Rich picture: A systems technique for studying creativity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi’s systems model has provided a landmark for the study of creativity phenomena as resulting from the relations between creators, fields and domains of knowledge. Given Csikszentmihalyi’s research roots in psychology, the model was developed using creative individual’s accounts. There is a need to further study creativity so that existing complexities, fragmentations and nuances of the different parts of this model in several realms of life can be identified. This vignette proposes and reflects on the use of a systems thinking technique called ‘Rich Picture’ or RP. RPs have been extensively used to offer researchers a comprehensive view of a situation as perceived by those people involved and affected by it. The vignette explains the detail of a rich picture and provides some insights into its use to study how creativity unfolds among higher educators involved in sustainability and social innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research Methods on Creativity (V. Dorfler and M. Stierand Eds)
Subtitle of host publicationResearch Methods on Creativity
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2020


  • Creativity
  • Systems thinking
  • Rich picture

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