Key Assumptions of Adaption-Innovation Theory

All people problem solve (and are, therefore, creative); creativity is a sub-set of problem solving.

Problem solving is the product of cognitive function operating within environment.

Cognitive function influences behavior producing stable characteristic patterns; from its operation are derived dimensions of personality, of which Adaption-Innovation is one.

One element of cognitive function is cognitive effect, which is made up of cognitive (preferred) style and cognitive (potential) level (or capacity).

Cognitive Style: People differ in the amount of structure they require and the degree to which that structure is consensually agreed, to feel comfortable in tackling any problem, allowing for different importance of outcome (levels of reward and punishment).

Cognitive style is early set and highly stable and correlates with a cluster of related, entrenched, characteristic well listed personality traits.

The elements in cognitive affect are unrelated (uncorrelated) with those of cognitive style; cognitive style is uncorrelated with cognitive (potential) level and all elements in cognitive resource (e.g., manifest capacity). All elements of cognitive function are influenced by, but are independent of, environment.

All the main elements of cognitive function are associated with cognitive processes: problem solving, learning & memory, motive; so is social environment: group dynamics.

It follows that the key assumption relevant in the development of the measurement of this theory is that people can be located on a continuum of cognitive style, ranging from adaptor to innovator, dependent on the characteristic mode in which they solve problems (create or make decisions). The Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory (KAI) is the measure devised to locate respondents on this continuum.