Imaginary worldplay in childhood and maturity and its impact on adult creativity

Michele Root-Bernstein, Robert Root-Bernstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 19 Citations

Abstract

The childhood invention of imaginary worlds or paracosms may prepare for creative endeavor in adulthood. To test hypotheses concerning the incidence of childhood worldplay and its connection to mature work, this study queried MacArthur Fellows, selected for their creativity, and compared them to Michigan State University (MSU) students. Whereas previous research declared paracosm play to be uncommon and associated with the arts, this study found it reasonably common among MSU students (3%-12%), about twice as frequent among MacArthur Fellows (5%-26%), and prevalent in the backgrounds of scientists and social scientists as well as artists. A majority of Fellows with assessed worldplay in childhood reported connections between early paracosm play and mature endeavor. Childhood worldplay deserves further study as early apprenticeship in creative imagination.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages405-425
Number of pages21
JournalCreativity Research Journal
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

Profile

Creativity
Students
Imagination
Art
Incidence
Research
Maturity
Childhood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

Imaginary worldplay in childhood and maturity and its impact on adult creativity. / Root-Bernstein, Michele; Root-Bernstein, Robert.

In: Creativity Research Journal, Vol. 18, No. 4, 2006, p. 405-425.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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