When the Creativity Researcher Goes Back to Being Creative

For half of me, this is a dream come true. I’m revisiting my musical and reworking the script with my director Valeria and rewriting some songs with my composer Michael. The other half of me is feeling impostor syndrome for the first time since grad school – what the hell am I doing?

From Creative Writing to Studying Creativity

I ended up applying my passion in creativity to the psychological realm, where I would like to think I have had a larger impact than if I were still working on my stories and plays.

Peter Pan and Growing Up

If we believe in fairies, Tinkerbell lives. If we believe in an education system that keeps creativity alive, can Wendy, Tootles, and the rest hold onto some of their spark?

The Danger of (Some) Creativity Advocates

There is a place for revolutionaries. Sometimes it's okay for people to get upset. But can we upset people in a more scientific way?

Why Couldn't Jean Valjean Have Been More Creative?

With a little creativity, Valjean could have helped a lot more people and made his life a lot easier.

When it's good to leave money on the table

Leaving "money on the table" is bad for businesses. But not knowing the difference between "money on the table" and "needed incentives" is even worse.

Entering IMDb into Evidence? From CSI to being CSI'ed

An IMDb page can be many things - a source of information, promotion, entertainment, or amusement. But rarely have I seen an IMDb page that seems like a harbinger of bad things to come.

Secret Confessions of an Academic Psychologist

People make some basic assumptions about the basic ability of an academic psychologist to function in society (and even have a certain modicum of smarts). I am the outlier.

Too much novelty, not enough appropriateness

Creativity is usually thought to be both new and appropriate to the task. When creativity has too much new and not enough appropriate, some glorious blunders can happen. Take the story of Hacienda, a Mexican restaurant in South Bend, Indian, whose new billboard proclaims: "We're like a cult with better Kool-Aid."

A Must Read: The Invisible Gorilla

To see the invisible gorilla: A review of Chabris and Simons' The Invisible Gorilla, my first must-read psychology book in years.

Revisiting loud children in public places

A while back, I wrote a blog called (a bit dramatically), Why does our society hate children? Unlike most of other blogs, which are about creativity, this one kind of "took off" (in the "a lot of people read it" sense). My point was that we are often strikingly mean and insensitive to parents with small children in public places.My point is not to dredge up the original topic but to expand on my thoughts, triggered by another recent news article. Specifically:"Screaming Children Will NOT Be Tolerated!" say placards posted at the Olde Salty restaurant in Carolina Beach. N.C... 

Psych Books can be fun?

Reading psychology books for fun? How lame -- but blog-worthy.

Armando Galarraga: Not Perfect, But Divine

If you aren't a baseball fan, then this column probably won't be terribly interesting. But I will tell you (at the end, after you click through) a magnificent video of Alan Moore's The Watchmen done as a 1980's Saturday Morning Cartoon.

The Man Who Taught Me How to Teach

My favorite professor from graduate school taught me how to be a professor. His name was William Kessen, and I had the good fortune of taking one of his very last classes. Taking his class on teaching undergraduate psychology changed my view of the classroom.

Constance McMillen vs. Itawamba Agricultural High School: Evil Creativity vs. Good Morality

Creativity is not always reserved for the good, nice, and just.Imagine if next year the good folks of the Itawamba County School Board are faced with new horrors. Perhaps an interracial couple wants to attend prom, or someone in a wheelchair wants new ramps built in the gym so he or she can attend as well. If the parents decide to host two alternate proms again, one for the different people and one for the All Americans, they will be less likely to succeed. The novelty will have worn off.

“There’s no stat yet that measures heart." Or any test, either.

Joe Posnaski - an outstanding on-line baseball writer, one of the very best - has an interesting column where he riffs off of a Nomar Garciaparra quote: There's no stat yet that measures heart.Just as Joe riffed on Garciaparra, I'd like to riff a bit on Joe's blog. I think he offers a wonderful (if likely unintentional) metaphor for a student's GRE scores and their GPA.

A Creativity Researcher's Thoughts on the Oscars

I've always liked Michael Giacchino, composer of Pixar movies and Lost; now, I love him. In a brief speech, he articulated nearly everything I know about how to encourage creativity: When I was nine and I asked my dad, "Can I have your movie camera? That old, wind-up 8 millimeter camera that was in your drawer?" And he goes, "Sure, take it." And I took it and I started making movies with it and I started being as creative as I could, and never once in my life did my parents ever say, "What you're doing is a waste of time." Never. And I grew up, I had teachers, I had colleagues, I had people that I worked with all through my life who always told me what you're doing is not a waste of time. So that was normal to me that it was OK to do that. I know there are kids out there that don't have that support system so if you're out there and you're listening, listen to me: If you want to be creative, get out there and do it. It's not a waste of time. Do it. OK? Thank you.

The Charlie Brown Theory of Personality

Charlie Brown is a model neurotic. He is prone to depression and anxiety and paralyzing fits of over-analysis. Constantly worrying if he is liked or respected, he has a perpetual, usually dormant crush on the little redheaded girl, taking small joys in her foibles (like biting her pencil) that may make her more attainable. He is noted for his inability to fly a kite.

Why does our society hate children?

There are some situations where it is necessary to take a child into the public eye. One that's on my mind right now (because we're traveling quite soon) is plane rides. I have seen the most egregious behavior here - from adults.

Fight Logical Fallacies -- Eat More Halloween Candy!

How many readers have had Halloween candy taken away from them by their parents? Perhaps the candy was unwrapped or homemade. Even worse, entire bags might be confiscated. Why this nightmare? All because of the stupid Argumentum ad Metum.

Gandhi, Bill Gates, and... Hannibal Lecter?: Creativity and Emotional Intelligence in all the Wrong Places

Constructs such as creativity and emotional intelligence are often considered part of Positive Psychology. They are seen, usually, as desirable and good traits. Yet there are many ways that people may use these abilities selfishly, or even, perhaps, evilly.

The List: Who will be remembered 100 years from now?

Who will be remembered in 100 years? I offer my own take on which current legends will be immortal and whose works may fade with time.

Who will be remembered 100 years from now? Part One

Who will still be remembered in 100 years? Paris Hilton, Miley Cyrus, the Gosselins, and Megan Fox may dominate the news, but will barely be footnotes in 20 years (if not, I will change species). In this first of two blogs on this topic, I will start the discussion of which living people truly belong to the ages. 

Why is Bath and Body Works so nice to my wife?

Why is Bath and Body Works so nice to my wife? The easy returns, the heavy duty coupons.... Do they just love her, or could the answer be found in Robert Cialdini's Influence?

That's DR. Blossom to you: A New Child Star Stereotype

Danica McKellar earned her B.S. in Mathematics from UCLA, has written several books promoting math for children, and has an Erdos Number of 4. Best known for The Wonder Years, she remains an actress and model and has a Bacon Number of 2. And what have YOU done recently?