to making it as a FA - just a little more effort should get it over the line. BrettRob 00:29, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Object at this time, for all the above reasons. (just to make it formal) BrettRob 00:35, 5 September 2006 (UTC)