Creativity Essential Reads

One More Reason to Unplug Before Bedtime

How does being "plugged in" to an electronic device impact a young child's developing brain?

The Secret to Teaching Creativity

By Jeff DeGraff Ph.D. on April 27, 2015 in Innovation You
The secret to teaching creativity is simply to surround students with people who are creating.

Don't Aim for Happiness

Loss and melancholy cannot be avoided. Poetry assists acceptance better than manuals of happiness.

Metaphors in Therapy

By Ilana Simons Ph.D. on April 23, 2015 in The Literary Mind
A short animated video about how words change us.

Getting Existential with Josh Rouse

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on April 17, 2015 in Brick by Brick
Josh Rouse shares how he has been able to conquer anxiety through mindfulness.

Cities Are Green After All

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on April 15, 2015 in The Human Beast
Many of us are accustomed to think of urban smog as a root cause of global warming and environmental degradation that is pushing us to an existential precipice. Leading environmentalist Stewart Brand thinks otherwise. He explains why he was weaned from the village romanticism of a Mahatma Gandhi.

The Myth of Creativity On-Demand

By Jeff DeGraff Ph.D. on April 13, 2015 in Innovation You
Creativity will never be an item on a pull-down menu you can click to activate on-demand--creativity demands you. That doesn't mean you should just sit around waiting for a creative impulse.

Meet Danielle Meitiv: Fighting for Her Kids’ Rights

By Peter Gray on April 11, 2015 in Freedom to Learn
Danielle and Alexander Meitiv have been giving their children some of the same freedom that they themselves enjoyed as children, in a world that is safer than the one in which they grew up. As a consequence, they have been visited by police, and the county Child Protective Services have threatened to take their children away. Here is my interview with Danielle.

Black and Yellow: Blasian Narratives

These “Blasians” are creating something new, testing how much unity there is in such diverse experiences of Blackness and Asian-ness.

The Coming Climate Disruptions: Are You Hopeful?

Hope is such a muddled word: “We must have hope!” “There is light at the end of the tunnel!” Why do climate books and speeches have to end on a note of hope? Re-thinking hope in the face of overwhelming climate changes.

The Best Way to Look for the Next Big Thing

By Jeff DeGraff Ph.D. on April 06, 2015 in Innovation You
Pay attention. Look up, look down, look all around yourself. Look for the things that other people don't see. Chances are if you see an obvious occasion to innovate, other people see it, too.

Is Mind Wandering a Good or Bad Thing?

By Ray Williams on April 05, 2015 in Wired for Success
Is mind wandering a good thing or bad thing? Is it the same as being on “autopilot,” without being conscious of what you are doing? There seems to be several differing perspectives on these questions.

The Psychology of Spring Cleaning

By Jonathan Fader Ph.D. on April 03, 2015 in The New You
For many of us the onset of spring is a reminder to start our annual spring overhauls – decluttering, organizing, and cleaning. While spring cleaning has the obvious benefits of an organized closet, a sparkling counter top, and possibly more open spaces, more importantly, it has been associated with improved mood, decreased stress, and heightened creativity.

The Flynn Effect as Adaptive Change

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on April 01, 2015 in The Human Beast
All living creatures can change to fit in with their environment. Some of that flexibility is due to gene selection but a lot is developmental. The Flynn effect of rising IQ in developed countries is an enrichment effect of modern life. It arises due to the adaptive response of our brain to the increased challenges it faces.

Creativity Hiding in the Headlines

“Anglo Saxon Eye Remedy Kills Deadly Superbug.” It’s the kind of headline that is sure to attract anyone interested in ancient, complementary and alternative medicines, but why post it in a creativity blog? Well, if you haven’t guessed by now, creativity can hide anywhere, manifest itself in any field, and impart its lessons through any medium. So read on!

Adoption in the Life of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs' adoption provided an environment that helped him become the co-founder and major influence of Apple Computers, but his genetic inheritance was also crucial.

Positive Thinking: A Brief User's Guide

By Jeff DeGraff Ph.D. on March 30, 2015 in Innovation You
The challenge is a seeming paradox: generate positivity and then control that same positivity. The art of smart optimism is a careful balancing act, a measure of enthusiasm and restraint--a flash of a dream with a dose of reality.

The Future Has Come and Gone: You Just Missed It

By Jeff DeGraff Ph.D. on March 23, 2015 in Innovation You
So what's the big so what? The very institutions that have defined how we lead in our modern world are being abandoned or morphed into new forms. We need to run a wider array of experiments to learn what really works and doesn't in the undiscovered country.

Does Creativity have its Dark Side?

We are used to thinking of creativity as an entirely positive attribute. However, new research on malevolent creativity suggests that the truly creative may put their novel thinking to dangerous uses under the right circumstances.

Science and the Online Dating Profile

Online dating is the new singles bar, one in which your words won't be drowned out by the music. But which words should you use? There is some scientific evidence about relatively more effective ways to turn an online contact into a real huggable moment.

Make Your Dreams Come True, Be Extreme

If you push yourself to extremes and find out what your true talents are.

The 'Other' Marshmallow Test

The tower building exercise - and its marshmallow - reveals another secret of successful human behavior, in this case for mental health professionals: when we put the goals of our patients first and foremost, they are going to be more effective, and so will we.

The Brave New World of Connectional Intelligence

By Tim Leberecht on March 09, 2015 in The Romance of Work
Connectional intelligence highlights an evolution that has been quietly taking place across workplaces all over the world—just like traditional intelligence is “out,” so is the old way of working. It’s a whole new world in more ways than one; there’s less emphasis on conventional hierarchies, more on reshaping office environments and workdays for improved collaboration.

Creativity and Mental Illness

Creating and creativity are healthy processes in contradiction to contentions such as those of Kay Jamison and Nancy Andreasen and others who have carried out weak research purportedly showing connections between creativity and mental illness.

7 Habits of Highly Effective Sleuths

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on March 07, 2015 in Shadow Boxing
People who ponder puzzles, whether writers, investigators, photographers, or physicians, will benefit from turning these skills into habits.

Tomas Tranströmer’s Avocational Polymathy

Scratch beneath the surface of just about any successful career in science, art, or human affairs and you’re sure to find wide-ranging interests. We’ve been scratching through the memoirs and biographies of Nobel Prize winners. No surprise, avocational polmathy, aka the several-hats tactic, turns up time and again. Tomas Tranströmer provides a case in point.

Psychosis Sucks!

By Joe Pierre M.D. on March 05, 2015 in Psych Unseen
Does the British Psychological Society's recently published monograph called "Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia" dangerously romanticize mental illness? Here's why psychiatrists say yes.

The Inverse Innovation Cycle: How Failure Becomes Success

By Jeff DeGraff Ph.D. on March 02, 2015 in Innovation You
It may be true that a checklist will help you reach an opportunity more efficiently.

The Top 9 Reasons I Hate Anxiety

Here are the top 9 reasons I hate anxiety--and you should too!

Do Generations Exist?

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Is it misleading to speak about a self-absorbed “Me Generation” or jaded, cynical GenXers, overeducated and underemployed?