Let’s find out together the 4 types of creativity identified by a famous psychologist.

Starting from the fifties of the last century, the creative processes began to be studied systematically from a scientific point of view, in particular the psychologist Arne Dietrich in 2004, identified 4 types of creativity.


This type of creativity comes from a prolonged and disciplined commitment. A case in point is Thomas Edison, the inventor of the electric light bulb, deliberate and cognitive creator, conducted experiments after experiments before arriving at his invention.

It is not a failure. I have only discovered 10,000 ways that don’t work” T. Edison

According to Dietrich, this creativity derives from the prefrontal cortex (PFC) which allows you to focus attention and create connections between the information stored in other parts of the brain.
To have this kind of creativity you need to have a wealth of pre-existing knowledge on one or more topics.


In this case, instead of focusing attention on a specific area of knowledge or experience, people characterized by this creativity have moments of intuition deriving from feelings and emotions.
Creativity of this kind requires tranquility, the winning idea comes when we least expect it and is connected to a positive and combative mood.


This type of creativity involves the basal ganglia of the brain, the dopamine site, a part that operates outside our awareness. In these cases the mind stops working on the problem (finding an idea, finding a solution…) and this gives the possibility the unaware part of the brain to intervene. Here is the famous “stroke of genius”.
By performing a different and unrelated activity, the prefrontal cortex is able to connect information in new ways.
The most famous character related to this type of creativity is Isaac Newton who has a stroke of genius on gravity while watching an apple fall!


Spontaneous and emotional creativity derives from the amygdala, the location where the main emotions are processed. So when the conscious mind and the prefrontal cortex rest, spontaneous ideas and creations can emerge. This is the kind of creativity of the great artists and musicians.
Specific knowledge is not required for this type of creativity, but innate skills are often required.