Productive Aging and the Creative Flow

Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Delores B. Gallo


This two-part synthesis originally designed consists of an article on aging and a reflective essay on my creative process. Directed to the popular press, contesting prevalent age-related stereotypes, this original project is based on extensive research including 25 in-depth interviews with individuals 62-95 years of age. Through the reflective essay, I trace the evolution of my work from conception to its conclusion. I identify significant ideas, feelings, events, and patterns from my journal entries and offer a conceptual understanding of my work by relating it to two psychological constructs of creativity. The first is the evolving systems approach, offered by Gruber and Wallace, Yale personality theorists who used the case method in their study Creative People at Work; the second developed by Teresa Amabile, a social psychologist currently at Harvard University, is a componential model of creativity useful in its identification of both domain-relevant and creativity-relevant skills to the process of originality, fulfilled through task motivation.


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