Essential Reads

Creativity Is Not About Amateurs or Academies

There’s tension about the culture of creativity.

Why Some Math Anxiety Might Actually Be a Good Thing

Research explains the interplay between math anxiety, motivation, and learning.

In the Age Of Emoji, What's in a Word?

Emojis can be even more powerful than words.

Family Background, Creativity, and Genius

Behind the motivations of science Nobel laureates and literary prizewinners.

Recent Posts on Creativity

What's in Elizabeth Gilbert's Happiness Jar?

By Jennifer Haupt on November 06, 2015 One True Thing
My happiness jar isn’t a chronicle of achievements or victories, but a collection of small, everyday marvels.

The Power of Creative Juxtaposition and the Threat of Clowns

By Mark Peters on November 05, 2015 Laughing Stock
I talk to Chuck Sambuchino about humor and the imminent danger of clowns.

Yes, You Can Sculpt Your Brain to Be More Creative

By Susan Reynolds on November 04, 2015 Prime Your Gray Cells
Studies have shown that you can sculpt your brain by being more adventurous in exploring your environment. Even identical twins develop unique skills and talents dependent upon how much they embrace and unleash their individual curiosity and pursue particular interests.

The Search For Meaning

The vast majority of humans need some meaning to our lives beyond acquiring, consuming and devouring. The search for meaning might be a belief in a benevolent, omniscient God, but spiritual states and beliefs exist for non-believers as well. That Search for a Sense of Believing (along with Being, Belonging and Benevolence) enables us to fulfill and evaluate our lives.

The Ineffability of Meaning

By Vyv Evans Ph.D. on November 03, 2015 Language in the Mind
Meaning is central to our lives, and what it means to be human. But the story of how we create meaning is one of the most fascinating, challenging, and perplexing, even, in the contemporary science of language and mind.

Are Your Dreams Keeping You Awake?

By Susan Reynolds on November 02, 2015 Prime Your Gray Cells
Dreams are our brain's way to process emotions while we sleep. If you're super stressed and suffering from restless nights, even nightmares, image therapy can be an effective way to "rewrite" your dreams.

5 Fresh Ways to Meet the Challenge of Creativity

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on November 02, 2015 Creating in Flow
Experts take a fresh look at the research to focus on how the right degree of mental control and abstraction can optimize creativity, for individuals and teams.

Jokes Endangered

By Scott G. Eberle Ph.D. on November 02, 2015 Play in Mind
Many years ago, with a minivan load of restive kids aboard who needed distracting, I asked them all to tell a joke. In the midst of the silence, my young daughter piped up with a knock-knock riddle I’d made up: “Knock, knock!” she said. “Who’s there?” the rest of them replied, “Margaret Thatcher!” she said. “Margaret Thatcher who?” they wanted to know.

Innovating Innovation Strategy, Part 2

By Jeff DeGraff Ph.D. on November 02, 2015 Innovation You
How do you make plans in a world where plans were meant to be changed? Innovators are adaptors. They're flexible leaders who run multiple experiments at once and make adjustments along the way.

Yes, there is such a thing as an ugly baby

By Drew Boyd on October 31, 2015 Inside the Box
Confirmation bias is something all humans have. But just being aware of it isn't good enough to prevent you from it. You can’t get rid of it, but there are things you can do to mitigate its effects and make better judgments.

Always Reward Your Writing Brain

By Susan Reynolds on October 30, 2015 Prime Your Gray Cells
When you feel good, your brain releases and bathes itself in what are called the feel-good chemicals—dopamine, endorphins, serotonin, oxytocin, and others—which is so pleasurable for your brain that it eagerly awaits new opportunities to repeat this experience.

Art Therapy and Counseling…or is it Art Therapy Counseling?

A looming question remains for those art therapy students who obtain a degree title in either “art therapy” or “art therapy counseling”—will either of those degree titles be accepted for eligibility for counselor licensure in the future?

Our Love Affair with Thrillers and Suspense

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on October 28, 2015 Trouble in Mind
Thrillers and Psychological Suspense are two of the most popular fiction and film genres. Why are so many of us addicted to them, and what’s wrong with everyone else who isn’t!

Constraints Are a Beautiful Thing—Here's Why

By Gregory Ciotti on October 28, 2015 Habits, Not Hacks
The hidden beauty of constraints.

Five Reasons You're Experiencing Writer’s Block

By Susan Reynolds on October 28, 2015 Prime Your Gray Cells
Five reasons you're experiencing writer's block, and how you can get your brain back on task.

Just Plain Fun

By Bernard L. De Koven on October 28, 2015 On Having Fun
Just your plain, every day, ordinary fun. Just something you happen to enjoy, for the moment: The sun. The breeze. On your skin. In your hair...

Art Therapy in Prison—Now That’s Sexy!

Recounting a time when a colleague described art therapy in prison as "sexy", this post explores what it is that attracts the public to prison art and how such fascination can be used to break down the barriers that exist for the inmate population.

Empathy and the Mind-Body Connection

By Marty Babits on October 27, 2015 The Middle Ground
The double arrow of empathy

Producing TV's True Crime

Ed Hydock has been involved with true crime TV series for years, and he answers questions for viewers curious about the backstory of production.

A Message from the Muse

By Susan Rako M.D. on October 23, 2015 More Light
Unconscious processes work in mysterious ways. Do you know what it takes to realize your full creative and productive potential?

The Brutal Honesty of Hard Rock Songwriting

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on October 22, 2015 Brick by Brick
Nikki Sixx, Jacoby Shaddix, and Zoltan Bathory explain how they find their creative flow.

3 Musical Ways to Influence a Child's Emotions

One of the most common ways we consume music is to shift our emotional state. This little trick works with children, too.

5 Ways to Cultivate Curiosity and Courage in the Workplace

By Todd B. Kashdan Ph.D. on October 21, 2015 Curious?
Results from the new Merck survey of 2,606 United States workers on the state of curiosity in the workplace. Learn about the 5 big barriers to curiosity at work. Learn 5 strategies for training companies, leaders, and employees to become more curious, courageous, and creative.

How I Do My Research: Is “Despite” Actually “Because?”

By Gretchen Rubin on October 20, 2015 The Happiness Project
If I’m stumped by something I see, I substitute “because” for “despite,” and see if a proposition makes sense.

Innovating Innovation Strategy, Part 1

By Jeff DeGraff Ph.D. on October 19, 2015 Innovation You
Innovation is unlike all the normal things we do on an everyday basis. That's why the conventional strategies we bring to organizational management are inadequate. Innovation requires its own unique set of skills. It's not so much thinking outside of the box as it is redefining what that box is.

The Big Tent of Music Therapy

By Dean Olsher M.A., MT-BC on October 19, 2015 A Sound Mind
People ask me all the time, “How does music therapy work?” At first I start preparing an answer about its effectiveness. Quickly, though, it becomes clear they’re asking a question that seems simple but is in fact just as complicated.

Human Perfection

Just as one can perfect a golf swing, one can perfect life

Infographic: Recreating Your Company

By Jeff DeGraff Ph.D. on October 13, 2015 Innovation You
Innovation is different from everything you do as a leader in three distinct ways. First, innovation happens in the future for which you currently have no data. In fact, one of the most common forms of resistance to innovation is excessive data collection because it stops your company from taking purposeful action. Second, innovation is a time-based form of value.

10 Bad Habits That Sometimes Do Us Good

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on October 13, 2015 In Excess
All of us have bad habits, and all of us from time to time feel guilty about these habits. But there are some bad habits—at least when carried out in moderation—that might actually have benefits for psychological and/or physical wellbeing. Here are my top 10 bad habits that might do you good.

The 7 Basic Plots of Stories — Do You Have a Favorite?

By Gretchen Rubin on October 12, 2015 The Happiness Project
If you’re a serious reader, it’s great to have a reliable source of recommendations