All About Creativity

Even those of us not in explicitly creative fields must come up with new ideas and insights in order to move ahead. How can we shake up the way we think? Creativity has been pegged to conducive environments, perfect collaborators, personality traits, serendipity, and even spiritual muses. While research psychologists are interested in increasing innovative thinking, clinical psychologists sometimes encourage patients to use artistic expression as a way to confront difficult feelings.

Recent posts on Creativity

Why Art Therapy Works

What makes art therapy "work" has eluded the profession—until recently. Researchers have constructed a five-part model that summarizes the key factors.

Conceptual Art and Health

This summer, culture consumers were reassured by the retraction of a faulty scientific study: no need to worry about formaldehyde overexposure from fine art installations...

A Wolfe in False Clothing

By David P. Barash Ph.D. on August 28, 2016 in Pura Vida
Tom Wolfe reveals himself as a passable if annoying writer, but someone who is profoundly ignorant of basic science.

Numerologic Puzzles

By Marcel Danesi Ph.D. on August 28, 2016 in Brain Workout
Arithmetic may be frustrating, but figuring out how numbers form relations is stimulating. These puzzles will activate inferential and reasoning processes in tandem.

100 Books You Should Read Now: An English Professor's List

Of all the novels on this list, how many have you read and enjoyed? Which books aren't here that you regard as essential? (Why aren't Hemingway or Melville here? I'm not a fan...)
K. Ramsland

What If Jack the Ripper Lived With You?

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on August 27, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
An early tale based on Jack the Ripper shows the subtle way in which people see what they need to see.

Road Rage: A Second "Free-Range" Intervention

What is real power? It is acting like the biggest dog on the road.

News From the 2016 Annual Dreams Conference

This year's IASD conference included talks on jihadi dreams, emotional processing, gender differences, social cognition, and existential dreams of "sublime disquietude."

How “Good Stress” Helps Creativity in the Workplace

By Jeffrey Davis M.A. on August 24, 2016 in Tracking Wonder
Not all stress is equal. Which stressful factors can contribute to an employee's creativity and innovation?

Playing Games With Memory

By Scott G. Eberle Ph.D. on August 24, 2016 in Play in Mind
New technology makes it less urgent that we commit facts to memory.

Siena’s Sublimation of Neighborhood Rivalries

By Molly S. Castelloe Ph.D. on August 22, 2016 in The Me in We
The palio horserace shows the social significance of sacrifice and the sublimation of group rivalries.
K Grabowska/kaboompics/pexels

Care to Live Long? You Might Try Reading Books

It's better to read books than bumper stickers.
K.Ramsland

Writers! 5 Ways to Tap Anxiety for Aha!

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on August 20, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
Our brain seeks certainty to avoid anxiety, but being in the presence of uncertainty is where the creative juices flow.

Treating Road Rage: A Free-Range Approach

How a hawaiian shirt, the music of Gabby Pahinui, and a lump of coconut-scented surf wax helped cure a case of road rage
ID 18120787 © Peto Zvonar | Dreamstime.com

Here’s How Creative Arts Can Diminish Stress

While there’s no way for you to avoid stress entirely, you can use it to your advantage and harness its energy to create meaningful artistic expressions.

Exercising Our Freedom and Intelligence: Part 8

By Michael Hogan Ph.D. on August 19, 2016 in In One Lifespan
The future is uncertain. There is little doubt about that. Scenario-based collective intelligence design may help us to shape the future, specifically, through our innovations.

The Practical Benefits of a Wandering Mind

The next time you’re trying to concentrate and find your mind wandering off task, you might just want to let it go. New research suggests it may be helping you achieve your goals.
Malloreigh via flickr

Want to Be Successful? Spend More Time Staring Into Space

Think about the last time you had a great idea or solved a problem that had been plaguing you—were you in the shower?

Play Is Serious Business

By Darby Saxbe Ph.D. on August 15, 2016 in Home Base
We evolved to learn through play. But the push towards academics has crowded out open playtime in schools. Play should be treated not as a privilege, but as a core part of learning

Who Are Psychology's Geniuses? Part 2

I offer a few more nominations for psychologists whose contributions deserve to be called ingenious, and some analysis of what makes them stand out. See if you agree.

Subjectivity in Art Evaluation: The Allure of the Auteur

By Richard Smith Ph.D. on August 11, 2016 in Joy and Pain
Is there a more subjective process than evaluating art? It turns out that one reason for this is that we value single authored art over collaborative art.
Lisa Cron

Brain Science for Writers

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on August 10, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
A story coach's new book applies the neuroscience of storytelling in a practical how-to guide for writers.

Are There Any Geniuses in the Field of Psychology?

Does psychology have any geniuses comparable to the geniuses of computer science (such as Alan Turing or Jack Kilby - who won a Nobel prize for inventing the silicon chip)?

The Healing Power of the Poetic

By Nick Mazza, Ph.D. on August 09, 2016 in Touch the Moon
Poetry therapy: Language, symbol and story for growth and healing through the years.

Finding Fulfillment

By Jennifer Hamady on August 08, 2016 in Finding Your Voice
Fulfillment and success aren't the result of reaching certain goals. They come from the mindset you have on the journey.

A Tale of Science, Ethics, Intrigue, and Human Flaws

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on August 08, 2016 in Trouble in Mind
The NYT article heralding a controversial new book on amnesiac HM, the neurosurgeon who operated on him, and the scientists who studied him is a poor reflection of the whole truth.

Dear Diary: True Confessions From a Diary-Keeper

My diaries give new meaning to the word "shallow." Still, they laid the foundation for my writing life.

Non-Self Characters in Lucid Dreams

By Patrick McNamara Ph.D. on August 06, 2016 in Dream Catcher
Non-self dream characters are not simple expressions of a sub-personality of the dreamer.

What Makes These 6 New Novels Unforgettable?

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on August 05, 2016 in Creating in Flow
You probably don't remember every book you read. A novel sticks when characters are so real, emotions so genuine, that you experience the story as though an actual witness to it.
Jonathan Khoo via flickr

Are You a People Pleaser?

People often ask me what the secret to happiness is. My response is that the most important thing for happiness is living truthfully.