A perspective-change based account of creativity evaluation: An investigation in simile assessments

AbstractWhy do people experience something as creative? We propose a perspective-change based account of creativity evaluation. Drawing upon structure mapping theory (Gentner, 1983), we show that people evaluate a simile to be creative when they spontaneously (Study 1) or are induced (Study 2) to experience a change in perspective. This account further predicts that people are unlikely to find a simile creative if they are unable to form a working perspective, as is in the case of anomalies. In addition, a simile is unlikely to be evaluated as creative when people’s initial perspectives are sufficient to interpret the simile, as in the case of literal statements. We further show that repeated use of the same perspective suppresses the experience of perspective change and thus reduces creativity perception (Study 3).

Return to previous page