Essential Reads

How John Steinbeck Convinced Me to Start a Writing Diary

Confronting self-doubt head on can help put it behind you.

Sparks of Genius Challenge #2: Non-Visual Observing

When it comes to imaginative skill, practice is an eye-opener.

Ways to Push Past Creative Burnout

Two coaches talk about reigniting passion for your work

Building With LEGO Kit Instructions Makes Kids Less Creative

Study shows the 'mindset' of LEGO kit building hurts creativity on next tasks

Recent Posts on Creativity

People Who Need People... Get Writer's Block

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on September 06, 2008 in Creating in Flow
You're probably curious as to what this new blog, called "Creating in Flow," might offer you that's insightful or inspiring about the art and science of creative expression. Fair enough. But until I finish the first draft, I'm not going to focus on my audience. To find out why, read on.

Looking Beyond Our Problems and Looking Toward Our Solutions, Pt. 1

Hold your hand in front of your face with your thumb folded. How many fingers do you see?  Are your sure?  Being part of the solution, not part of the problem is consistent mandate for the 21st century.  How do we do that?

How a Hopeful Lover Ends Up a Disappointed Friend

The reasons are more complex than you think, but begin with timing.

Are You Smarter than Aristotle? Part I

Aristotle, a founding father of Western Philosophy was a genius, right? Actually, I did the calculation and it turns out you are smarter than Aristotle. Not only smarter, but according to the calculation, Aristotle wouldn't understand a word coming out of your mouth. Confused? So are a lot of intelligence researchers. Read on.

Denial and the De-Souling of Psychotherapy: A Reply to "Is Psychotherapy Dying?"

By Stephen A Diamond Ph.D. on August 14, 2008 in Evil Deeds
Psychotherapy is dying. Psychotherapy's very survival is critically threatened. That is not the question. The only real questions are these: What are we going to do? Can psychotherapy be saved? If its demise is inevitable, can psychotherapy be resurrected? Must psychotherapy in its current incarnation die and be reborn in some renewed, more vital form? How can we restore psychotherapy's soul?

Movies and Psychotherapy = Cinematherapy - Part 1

By Stuart Fischoff Ph.D. on August 12, 2008 in The Media Zone
A man in his 30s reads a book and something about how a young college student panics when he learns that a girl he slept with, just once, at a frat party, very quickly, in the corner of the party room, is pregnant. The episode in the book strikes a deep, painful chord.

Depression, Creativity, and a New Pair of Shoes

By Shelley H Carson Ph.D. on July 30, 2008 in Life as Art
After reading a newspaper article about some of the current research linking depressive disorders to creativity, an artist friend of mine commented, "Well, I guess now all I have to do is get depressed and my work will improve."

Kid-sickness: the state of nature?

By David Anderegg Ph.D. on July 30, 2008 in Young Americans
They seem weirdly pathological, those parents who desperately sit by the mailbox waiting for a letter from their child at camp, or those who frantically search the camp's website looking for a candid picture of their child. But maybe they're not: maybe they're just the wave of the future.   

Chaos Theory and Batman Part II

By David Pincus Ph.D. on July 28, 2008 in The Chaotic Life
Okay, so where we left off in part I: we now know the basics of what chaos is, from "chaos theory," and we are wondering if this really relates to the character Joker, from the new Batman film. And on a broader level, I want to explore whether or not this type of chaos is bad, as people (Westerners at least) do typically think that chaos is bad. Is ‘deterministic chaos' like the force of the evil Joker, the bad Anarchist (there are good anarchists by the way - like Noam Chomsky)?

Six Tips For Great Sex

By Dan Pollets on July 23, 2008 in Mindful Sex
Intimacy takes practice and skill, and mindful practice makes for great sex.

The Mystery of the Gyroball

By Steven Kotler on July 21, 2008 in The Playing Field
It took a computer scientists to discover baseball's newest secret weapon, but can anyone really use this weapon is the real question.

Happiness Breeds Success…and Money!

I had a rather interesting experience this week appearing on the CNBC show, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. The theme was that being happy will bring you cash.

ADHD v. Depression and Anxiety

By Frank Lawlis Ph.D. on July 14, 2008 in Redefining Stress
Since I was a child with a severe case of what is known as attention-deficit disorder, I have been extremely interested in the new explosion in new cases and the sudden interest in new trends in diagnoses. The number of children categorized under this label are above 17 million cases, appearing to be one of the greatest mental health epidemic of our times.

Race, language, black holes

The subtitle to my Psychology Today blog is “What our language reveals about how we think and who we are”. Today's topic: Is the term "black hole" racist?

The Nature of Genius II: On Late Bloomers and Ugly Ducklings

In the "Ugly Duckling", a young swan goes from awkward and ugly to graceful and beautiful. This kind of transformation is also seen in abilities, and those who go from average to extraordinary are typically labelled "late bloomers". How are late bloomers possible? How can a nuanced understanding of genes contribute to our understanding?

Creativity on the Wild Side: Animal Innovation

Can animals be creative? What if you could demonstrate that an animal not only invented a new behavior, but that other animals copied it? And what if this behavior was then modified and transformed to solve yet another problem?

When Trauma Happens, Children Draw: Part III

In China and Myanmar, the innate impulse to communicate through art, play, and imagination is emerging as children begin the long process of recovery. But what about those who don’t want to remember what happened or discuss the terror they have experienced? Some children are so traumatized they may never learn to be children again.

The Genetics of the X-Factor

Every season, hundreds of thousands of contestants audition for the myriad of television talent shows that exist. To make it far in these shows, you have to possess an "X Factor", a certain unidentifiable quality that makes you stand out from the rest. How may a nuanced view of genes contribute to our understanding of this factor?

Essential Secrets of Psychotherapy : In Praise of Perfectionism

By Stephen A Diamond Ph.D. on June 28, 2008 in Evil Deeds
Perfectionism has taken a bum rap. How has perfectionism and its virtues come to be so devalued and vilified in our day?


Who creates, and how? One never-to-be-forgotten experience of an elementary school classroom, story-telling time, and a diffident little boy suggests answers for people of all ages.

Laziness: Fact or Fiction?

Addressing this topic generally, the immortal Dagwood Bumstead once claimed: "You can't teach people to be lazy--either they have it, or they don't." So what is laziness anyway? Is it about being slow to do something (what we typically call procrastination)? . . . Or about doing something slowly? . . . Or about not doing it at all? Or . . .  

Building Blocks of Creativity

Consider this blog like a set of toy dolls or action figures. Or, better yet, a box of building blocks. In each post, we plan to explore in playful spirit the people, the places and the stories-in short, the who, what, where, when, why, and how-of creativity.

Uncertainty, Emotion & Task Delay: I May Have Fear, but I Need Not be My Fear

By Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D. on June 18, 2008 in Don't Delay
In a recent discussion with a friend about procrastination, he said, "I find I always procrastinate when I don't know what to do next." The research literature reflects his personal experience, uncertainty is related to procrastination, but it's more than just not knowing what to do next. As I said in response to him, "It may also be about how the uncertainty makes you feel."

Are All Memoirs Fiction?

A few years ago Oprah Winfrey famously criticized James Frey for fabricating large parts of his memoir A Million Little Pieces, the story of his recovery from drug addiction. Since then, calling into question how truthful any memoir really is.

Are We Coaching The Play Out Of Our Kids?

By Brian Tompkins on June 09, 2008 in View From The Dugout
It is increasingly difficult to find a college freshman who has ever played or even practiced their sport without a coach or other adult around.

The Dilemma of Genetic Engineering and Landmines

There are an estimated 45 million landmines still scattered around the world.  A Danish biotech company has developed a rather ingenious way to detect their presence using a simple weed.  Do we line up with the "dark green" side of the environmental movement, which is pushing us toward a romantic, back to nature approach to saving the planet? Or do we move toward the "bright green" side of the environmental movement that is looking toward innovation in the application of technology to fix what we have broken?