Creativity, the highest level of human wisdom, has become an increasingly important concept in different fields of psychological inquiry, particularly because it is portrayed as contributing to many aspects of society, including personal development, economic prosperity and technological advancement. However, although considerable research attention from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds has focused on trying to understand creativity, the specific nature of creativity, its theoretical underpinnings and cognitive mechanisms, remain unclear, not least when it comes to the understanding of creativity at the individual level and creativity at the collective level. On the one hand, there are crucial distinctions between individual and collective creativity. On the other hand, the process of being creative involves not only independent or individual efforts but also interdependent or collective efforts. Understanding these differences and interrelationships is crucially important in studies of creativity. In this Research Topic, we bring together researchers from a wide variety of cognitive and psychological approaches and perspectives in order to provide a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of creativity at both the individual and collective levels.
Furthermore, cognitive mechanisms in the creative process are unavoidably affected by socio-cultural factors and these mechanisms look different across cultures, particularly between Eastern cultures and Western cultures, two worlds that often imply dramatically dissimilar values and perspectives. Despite the fact that many studies have compared and contrasted these two cultures in various respects, little research has focused on the specific topic of cultural variation in creative cognition. In addition, very few studies have examined the differences in the cognitive mechanisms underpinning the cultural variations that can be observed at a surface level. This Research Topic aims to fill this gap in the literature and examine the cognitive processes and mechanisms in the creative process at both individual and collective levels across different cultures by using theoretical and empirical evidence.