Computer Software for Measuring Creative Search

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Kyle Jennings: Computer Software for Measuring Creative Search. In: Computational Creativity 2012 ICCC 2012, 227.



The creative process can be thought of as the search through a space of possible solutions for one that best sat- isfies the problem criteria. To better understand this search process, two face valid creative tasks have been created, both of which track the intermediate configurations that creators explore. These data—called search trajectories—may yield valuable insights into the creative process. This demonstra- tion allows visitors to try both tasks and to see the sorts of data that are produced.

The first task is a computerized version of Amabile’s (1982) popular collage task, wherein participants make themed collages using colored shapes (see Figure 1). The software allows the shapes to be moved, rotated, flipped, and stacked using an intuitive mouse-based interface. The creator’s moves can be characterized according to the extent that the set of shape movements actually performed exceeds the minimal set of movements needed to produce the final collage.

Extended Abstract


author = {Kyle Jennings},
title = {Computer Software for Measuring Creative Search},
editor = {Mary Lou Maher, Kristian Hammond, Alison Pease, Rafael Pérez y Pérez, Dan Ventura and Geraint Wiggins},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Computational Creativity},
series = {ICCC2012},
year = {2012},
month = {May},
location = {Dublin, Ireland},
pages = {227},
url = {, },
publisher = {International Association for Computational Creativity},
keywords = {computational, creativity},

Used References

Amabile, T. 1982. Social psychology of creativity: A con- sensual assessment technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 43(5):997–1013.

Jennings, K. E.; Simonton, D. K.; and Palmer, S. E. 2011. Understanding exploratory creativity in a visual domain. In Proceedings of the Eighth ACM Conference on Creativity and Cognition.

Jennings, K. E. 2010. Search strategies and the creative pro- cess. In Proceedings of the First International Conference on Computational Creativity, 130–139.

Jennings, K. E. 2012. Creative search trajectories and their implications. In Proceedings of the Third International Con- ference on Computational Creativity.


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