Skip to content

Toggle service links

Coronavirus: Please be aware it may take us slightly longer to respond than usual. Find out about our coronavirus response and current contact hours.

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Capturing feeling and experience in research about creativity

Capturing feeling and experience in research about creativity

Tuesday, June 14, 2022 - 18:00 to 19:00
Berrill Lecture Theatre, Walton Hall, The Open University, MK6 7AA

In her inaugural lecture, Professor Stephanie Taylor will discuss the associations of creativity, its contradictions and how we can understand the experience of being creative.

Register for the event

Watch the webinar online

Please take the opportunity to have your questions answered by our speakers LIVE during the event:

Email your questions Use #OUtalks on Twitter


Creativity carries contradictory associations. It supposedly drives the unworldly artist who turns away from practical concerns in pursuit of creative fulfilment, and also the hard-headed entrepreneur and the supremely rational scientist. Creativity is thought of as the special gift that marks off a minority of ‘great’ people, and a capacity that all of us possess and should exercise, for our mental health. These contradictions co-exist in psychology and to some extent originated there. Academic psychologists have discussed the creativity of exceptional people, developed tests for creativity, modelled creative processes, and proposed that creativity is a basic human potential often inhibited by society. In the late 20th century, psychology contributed to the identification and naming of the creative industries as a significant sector in contemporary economies. Critics have suggested that the sector is exploitative because it uses the romantic promise of creativity that derives from the arts in order to attract workers and induce them to accept bad employment. Is there another way to understand the continuing commitment of the workers, even after the sector was badly hit by the pandemic? My research centres on creative practitioners, including creative workers and artists. My lecture will consider the different insights into these issues that derive from critical discursive psychology. I will discuss how practitioners themselves understand creativity and its rewards, and how we can understand their emotions and feelings, or the affective experience of being creative.

Creativity carries contradictory associations, and some of those come from psychology. For instance, we think of creativity as the special gift that marks off a minority of ‘great’ people, but also as a capacity that we all possess and should exercise, for our mental health. In my inaugural lecture, I’ll look at how different areas of psychology have contributed to our understanding of creativity, and the experience of creative practitioners.

Join me to have your say.

About Professor Stephanie Taylor

Stephanie Taylor is a Professor in Social Psychology in the School of Psychology and Counselling. She was a student at The Open University and returned as an academic in 1998. Her teaching for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences includes contributions to introductory social sciences, research methods and postgraduate psychology modules. Her research centres on the critical analysis of common sense knowledge that shapes our understandings of ourselves and our social worlds. For some years, she has researched and written about the experience of contemporary creative practitioners. Her books include Contemporary Identities of Creativity and Creative Work (with Karen Littleton), Narratives of Identity and Place and What is Discourse Analysis?

Timings Item
18:00 - 18:40 Inaugural lecture: Capturing feeling ane experience in research about creativity
18:40 - 19:00 Q&A
19:00 - 20:00 Refreshments

News & articles

REF 2021 logo

REF 2021 recognises 82% of OU research impact as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’

The Open University (OU)’s commitment to research and societal impact is recognised today (Thursday 12 May), with 82% of its research impact assessed to be ‘world-leading’ (4*) or ‘internationally excellent’ (3*) by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

12th May 2022
See all