PhD Candidate Gordon Brett and Professor Vanina Leschziner on “Cognitive, Embodied, and Evaluative Processes in Creativity”

Ph.D. Candidate Gordon Brett and Professor Vanina Leschziner recently co-authored an article in Social Psychology Quarterly, entitled, “Beyond Two Minds: Cognitive, Embodied, and Evaluative Processes in Creativity”. The article demonstrates that creativity is grounded in both bodily and sensory experience, and is more reliant on a combination of cognitive processes than has been recognized. One of the central aims of the article is to address the limitations of the sociological dual-process model for the understanding of creativity, cognition, and action.

Gordon Brett is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Toronto’s Sociology Department.  His research interests lie at the intersection of sociological theory, culture, cognition, and the body/embodiment. Professor Leschziner is an Associate Professor in Sociology with interests in theory, the sociology of culture, cognition, organizations, and qualitative methods.

We have posted the abstract below. The full article can be viewed here.

Leschziner, V., & Brett, G. (2019). Beyond Two Minds: Cognitive, Embodied, and Evaluative Processes in Creativity. Social Psychology Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1177/0190272519851791

Scholars in sociology and social psychology typically represent creativity as an imaginative and deliberate mental activity. Such a perspective has led to a view of creativity as disconnected from the body and the senses as well as from nonanalytic cognition. In this article, we demonstrate that creativity is more grounded in bodily and sensory experience and more reliant on a combination of cognitive processes than has been typically recognized. We use literature on social cognition and embodiment to build our arguments, specifically, the embodied simulation perspective and tripartite process models. We draw from data on elite chefs to show how actors rely on embodied simulations, continually switch between heuristic and analytical thinking, and monitor and control their cognitive processing during the creative process. We outline the implications of this study for the understanding of creativity and extant models of cognition and action more generally.