Beyond Big and Little: The Four C Model of Creativity

James C. Kaufman, Ronald A. Beghetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1305 Scopus citations


Most investigations of creativity tend to take one of two directions: everyday creativity (also called "little-c"), which can be found in nearly all people, and eminent creativity (also called "Big-C"), which is reserved for the great. In this paper, the authors propose a Four C model of creativity that expands this dichotomy. Specifically, the authors add the idea of "mini-c," creativity inherent in the learning process, and Pro-c, the developmental and effortful progression beyond little-c that represents professional-level expertise in any creative area. The authors include different transitions and gradations of these four dimensions of creativity, and then discuss advantages and examples of the Four C Model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalReview of General Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • creative development
  • creativity
  • everyday creativity
  • genius

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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