Because of its complex nature there have been diverse views about creativity. Before the scientific study on it had taken place, people view it as something mysterious and exclusive only to a very selected and talented people. According to Edward de Bono, one of its popular misconceptions is that it is "a mysterious talent that only some people have (De Bono, 2004)."
After their extensive research, modern psychologists have been able to debunk this delimiting idea and defined it as "a mental process involving the generation of new ideas and concepts, or new associations between existing ideas and concepts (Creativity, 2007)." In this definition, creativity is now a mental process that every person has the capacity to do. Anyone can be have this skill as long as a person abide by the procedures that one should undertake to accomplish a creative feat.
However innovative discoveries that have not improved culture of a society is not fit to be called a Creative feat. Aside from mere coming out of fresh concepts or interlinking previous ideas to produce an original one, the renowned psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi added other factors that will complete his creative process. He laid down five steps in the creative process (Clark, 2004). These are:
For Csikszentmihalyi, forgoing any one of these ...
Evaluation - phase when the decision whether the insight is "valuable and worth pursuing."
Elaboration - transforming the creative insight into reality.
For Csikszentmihalyi, forgoing any one of these steps will render the whole creative process incomplete, and thus making the final product uncreative. Therefore if a person has only attained the evaluation level and fail to reach the elaboration stage, this person has virtually created nothing.
Csikszentmihalyi distinguished two kinds of creativity. The first is creativity with initial written in small "c". For him, this is "personal creativity," the one that all persons are striving to have. It is also kind that we want our children to develop. The second kind is spelled with a capital "C." This kind, which is "cultural creativity," requires that the creative individual should have impact to the culture and the society wherein he belongs (1995).
It is the Creativity with capital "C" that Csikszentmihalyi is more particular with. For him the other kind of creativity is just a part of a complete social picture, which the kind with capital "C" is more concerned on.
Csikszentmihalyi's approach to studying Creativity was by considering the interactions between individuals, society and culture. When Csikszentmihalyi developed his systems view of creativity he turned his attention away from "What is creativity" and instead focused on the question "Where is creativity" Considering the creative process that he developed, he questioned the idea that the creative processes are only to be found in the mind of the creative individual. Instead he suggested that this essential creative process,