Essential Reads

The Flynn Effect as Adaptive Change

Our brains rise to the challenges of modern life thereby boosting intelligence.

Creativity Hiding in the Headlines

“Ancient Remedy Cures Modern Infection” says a lot about creative practice.

Adoption in the Life of Steve Jobs

Both genes and environment help account for Jobs's success.

Positive Thinking: A Brief User's Guide

Positivity will lift your spirits, but will it lead to meaningful change?

Recent Posts on Creativity

Introducing Pyramids of Meaning

By Daniel Bor Ph.D on May 21, 2012 in Pyramids of Meaning
Consider this puzzling conundrum: When most other species meet their physical needs, they take the biologically sensible decision of conserving energy by resting. But in the same situation why do we reach for a Sudoku puzzle, or even glance at a science blog, seemingly absurdly choosing to engage the most energy-expensive organ we possess?

How to Survive a Hospitalization

Just two weeks ago, my hospital went live with a full ambulatory electronic medical record. Though the roll out wasn't without its challenges, the software is simply outstanding. There is almost nothing about a patient's medical history I can't now access with a few clicks of a mouse button.

Sexuality of Hope or Despair in Marriage

We marry with a commitment that sex will continue to make our union alive and complete. With sacred vows we commit onto sexual fidelity—an alive sexual relationship solely with our chosen partner. Over and over again, we make love and grow in secure attachment.

Who Cares About Wildlife?

By Susan Clayton Ph.D. on May 20, 2012 in On Being Green
Friday, May 18th, was Endangered Species Day, reminding us of the huge number of species that face extinction. Some scientists consider the loss of biodiversity to be a bigger environmental threat than climate change. Why should we care?

Dealing with Your "Inner Critic"

Among the majority of my creative patients — TV and film writers, directors, actors, etc., a primary concern is the struggle against their “inner critic.” By that I mean the persistent, sometimes harsh and almost always shaming “voice” that belittles or invalidates their work.

A Psychoanalytic Appreciation of Maurice Sendak

By Kristi Pikiewicz PhD on May 19, 2012 in Meaningful You
Before the publication of “Where the Wild Things Are” in 1963, children’s literature was comprised largely of folk tales, fairy tales and near-Victorian tales of good little children whose job was to please their elders – or else. These stories were morality tales meant to teach children the lessons of how to behave in an adult world.

Fostering the Skills Critical to Success

By Steve Baskin on May 18, 2012 in S'mores and More
Young adults lack many skills that are critical to success in the 21st century. Ironically, perhaps the best place to learn these modern skills is at one of the last tech-free environments: summer camp.

It's Time to Redefine Green Jobs

By Richard Louv on May 18, 2012 in People in Nature
A new world of potential businesses, careers and roles: psychologists, educators, architects and health professionals who employ nature-based programs and biophilic design to increase health, learning and productivity; urban designers and others who transform cities into engines of biodiversity and human health...

The Secret to Serenity

There’s a saying that our serenity is inversely proportional to our expectations. In other words, the extent of our entitlement or need for things to look a certain way determines the extent of our unhappiness. This makes sense for the simple fact that when we focus on what we don’t have, we feel distraught and disappointed.

Joking and Pretending: More Than Just Child's Play

If you’re the parent of a toddler or preschooler, you already know that silly jokes and make-believe play can bring plenty of joy to your busy days. But according to new research, joking and pretending can be much more than just fun and games.

The Art of Wandering for Writers, Part I

By Jeffrey Davis M.A. on May 18, 2012 in Tracking Wonder
The uncertainty of starting a first draft drives some writers crazy. But uncertainty may mean you’re on the right path. Otherwise, you may be writing what you already know and, thus, what your readers already know, too.

Enchanted Agnosticism

Enchanted agnostics are the leaders-to-be of a new spiritual consciousness.

The Lure of Long Books

I love sinking into the fully-dimensional world of a multi-volume novel. Melvyn Bragg's set is more than a poor man's Downton Abbey -- It has much more psychological depth.

Author Diane Ackerman: "One Hundred Names for Love"

By Jennifer Haupt on May 17, 2012 in One True Thing
At some point in all of our lives almost every one of us will become a caregiver—of a spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, or child. Or we’ll be cared for by loved ones. I hope my book will offer hope and fresh ideas for how to cope gracefully and creatively.

How to Find Your Best Career & Get Paid Doing What You Love

Do you love what you do? Most Americans don't. According to, four out of five Americans do not have their ideal jobs. The following are three factors that can help you identify your best career.

Finding Your Passion

By Jennifer Hamady on May 17, 2012 in Finding Your Voice
Stop worrying about what job will bring you passion. What hobby. Or even what person. Be passionate about life and its spirit will call itself out.

The Ouija Board Explained

By Scott G. Eberle Ph.D. on May 16, 2012 in Play in Mind
At the twilight of the Victorian Age, hypnotists entertained audiences with their mysterious arts, seemingly severing the connection between will and mind in hapless volunteers.

Strange Sex Habits of Silicon Valley

By Nir Eyal on May 15, 2012 in Automatic You
My wife put our daughter to bed, brushed her teeth, and freshened up before bed. Slipping under the covers, we exchanged glances and knew it was time to do what comes naturally for a couple on a warm night in Silicon Valley.

Spiritual Solutions: Answers to Life's Greatest Challenges

By Pamela Madsen on May 15, 2012 in Shameless Woman
Recently, I noticed that my kids are entering adulthood just as I'm leaving it. My friend Lisa asked me where I am going, and to tell her the truth — I'm not exactly sure. But what I do believe, is something Deepak Chopra also believes: Change and transformation is your birth right.

Creativity, Persistence and Working Memory

By Art Markman Ph.D. on May 15, 2012 in Ulterior Motives
On Sunday nights, I play in the horn section of a blues band. Each week, musicians come from all over town to play with us. So, over the course of the night, I get many opportunities to hear people play solos on a variety of instruments. And sometimes, I am just blown away by the quality and creativity of people’s solos.

In Search Of Wonder

By Maureen Seaberg on May 15, 2012 in Sensorium
Synesthete and researcher Dr. Christine Simmonds-Moore is pioneering a brave new frontier in synesthesia research — its connection to anomalous experiences.

Fuori Servizio

Rick Steves travels a lot in Europe and is followed around by a camera crew. I travel alone with a Nikon in my bag. Visiting Italy for a teaching gig raises a stream of psychological issues—most of them pleasant.

Personal Growth: How to Align Your Values and Your Life

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on May 14, 2012 in The Power of Prime
It is one thing to recognize what values you possess and to admit that some of them may not bring you meaning, fulfillment, or happiness. It is an entirely different thing to understand what values will actually bring you the life you want. This process involves aligning your values with your “ideal life” in the future.