Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 19 January 2007

Model 22

The Surprise Model

There seem to be at least two entirely different sources of surprise. One is system effects, unwanted and unexpected side-effects of interventions that humans make in the world. The other is unusual frameworks and analogies they produce that allow individual humans to see notso-strange happenings in utterly new and unusual contexts, producing surprising new relationships, potentials, and ideas. It is the plurality of frameworks inside the world that produces surprise in the first source and it is the plurality of frameworks inside individual minds that produces surprise in the second. If we combine both sources of surprise into a general theory of surprise we capture most of what creativity is and produces (Casti, 1991; Douglar, 1984; Grint, 2000; Klahr, 2000; Axelrod and Cohen, 1999; Baron, 2000; Cowan et al, 1994; Johnson, 1995). There is always surprise associated with creativity because creativity goes beyond expectations and conventions, by definition.


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