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On the Question of Divergent Thinking 2519
Doctor of Psychology, Chief Researcher, Creativity Diagnostic Team Leader, Laboratory of Giftedness, Psychological Institute of Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia
PhD in Psychology, Moscow, Russia
It is generally assumed that the year 1950 was the turning point in contemporary studies of creativity. This was the year when the new President of American Psychological Association, J.P. Guilford, made his inaugural speech. Although his report was called "Creativity", soon many psychologists began to understand creativity and divergent thinking as synonyms, because, according to Guilford, creativity localizes firstly in the divergent thinking factors. Being the central notion of Guilford's concept, divergence (the necessity of its interpretation and grounding) appears to be the epicenter of his theory. Divergent thinking is also the subject of this article, though it only appears on the last pages. The authors expect that reflecting upon Guilford's life, scientific interests and career would help readers to understand the article's conclusions. For more than 25 years Guilford's theoretical ideas have been implanted in the minds of Russian scientists. Many specialists in the field of education and personnel are using his tests all over Russia. Under these circumstances our conclusions, namely that the term "divergence" used by Guilford is not similar to the one developed in naturals sciences, and that divergence is not actually presented in Guilford's tests, break all stereotypes and is highly unexpected. However, revealing the true substance of Guilford's theory is our task.
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