Conversations on Creativity with Daniel Tammet - Postscript, My Candid Reflections

On August 18th and August 19th, 2009, Daniel Tammet was gracious enough to let me peer into his world. Here I reflect on that experience, and the quite profound lessons I've learned from this one incredible individual about all of us.

Conversations on Creativity with Daniel Tammet- Part VI, Personal Transformation

On August 18th and August 19th, 2009, Daniel Tammet was gracious enough to let me peer into his world. In this sixth and final part of the series, Daniel talks about the extent to which personal change is possible, his own personal transformation, whether he would still be diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome if he was diagnosed today, fiction, "chick lit", his personal goals, his endeavors, lessons he's learned about life, love, and relationships, and the future of humanity. I hope throughout this entire series you have found Daniel's reflections, insights, and ongoing journey just as fascinating and thought-provoking as I have.

Conversations on Creativity with Daniel Tammet- Part V, Creativity, Mind, and the Brain

On August 18th and August 19th, 2009, Daniel Tammet was gracious enough to let me peer into his world. Over the coming days, I will reveal my complete interview with Daniel, laid out in six parts. In this fifth part, Daniel talks about creativity, the mind, brain, intuition, late bloomers, the genetics of homosexuality, love, and the effects of the modern information age on how we see the world.

Conversations on Creativity with Daniel Tammet- Part IV, IQ and Human Intelligence

On August 18th and August 19th, 2009, Daniel Tammet was gracious enough to let me peer into his world. Over the coming days, I will reveal my complete interview with Daniel, laid out in six parts. In this fourth part, Daniel talks about IQ testing, intelligence, gifted education, labeling, Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers, and definitions of savantism. 

Conversations on Creativity with Daniel Tammet- Part III, Nature and Nurture

On August 18th and August 19th, 2009, Daniel Tammet was gracious enough to let me peer into his world. Over the coming days, I will reveal my complete interview with Daniel, laid out in six parts. In this third part, Daniel talks about the role of nature and nurture in sculpting abilities.

Conversations on Creativity with Daniel Tammet - Part II, How a Prodigious Savant's Mind Works

On August 18th and August 19th, 2009, Daniel Tammet was gracious enough to let me peer into his world. Over the coming days, I will reveal my complete interview with Daniel, laid out in six parts. In this second part, Daniel talks about how his mind works. I hope you find Daniel's reflections, insights, and ongoing journey just as fascinating and thought-provoking as I have.

Conversations on Creativity with Daniel Tammet - Part I, Embracing the Wide Sky

On August 18th and August 19th, 2009, Daniel Tammet was gracious enough to let me peer into his world. Over the coming days, I will reveal my complete interview with Daniel, laid out in six parts. In this first part, Daniel talks about his latest book Embracing the Wide Sky, plasticity, Autism, and Asperger's syndrome, while dispelling popular myths. I hope you find Daniel's reflections, insights, and ongoing journey just as fascinating and thought-provoking as I have.

From George and Lennox to Gaga and Lambert: Androgyny

Explicit displays of androgyny are everywhere these days, from the hip thrusting performances of Adam Lambert to the motorcyle riding feats of Lady Gaga.

Do You Grab Life by the Horns or Sit on the Sidelines?

Which type of person are you? Do you grab life by the horns and ride or tie yourself to the mast? New personality research shows that at the most general level of description, these two dimensions are the most important dimensions upon which people vary. 

Intelligent Testing

IQ tests have received much criticism over the years, some warranted and some just plain silly. Since so much is at stake with IQ testing, it's important to become more informed about the latest thinking in the field. And one of the most important approaches to intelligence testing is intelligent testing.

Do Assholes Really Finish First?

Assholes Finish First by the self-proclaimed asshole Tucker Max was just released. This is a bold empirical claim Tucker is making. Is he right?

Larry Gelbart's Unpublished Essay

Larry Gelbart (1928-2009), writer and producer, two-time Tony Award winning librettist, playwright, screenwriter for TV and movies, and one of the major contributors to the hit TV show M*A*S*H died today at the age of 81. In memory of his creative genius,  I am sharing with you a quite profound unpublished essay he wrote a few years ago.

Love, Lust, and Creativity

Love and creativity are intimately connected. Many lovers have expressed their love and talent through creative display, sometimes to embarassing results! But what about lust? Does lust drive someone to the same heights of creativity?

The Truth About the "Termites"

In the early part of the 20th century, psychologist Lewis Terman set out to dispel the "early ripe-early rot myth". Terman believed that knowing a person's IQ was necessary if you wanted to predict his or her life success, and that such potential could be measured early in life. So he assembled an elite group of students with high-IQs and followed them up throughout the course of their lives. What did he find?

Could Michael Jackson Have Created Twitter?

Michael Jackson is the epitome of creativity. But how far does his genius spread? With his innovative powers, could he have created Twitter?

For the Love of the Muse

It has long been known that the mating motive can be a remarkably potent creative force. Indeed, many wildly creative individuals report being inspired by a Muse. But what about the rest of us? Does the average person spontaneously increase his or her creative display once the mating motive is active? And if the mating motive can increase creativity, how is this reconciled with research showing that the mating motive can impair cognitive functioning (see Interacting with women makes men stupid)? Finally, why are female Muses so predominant? Where are all the male Muses? I'm out of breath asking so many questions. Please read on already.

Interacting with women makes men stupid

Can interacting with women make men stupid? A hot off the press article in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology may finally shed some light on a question I, and I'm sure many others, have been wondering for quite some time now.

Susan Boyle: From Not To Hot

I really enjoyed reading Bella DePaulo's recent post about Susan Boyle. I was particularly intrigued, however, by one readers comment. SharonC writes: "And I'm sure that we all have met an "ugly" person who, as we got to know them, became quite beautiful in our eyes." Can our perceptions of someone's physical attractiveness really increase or decrease after we get to know more about their non-physical traits? There is some really fascinating research on this topic. 

Are People With Schizophrenia Living a Dream?

In the most recent issue of Psychology Today (March-April 2009), Josie Glausiusz wrote a terrific piece ("Devoted to Distraction") about the potential adaptive benefits of daydreaming and the default network in the brain that is active during such flights of fancy. The article got me thinking about some recent research on the relation between the default network and schizophrenia. These findings raise the intriguing possibility that people with schizophrenia are always night-dreaming--even when they are awake. The implications here are huge. Not just for understanding theory of mind, autism, Alzheimer's, and morality, but also for creativity.

Schizophrenic Thought: Madness or Potential for Genius?

Recent findings suggest that it's time to fundamentally re-conceptualize the thought processes of people with schizophrenia, not as madness but as potential for creative greatness.

Obama Is President So Racism Is Over. Right?

Obama is President so racism is over. Right? If you are one of the many Americans who thinks this is the case, two hot off the press articles in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology will make you think twice.

Use Your Mating Intelligence

This Valentine's Day, whether you are single, in a serious relationship, or just starting a new relationship, a little Mating Intelligence can go a long way.    

The Equality of the Sexes I: Fact or Artefact?

It is widely believed that the equality of general mental ability differences between men and women is purely an artefact of the way the tests were initially created. Indeed, researchers often treat this idea as fact. But is it? 

The Tears of a Clown

Everyone likes a good comic. But behind every punch line is a real live human sweating profusely to get a laugh. What are these people like? How did the comic become this way, constantly pushing the limit to get a reaction from others? What motivates the comic? How do comics perceive themselves?  

Composer Elliot Carter-- 100 and still blooming.

This past Thursday Elliot Carter, possibly America's greatest living composer, celebrated his 100th birthday. While most at that age reflect on their lives and their work, Carter is too busy composing.

Conversations on Creativity with Repeat Bloomer Joshua Waitzkin

Remember Joshua Waitzkin, whose early chess successes were depicted in the 1993 Paramount film Searching for Bobby Fischer? What has he been up to since then? How did the movie affect his life? What was the impact of being labelled a "child prodigy"? What are his thoughts on creativity and the learning process? I recently had a conversation with Waitzkin where we discussed these questions and more. I found his answers provocative and illuminating.

Remembering Colin Martindale

 R.I.P. Colin Martindale (1943-2008). 

Are conservatives less creative than liberals?

Barack Obama is the new President-elect of the United States. While certainly this is a historic moment for many reasons, I'd like to focus on a potentially overlooked outcome of this historical moment: With a liberal back in the White House, America will become more creative. How can I be so optimistic that Obama, and the new liberalism he will bring to the White House will spur creativity and increase our appreciation for individuality in America? New research suggests that I may be right. 

Introducing Conversations on Creativity (Starting with Writer Piers Anthony)

It's time to see how much the research I've presented on intelligence and creativity matches up with how creative people actually go about their business. I introduce here a new series on my blog called Conversations on Creativity. I will seek out the most creative people of our generation and have conversations with them about creativity. My conversations begin with the acclaimed science fiction writer Piers Anthony.

Straight Talk about Twin Studies, Genes, and Parenting: What Makes Us Who We Are

Findings from twin studies are often misunderstood, misinterpreted, and blown out of proportion. Here, Davis S. Moore and I come up with 8 facts about genes, twin studies, and the heritability statistic that may come as a surprise to many people—even biologists!

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