Imagination and learning: The Investment Theory of Adult Intelligence

 Imagination and learning

        The theory of investments in the intelligence of adults postulates that the learning realization varies according to the cognitive capacity of people and their propensity to invest and to apply this capacity (Ackerman, 1996). This propensity is called "investment personality traits", which describe the tendency to seek and stimulate learning opportunities (Von Stumm, Hell, and Chamorro-Prémuzic, 2011). 
Investment personality traits include a large number of constructions and measures, ranging from large complexes of lines, such as opening up to experience which refers to the preparation to engage cognitively with perception, fantasy, Aesthetics, and emotions (Kaufman et al., 2014), to appear - useful scales, for example, those which measure intellectual curiosity which describes the individual differences in search of knowledge (von Stumm & Ackerman, 2013). 

       The psychological function which seems to be common to all these features is the cognitive exploration of the structure of internal and external experiences (Deyoung, Graziopene, and Peterson, 2012). Imagination and in particular the fantastic game were supported as constituting crucial learning mechanisms during childhood because they offer opportunities to extend the thinking of the child beyond their current context (Vygotsky, 1990 ), although the empirical evidence of this assertion is not conclusive to date (Lillard et al., 2013). 

        Likewise, imagination has been proposed to facilitate perceptual learning in adulthood, with several studies demonstrating an association between mental imagery and performance in visual detection and discrimination tasks (Moulton and Kosslyn, 2009; Pearson et al., 2015). For other types of learning, such as abstract information or academic knowledge, evidence of the role of imagination has been less conclusive. 

        For example, a meta-analytical review revealed that the facet of the fantasy of the opening scale to experience, which captures preferences for reverie on thought according to realistic lines (Costa and Maccrae, 1992) And was used to assess the imagination, correlated on average.

Imagination and creativity

        There is no unequivocal definition or measurement of creativity, but a number of theoretical concepts and methodological approaches coexist in the psychological literature (Batey and Furnham, 2006). They converge on the idea that creativity implies the production of something new and useful (Sternberg and Lubart, 1996) and extends over three elements (von Stumm et al., 2011), including creative capacity or the divergent capacity of thought (that is to say the potential to generate original ideas; Silvia et al., 2008), Creative Ideation (that is to say, use, appreciation and skills with Ideas; Runco, Plucker and Lim, 2001) and creative success (that is to say the sum of creative outings through lifespan; Carson, Peterson, and Higgins, 2005). 

        Although creative capacity, ideation, and success are recognized as angular creative competence stones and recommended to be considered in conjunction, they are not necessarily empirically interdependent (Kaufman and Beghetto, 2009; von Stumm et al., 2011). Imagination is a likely precursor of creative capacity because original ideas can emerge as a result of the recombination of mental representations of ideas, concepts, and sensations. 

        Creativity consists in adopting new approaches to problems (Sternberg and Lubart, 1996) and implies the same perceptual processes and memory as imagination (Moulton and Kosslyn, 2009). Several studies have reported positive correlations between openness to experience and creative capacity (that is to say, divergent thought) of approximately 0.30 (Batey and Furnham, 2006; Silvia et al., 2008; Silvia, Nusbaum, Berg, Martin and O'Connor, 2009; von Stumm et al., 2011), although these studies have not evaluated the opening to experience in terms of facets. Consequently, it remains speculative if the relationship between openness to experience and creative capacity is indeed motivated by the fantastic facet, as a marker of imagination, or if it is mainly due to the other facets of the opening.

Imagination and schizotypal beliefs

        Schizotypy describes behavioral, emotional, and cognitive eccentricities, which constitute the basis of psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia (Baas, Nijstad, Boot and Dreu, 2016; Claridge et al., 1996; Lenzenweger, 2018). A key aspect of schizotypy is the tendency to have perceptual-cognitive experiences and other atypical cognitive, for example, hallucinations, which often coincide with magical and superstitious interpretations of events (Baas et al., 2016). 

       It has been shown that the dimension of the 'unusual experiences' of schizotypy, in summary, schizotypal beliefs, is positively associated with other measures of extraordinary beliefs, for example, beliefs in the conspirator ideation, which are false narratives that attribute the final cause From an event to an event to an evil plot of an organized superiority (Barron, Morgan, Towell, Altemeyer and Swami, 2014), and in paranormal beliefs, which adapt supernatural explanations for phenomena, for example, ghosts, extraterrestrial life and skills Psychic (Mathijsen, 2016). 

        It is likely that the associations between these constructions of extraordinary beliefs have a common origin in the imagination, which is essential to form any conscious belief, especially those that are based on notions that are distant from our reality. In fact, previous research has empirically demonstrated that imagination and schizotypal beliefs are parts of the simple arrangement of the opening/ intellect domain, which includes intelligence and competition in the positive purpose and paranormal beliefs and magical ideation at the negative end (Deyoung et al., 2012).

Evaluate the imagination

       Although several imagination tests and semantically related constructions (for example, absorption, fantasy propensity) exist in psychological literature, no measure understands the imagination as the tendency to create 'mental representations of concepts, ideas and sensations in the mind that are not perceived in a contemporary way by the senses (p. 1, Scott and Von Stumm, 2017). 
       For example, the Fever of the Visual Image Questionnaire (VVIQ) asks how vividly the participants perceive several scenarios, such as the growing sun, which are told that they believe in their minds (Marks, 1973). Therefore, the VVIQ focuses on the visual aspect of the imagination, but ignores other typical imaginative behaviors, for example, dreaming awake. In comparison, the fantasy facet of the opening to experience the factor is based on characters' descriptions to contrast imaginative and realistic thinking (for example, I have an active imagination) but evaluates few directly observable behaviors (Costa and Maccrae, 1992). 

        More recently, Naylor and Simonds (2015) introduced the imaginative participation Questionnaire (IIQ) that captures the negative fantasy (for example, past traumatic experiences), sensory images (that is, intense perceptions of previous sensory experiences), the novelty of the day ( That is, creative, non -creative, not creative, not -Repetitive Daydreams) and positive fantasy (that is, pleasant sleep).



von Stumm, S., & Scott, H. (2019). Imagination links with schizotypal beliefs, not with creativity or learning. British Journal of Psychology, 110(4), 707-726.

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