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Research on CPS
Over the course of the past fifty years, many researchers and developers presented a variety of different creative problem solving models and approaches. Work on these presentations has taken place in many different settings, including colleges and universities, public elementary and secondary schools, small and large businesses, and numerous consulting organizations.
In the literature of psychology, sociology, education, or training and organizational development, the common phrase, creative problem solving, has been used to describe many models, which may or may not have any common origins or structure.
Early interest in the creative process examined the natural approaches taken by highly creative people in applying their personal creativity when solving problems (e.g., Crawford, 1937; Spearman, 1931; Wallas, 1926). The effort to make creative processes more visible, explicit, and deliberate was a formidable challenge for researchers for many years.
Alex Osborn developed the original description of CPS (Version 1.0). In his book, Wake up your mind, Osborn (1952) presented a comprehensive description of a seven-stage CPS process. This process description was based on his work in the advertising field, dealing with the natural tension between people on the more creative side (e.g., graphic artists, copy writers) and those on the business side (e.g., client managers, business managers) to develop successful campaigns and meet customers’ needs. Osborn’s Applied Imagination (1953, 1957) popularized his description of CPS and the term brainstorming— now arguably the most widely known, used (and too frequently, misused) term associated with creativity.
In making the creative process more deliberate and explicit, Osborn integrated what was known at the time about the stages and tools used by highly creative individuals, based on his study and experience in the practical world. Osborn’s interest emphasized the deliberate development of creative talent, particularly within the field of education. He expressed the vision of bringing a more creative trend to American education, which became the impetus for founding the Creative Education Foundation and, subsequently, for the development of an academic program in Buffalo.
After Osborn’s death in 1966, Parnes and his colleagues continued to work with CPS. They developed a modification of Osborn’s approach, which came to be known as the “Osborn- Parnes approach to Creative Problem Solving.” The framework was eclectic, drawing tools and methods from several other creativity and problem-solving models and methods.
Source: Isaksen & Treffinger, Celebrating 50 years of Reflective Practice: Versions of Creative Problem Solving, Journal of Creative Behavior, Volume 38, Number 2 / Second Quarter 2004