exploring the role of play in creativity

“Every Child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist when we grow up.” Pablo Picasso

The Project Outline.

This research project will examine the area in which creative theory and areas of research relating to play appear to overlap, with the aim of focusing on how play (or games) can create a positive environment which is beneficial to the creative process.

In defining creativity I will, in part, be looking at Steinberg’s Investment Theory which outlines creative thinking as a process that uses similar resources to critical thinking. This theory suggests that not only can creative thinking be recognised in anyone but, if the decision to do so is taken, as a process which can be developed and strengthened by anyone. I intend to apply this argument to various creative thinking techniques based on divergent thinking and analogy, as outlined by Torrance, Guilford, and DeBono, then combine these techniques with concepts taken from research into the benefits and affect of play.

Key factors which are accepted determinants of creativity will be examined in relation to research in the field of child cognitive development, focusing on the role of play, as well as aspects of game theory which are briefly outlined below.

key determinants of creativity and the affect of play


The research will be conducted under the structure of the M.A Communications programme at Cardiff Met and as such will be conducted in three parts:

  • First will be a paper outlining an initial literature review in relation to research methodology and a relevant case study (Nina Katchadourian).
  • Second will be a short practical test with the intention of gaining insights into the theories and conclusions discussed in part one.
  • Finally these insights will be developed into a larger practical test in the third part, accompanied by an expanded investigation into related concepts and arguments. The results of which will be presented as both a written paper and a visual record of the final research test.

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