Mental synthesis and creative thinking in typically developed Italian

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Elisabetta Sagone
Maria Elvira De Caroli
Rossella Falanga
Maria Luisa Indiana


                The study concerns the relationships between mental synthesis and creative thinking in typically developed Italian children. Creative Mental Synthesis task was applied to analyze the mental synthesis of visualized forms (Finke, Ward, & Smith, 1992) by means of rotation, dimension, superimposition, and inclusion. It consisted of a paper-pencil protocol with three stimuli, a capital letter V, a square, and a circle: each child was instructed to imagine combining the stimuli to make meaningful objects and was allowed to imagine the stimuli in any size and to combine them in anyway, without altering or modifying the structural shapes. Test of Creative Thinking (Williams, 1994) was used to measure fluency, flexibility, elaboration, originality, and verbal production; it was made up of a protocol with 12 frames, containing incomplete graphic stimuli shown to children who were asked to draw a picture. Results: the more the children were able in mental synthesis and, mainly, in inclusion and superimposition of visual forms, the more they better performed in elaboration, flexibility, and originality. Future research could deepen the role of mental imagery in development of creativity through curricula focused on strategies for strengthening the processes related to mental imagery.

Keywords: Mental imagery; creative thinking; typical development;


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Sagone, E., Elvira De Caroli, M., Falanga, R., & Indiana, M. L. (2020). Mental synthesis and creative thinking in typically developed Italian. New Trends and Issues Proceedings on Humanities and Social Sciences, 7(1), 220–228. (Original work published July 2, 2020)