Essential Reads

Punk Music Isn't "Bad"

Extreme music can help regulate emotions (if you like it).

Creative Concerns

Uncertainty and bias against creative ideas

You May Not Persist Long Enough in Creative Tasks

More effort generating creative ideas is generally rewarded.

When Music Becomes Language

Neuroimaging Reveals How the Jazz Masters See Music Differently

Recent Posts on Creativity

Remembering Colin Martindale

By Scott Barry Kaufman Ph.D. on November 19, 2008 in Beautiful Minds
 R.I.P. Colin Martindale (1943-2008). 

Turning Indian Grandma's Stories into Fine Fiction

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on November 16, 2008 in Creating in Flow
You might think it would be a snap to conjure a fine novel out of the elements that were handed to Padma Viswanathan, on a platter as it were, by her Indian grandmother. Padma's grandmother's grandmother was married as a child and widowed at 18 and, due to rigid caste rules, had to spend the rest of her life in extreme deprivation. Still, writing well is rarely that simple, and Padma spent a decade on The Toss of a Lemon. In our interview, she told me how entering flow helped make her novel more compelling.  

A Balancing Act

By on November 14, 2008 in So You Want to Be a Shrink?

Teaching Creativity with TLC

Last year, we had the incredible opportunity to discover first-hand an amazing school called The Learning Connection (TLC for short) located in Wellington, New Zealand. TLC is an art school that is more than an art school. It is, quite purposefully, a school for creators, no matter what road they take in life.

Therapist Burnout

By Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP on November 13, 2008 in In Therapy
This blog is the user's guide to psychotherapy, but after reading the results of PT's therapist survey I feel a need to address my fellow therapists. Several respondents requested information on preventing and treating therapist burnout. I'll take a crack at this professional conundrum and include some tips for clients of burnt out therapists.

Secret Republican Agenda for 2012: Return America to the Middle Ages!

By Stanton Peele on November 09, 2008 in Addiction in Society
Reelng from the November elections, Republicans are considering which candidate can redeem them next time. A new poll shows that most Republicans favor Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as the GOP presidential nominee in 2012, followed by Baptist minister and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. An attractive new face is Bobby Jindal, Louisiana's Governor. All share one trait - they don't believe in evolution. I have obtained a secret tape recording of party leaders planning the Republican platform for the 21st Century.

Creativity and Hope

What's at the core of art, music, dance, drama, writing, and play as healing arts? It's simple -- hope.

Are conservatives less creative than liberals?

By Scott Barry Kaufman Ph.D. on November 05, 2008 in Beautiful Minds
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)

By Scott Barry Kaufman Ph.D. on November 03, 2008 in Beautiful Minds
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.

Creating Cartoons Is No Joke

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on November 01, 2008 in Creating in Flow
Donna Barstow always thought it would be "neat" to have her own world. She's been creating that idiosyncratic world for years now, with her cartoons appearing in The New Yorker, Sunday Parade, Los Angeles Times, and more...

Can Creativity Be Value-Neutral?

 An inquiring mind wants to know. And the answer is, no. It is almost impossible to talk about things that are novel and effective without bias. There is always a value judgment involved. Disclosure: Personally, we value the kind of novel effectiveness that makes possible this electronic conversation. Do you?

(Almost) Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Creativity

 What does it mean to be creative? Creativity is effective novelty. To be creative, then, can be as simple as seeing something everyone else sees, but thinking what no one else thinks.  (Is that a bird or a flight of fancy?) For more straightforward answers, check this post!  

What Is Our Fundamental Nature?

By John T. Cacioppo Ph.D. on October 20, 2008 in Connections
What is our fundamental human nature? Humans create and depend on emergent organizations beyond the individual- structures ranging from dyads and families to institutions and cultures. These emergent structures evolved hand in hand with neural and hormonal mechanisms to support them because the consequent social behaviors helped these organisms survive, reproduce, and care for offspring sufficiently long that they too reproduced.

General Sherman would not have invaded Iraq

By Nassir Ghaemi M.D., M.P.H. on October 09, 2008 in Mood Swings
William Sherman, the weather pattern behind "Gone with the wind", likely suffered from manic-depressive illness. I think that his insights into war (and peace) stem from his mental illness, in particular his manic creativity and his depressive realism. (Some research suggests that mildly depressed persons are more realistically accurate about their environment than completely non-depressed persons). In these features, Sherman differs from relatively sane individuals, like George W. Bush. This is why Sherman would never have invaded Iraq.

Women Making Art: A Time Guiltily Seized

All artists pursue their calling at a price, but for women artistic creativity sometimes comes with intense sacrifice, guilt, ambivalence, and personal challenge. A compelling documentary film on women artists explores the barriers to the creative process and how art ultimately transforms women’s lives and those around them.

Telling without Talking: Breaking the Silence of Domestic Violence

Speaking the truth about domestic violence is a step toward healing for all survivors. But when talking about violence brings shame, ambivalence, and fear, art therapy not only gives survivors a voice, but also is a way to raise consciousness about the profound effects of battering and all forms of abuse between partners.

Why We Should Stop Segregating Children by Age: Part II

By Peter Gray on September 17, 2008 in Freedom to Learn
When children who are all nearly the same age play a game, competitiveness can interfere with playfulness. This is especially true in our current culture, which puts so much emphasis on winning . . . In contrast, when children who differ widely in age play together, the focus shifts from that of beating the other to that of having fun.

Be All That You Can Be, and Then Some

By Matthew Hutson on September 15, 2008 in Psyched!
When does cognitive enhancement compromise authenticity?

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.