Serendipity: the role of chance and accidents in creativity

Ross, Wendy (2024) Serendipity: the role of chance and accidents in creativity. Creativity Research Journal. pp. 1-9. ISSN 1532-6934

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Abstract / Description

Chance plays an acknowledged role in creativity, but taking it seriously challenges traditional notions of talent and expertise as well as the importance of agency and intentionality. Chance without skill is not enough on its own to support creativity. The phenomenon of serendipity requires both luck and the skill to make the most of it. This review argues that it can provide a lens through which to understand how individual, emotional and environmental factors interact in the creative process. However, serendipity is acknowledged to be a complex phenomenon that is not easily investigated from an empirical perspective. This review addresses some of the complexities, offers methodological recommendations and surveys some emerging findings.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in Creativity Research Journal: Wendy Ross (2024) Serendipity: The Role of Chance and Accidents in Creativity, Creativity Research Journal, DOI: 10.1080/10400419.2024.2313898. It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Uncontrolled Keywords: serendipity; creativity; creative process
Subjects: 100 Philosophy & psychology > 150 Psychology
Department: School of Social Sciences and Professions
Depositing User: Wendy Ross
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2024 10:09
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2024 10:28

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