Constructive perception: Coordinating perception and conception toward acts of problem-finding in a creative experience

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Fostering better performance in a creative experience is an issue in every institution of design or art. What aspect does a creative experience possess and what kind of cognitive processes constitute it? How should students be trained to entertain the use of cognitive skills, if any, in building up a creative experience of their own? The purpose of the present paper is to examine these issues to lay the foundation for the pedagogy of a creative experience. Examining the cognitive processes of an experienced architect, we found that a creative experience has the aspect of problem-finding; an act of formulating one's own problems and resolving them rather than just solving a presented problem. Further, we found that a coordination of both perceptual reorganization and conceptual generation constitutes an act of problem-finding in a creative experience. Experiments using ambiguous drawings have shown that coordinating one's own perception and conception for inventing novel interpretations requires a cognitive skill, what we call the skill of constructive perception; that is, to be self-aware of the way perception underlies the current interpretation and thereby reorganize perception and generate novel interpretations. How to help students master this skill and how to design educational programs to allow for accomplishment of acts of problem-finding will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-234
Number of pages14
JournalJapanese Psychological Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive skill
  • Creative processes
  • Creativity
  • Education
  • Perceptual reorganization
  • Protocol analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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