Joy Paul Guilford – One of the founders of the Psychology of Creativity

Joy Paul Guilford
(March 7, 1897, Marquette, Nebraska, USA – November 26, 1987, Los Angeles) (Aged 90)
Nationality: United States of America
Category: Scientists
Occupation: Psychologists
Specification:  Psychology of Creativity, Applied Psychology
Unique distinction: Author of a three-dimensional model of the intelligence and the concept of the Divergent Thinking. Applied psychology: psychometrics.  One of the founders of the Psychology of Creativity.
Gender: Male


Social and professional position: American psychologist, 59th President of the American Psychological Association
The main contribution to (what is known): Author of a three-dimensional model of the intelligence and the concept of the Divergent Thinking. Applied psychology: psychometrics.  One of the founders of the Psychology of Creativity.
1. Structure of Intellect (SOI) or (SI): three-dimensional model.
Guilford proposed that intelligence is not  a unitary concept and introduced a three-dimensional theoretical model of the Structure of the intellect, according to which the intellect may be represented by three aspects—the operation (cognition, memory, divergent production, convergent production, evaluation), products (units, classes, relations, systems, transformations, and implications), and content (visual, auditory, symbolic, semantic, behavioral). The final version of the SOI model (1988) was resembled as a cube with3 dimesions, or  6 x 5 x 6 figure, that yields a total of 180 possible unique abilities, which are  correlated with each other.
2. Creativity. Guilford in his 1950 American Psychological Association (APA) presidential address emphasized the  central significance of creative talent for industry, science, arts and education and the need for more research into the nature of creativity. He developed a theory of creativity, in which he described creativity as sensitivity to problems  ( 1950); as divergeny yhinking and ability to generate multiple ideas (1959),  creation of new patterns, a transformation of  knowledge and meaning  or use the functions of objects in a new way (1962, 1967).
3. Divergent thinking.  Guilford first proposed the concept of  Divergent Thinking in the 1950s and later introduced  its developed model as the main ingredient of creativity (1976).  Thus he associated divergent thinking with creativity, appointing it several characteristics: 1.fluency (the ability to produce great number of ideas or problem solutions);  2. flexibility (the ability to simultaneously propose a variety of approaches to a specific problem);  3. originality (the ability to produce new, original ideas); 4. elaboration (the ability to systematize and organize the details of an idea in a head and carry it out). He also emphasized the distinction between convergent and divergent thinking.
4. Psychometric study of human intelligence. Guilford  is one of the leaders of the psychometric school of research on intelligence, creativity and personality.
He initiated the development of a system of psychological tests for the study of productive thought and creative abilities of the individual. He designed numerous tests that measured divergent or creative thinking and the intellectual ability of creative people.
Guilford’s methods have been widely used with the practical aim of identifying the creative potentialities of engineers and scientific workers and gifted students.
Honors and Awards: In 1938 Guilford became the 3rd President of the Psychometric Society; President of the Western Psychological Association (1946); Presi¬dent of the American Psychological Association (1949); Doctor of Laws (University of Nebraska.1952); PhD, Sociology (University of Southern California, 1962), Gold Medal of the American Psychological Foundation (1983).
Major works: Guilford published over twenty-five books, thirty tests, and 300 journal articles. 1. Guilford, J.P. (1939). General Psychology. Van Nostrand. 2. Guilford, J.P. (1950). Creativity. American Psychologist 5: 444-454. 3. Guilford, J.P. (1954). Psychometric Methods. McGraw-Hill Education. 4. Guilford, J.P. (1956). A Factor-analytic Study of Verbal Fluency: Studies of Aptitudes of High-level Personnel. University of Southern California. 5. Guilford, J.P. (1956). Fourteen Dimensions of Temperament. American Psychological Association. 6. Guilford, J.P. (1959). Traits of creativity in Creativity and its Cultivation. pp. 142-161. Harper and Row. 7. Guilford, J.P. (1967). The Nature of Human Intelligence. McGraw-Hill Education. 8. Guilford, J.P. (1968). Intelligence, Creativity and their Educational Implications. Robert R. Knapp. 9. Guilford, J.P. (1971). Analysis of Intelligence. McGraw-Hill Education. 10. Guilford, J.P. (1977). Way beyond the IQ. Creative Education Foundation. 11. Guilford, J.P. (1980). Intelligence Education is Intelligent Education. International Society for Intelligence Education. 12.Guilford, J.P. (1980). Some changes in the structure of intellect model. Educational and Psychological Measurement 48: 1-4. 13. Guilford, J.P. (1982). Cognitive psychology’s ambiguities: Some suggested remedies. Psychological Review 89: 48-59. 14. Guilford, J.P., and B. Fruchter. (1973). Fundamental Statistics in Psychology and Education. McGraw-Hill Education. 15. Guilford, J.P. (1988) Some Changes in the Structure-of-Intellect Model” (Educational and Psychological Measurement, , vol. 48, pp. 1-4).


Origin: Joy Guilford was born on March 7, 1897 in Marquette, Nebraska.
Education: Guilford graduated from the University of Nebraska. (1918-1924). In 1924 he entered the psychology Ph.D. program at Cornell University (1919 to 1921), where he studied with E. B. Titchener, Kurt Koffka. He was awarded the Ph.D. in 1927.
Career highlights: Guilford taught at the University of Kansas (1927 – 1928), Associate Professor at University of Nebraska (1928 – 1940), Psychology professor at the University of Southern California (1940 – 1967). In 1938 Guilford became the 3rd President of the Psychometric Society.
In 1941 he entered the U.S. Army and served as Director of Psychological Research Unit No. 3 at Santa Ana Army Air Base.
After the war, he joined the Education faculty at the University of Southern California where he continued to work on the intelligence tests that measured  divergent thinking and creativity.
Personal life:
Family: His wife – Ruth and his daughter – Joan S. McGuire (Author of the book about her father “An Odyssey of the SOI Mode”
Guilford retired from teaching in 1967, but continued to write and publish.
He died on November 26, 1987 in Los Angeles, California.