Most people consider Italian creativity to be art, sculpture, music and literature. While these are valid, they exclude the creativity of everyday, industry, innovation, science, and education. This analysis will utilize a humanistic psychology perspective that investigates creativity of the everyday through industrial and business innovation, urban life, science, and education. This analysis will also include the perspective and observations of the author based upon his visits and experiences with family in southern Italy.
To me, Italian creativity has always meant art, sculpture, music (classical and popular), science, philosophy, and literature because these are the forms I always sought out to learn from my father’s and grandmother’s culture. Personally, creativity always meant creativity in the everyday: in thinking, writing, procreation, business, industry, dreams, and yes, fine art. Cropley (2011) gives us an overview of definitions of creativity that includes traditional fine arts. However, he also points out creativity that is now “widely defined as the production of relevant and effective novelty” with a specific purpose applicable to business engineering that is different from the effectiveness of artistic creativity.
Creativity in Italy has been discussed for centuries, beginning as far back as Thomas Aquinas’ (1221-1274). However, creativity as a term was not introduced until the 19th century, and its psychological analysis and assessment did not occur until the 1960s and 1970s when English-language psychology texts on creativity were transliterated into Italian (Antonietti & Cornoldi, 2006). According to the authors, creativity focused primarily on three issues: Reflection on the theoretical frameworks relevant to the creative process and the experiments based on those frameworks, the measurement of creative abilities, and the application of methods promoting that creativity. In Italy, the application of those methods has been criticized for being unfocused utilizing general approaches to stimulating creativity. As a result, another method (Programma di Sviluppo della Creativita` Infantile or PSCI: Children’s Creativity Enhancement Training) is explored to stimulate critical thinking in the students four to ten years of age towards creative solutions to solving problems in an imaginative way (Cerioli & Antonietti, 1992b in Antonietti & Cornoldi, 2006). It is this point that we will mostly concern ourselves with in this paper as we explore creativity in economics and policy, education, urban life, and industry.