Decision-Making In A Choreographic Creative Process: A Quantitative Approach

Ana R. Fonseca, Rodrigo Abril-de-Abreu, Carla Fernandes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Human creativity finds in artistic practices one of its most admirable forms. Most of the studies about artistic practices have used qualitative approaches, focusing on the conceptual structures conveyed by the artwork. Few studies have used quantitative approaches with the potential to be generalized. This study has focused on developing a quantitative methodology to characterize an artist’s behavioral patterns while creating an artwork. Inspired by a theoretical framework from animal cognition, we analyzed the decision-making process of an artist while choosing to invest more or less effort in given elements of the art piece. We have video recorded the rehearsals of a dance piece and hand-scored the movement phrases elicited individually by two dancers and quantitatively reconstructed the sequence of movement phrases being performed at each moment. This representation has revealed, implicitly, that the choreographer invested more energy in creating movement sequences, and that certain elements of movement were more prone to several iterations. Our study shows that decision-making processes in artistic practices can be revealed through the use of quantitative methodologies which can be potentially generalized to other choreographic methodologies and styles, thus leading to a better understanding of those artistic practices and, generally, of human creative behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433–446
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Creative Behavior
Issue number2
Early online date1 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • choreography
  • creativity
  • dance
  • decision-making
  • quantitative method


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