An analysis of the ‘Blind Variation and Selective Retention’ theory of creativity

Liane Gabora
Picasso’s Guernica sketches continue to provide a fruitful testing ground for examining and assessing the Blind Variation Selective Retention (BVSR) theory of creativity. Nonmonotonicity—e.g. as indicated by a lack of similarity of successive sketches—is not evidence of a selectionist process; Darwin’s theory explains adaptive change, not nonmonotonicity. Although the notion of blindness originally implied randomness, it now encompasses phenomena that bias idea generation, e.g. the influence of remote associations on sketch ideas. However, for a...
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