Not available in 2022/23
PB302      Half Unit
Creativity and Innovation

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Alex Gillespie


This course is available on the BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

This course examines the social and psychological basis of creativity and innovation. The course is therefore suitable for students enrolled in other programmes who wish to enrich their understanding by drawing on detailed understanding of the psychological and cultural processes that underpin thought and behaviour.


Students should have taken Foundations of Psychological Science (PB101) or Foundations of Behavioural Science (PB100).

Course content

The course will cover the social conditions (i.e., face-to-face or online, one-to-one or group, autocratic or democratic, specialisation or integration, etc.) conductive to creativity and innovation, including the social conditions for socialisation creative individuals and the social and institutional factors which enable productive novelty to be recognised and instituted. Specific topics will include: theories of creativity, play & imagination, insight and problem solving, identifying good ideas, materiality, cultural evolution, the resistance to innovation, user innovation, utopias and how people imagine the future.

The course will include topics such as:

  • Defining creativity and innovation
  • Approaches to creativity
  • Social interaction and creativity
  • Creative problem solving
  • Expansive and double-loop learning
  • User innovation and feedback
  • Resistance to innovation
  • Evaluating ideas
  • Play and imagination
  • Utopias and imagining the future


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT.

Formative coursework

1. Take-home multiple choice quiz in the LT

2. Essay in the LT

3. Group presentation in the LT

Indicative reading

Kaufman, J. C., & Sternberg, R. J. (2010). The Cambridge handbook of creativity. Cambridge University Press. (especially history (chapter 1) , theories (chapter 2), assessment (chapter 3), organizational creativity (chapter 8), developmental approaches to creativity (chapter 12), and functional creativity(chapter 16) and individual and group creativity (chapter 19))

Bechtoldt, M.N., De Dreu, C.K., Nijstad, B.A., and Choi, H.S. (2010). Motivated information processing, social tuning, and group creativity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99(4), 622.

Maddux, W.W., and Galinsky, A.D. (2009). Cultural borders and mental barriers: The relationship between living abroad and creativity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96(5), 1047-1061.

Mainemelis, C. (2010). Stealing fire: Creative deviance in the evolution of new ideas. Academy of Management Review, 35(4), 558-578.

Paulus, P.B. and Yang, H.C. (2000). Idea generation in groups: A basis for creativity in organisations. Organisational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes, 82(1), 76-87.

Zittoun, T. & Gillespie, A. (2016). Imagination in human and cultural development. London: Routledge.]

Students will be expected to read essential readings plus additional reading from the primary literature each class. These readings will be provided in the course outline.


Essay (100%, 2500 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Capped 2021/22: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

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Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills