Essential Reads

The Future Has Come and Gone: You Just Missed It

There is no data on the future where breakthrough innovation happens.

Does Creativity have its Dark Side?

When creativity turns malevolent, you'll want to stay out of its way

Science and the Online Dating Profile

Using evidence to connect electronically

Make Your Dreams Come True, Be Extreme

Put yourself on the road to success by being excessive

Recent Posts on Creativity

Innovation and Sun Tzu's Art of War

By Moses Ma on February 11, 2012 in The Tao of Innovation
The Art of War is the military classic written by the Chinese philosopher-general and military strategist, Sun Tzu, and managers and leaders increasingly seek to apply its principles to their business challenges. Here is a novel look at Sun Tzu as advice for innovators.

Creativity and Intelligence: a Tripartite Structure?

By Sandeep Gautam on February 11, 2012 in The Fundamental Four
Creativity and Intelligence have traditionally been conflated; here I break them into their constituents and argue that there is a dynamic tension between the creative process and the intellect.

Promiscuous Facts: Barack Obama and Uncertain Knowledge

By Gary Alan Fine Ph.D. on February 10, 2012 in The Global Grapevine
What do the rumors about President Obama reveal about our capacity to believe uncertain knowledge? As the target of rumor, Obama does not differ from most politicians, even if the rumors appeal to distinct public audiences. How does the study of rumor contribute to "agnotology" — the scientific analysis of the causes and practices of ignorance.

Three Ways to Use Play to Get Kids to Behave

Parenting, someone once said, is the art of getting kids to do what you want them to do, and getting them to stop doing things you don't want them to do. These three ways of playing can fill your basket of parenting tricks with potent fun strategies.

You Are Not Your Talent

By Jennifer Hamady on February 10, 2012 in Finding Your Voice
Our culture does a wonderful—and unfortunate—job of blurring the lines between having a talent and being talented. We celebrate people for what they do, not who they are, reinforcing the notion that "it" is more important—and more valuable—than them.

Some Ideas to Make Valentine's Day Extra Special

By Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. on February 10, 2012 in Emotional Fitness
Valentine's Day was a humble day of remembrance until it was made a holiday. It wasn't by some mystical event or act of Congress—the holiday part of 2/14 was created by a greeting card company. But for those who bask in this day of love, it doesn't matter. What counts is that romance comes their way.

A Wicked Case of Synesthesia

By Maureen Seaberg on February 10, 2012 in Sensorium
Broadway's Stephen Schwartz, a synesthete, can paint with all the colors of the wind.

Madmen, the Carousel, and the Pang of Nostalgia in the Walking Dead

By Steven Schlozman M.D. on February 10, 2012 in Grand Rounds
Madmen and The Walking Dead share the pang of nostalgic reckoning.

Writer's Block and Suicide in Film

By Stuart Fischoff Ph.D. on February 10, 2012 in The Media Zone
I quickly realized I was waist-deep in a quagmire of misdirected science. A psychology book on film suicides with an anal personality.

Are You Postmonolingual?

By Michael Erard Ph.D. on February 09, 2012 in The Will to Plasticity
Even if you speak one language, you may be postmonolingual.

How Convergent and Divergent Thinking Foster Creativity

By Scott Barry Kaufman Ph.D. on February 09, 2012 in Beautiful Minds
What happens when the IQ test taker becomes the IQ test constructor?

How to Choose an Elementary School by the Numbers

By Garth Sundem on February 09, 2012 in Brain Trust
Lately, my wife and I have been staring slack-jawed at elementary school options—and so we’ve decided to cede our choice to the numbers. Unlike test scores alone, here are three unexpected numbers that actually DO mean something about school quality.

Maps of the Mind and the World

By Maureen Seaberg on February 09, 2012 in Sensorium
Blue cats, chartreuse kittens and multi-hued Haitian taxis color synesthete Patricia Lynne Duffy's world.

What Sexy Is

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on February 08, 2012 in Insight Therapy
The American concept of sexy is to true sexiness what Hallmark greeting cards are to deep human emotion. Yet it is possible to find sexy moments on the web–mysterious, subtle, original, and alive. Here is a sampling of sexy web finds, clips that capture–for me–the slippery, intoxicating essence of what sexy is.

Emotions and the Body

By Julie Jaffee Nagel Ph.D. on February 08, 2012 in Music to My Ears
As a psychoanalyst, I listen to people tell their personal stories through the use of words. As an audience member at a concert, I listen to musicians tell their stories through the use of music. This sometimes includes lyrics but often does not In both scenarios, I often find myself affected by strong feelings.

Quit: Do It Now

A lot of us suffer from not knowing when, or how, to quit. We take on too many projects and commitments, and end up turning in 10 mediocre jobs instead of one or two stellar performances.

The Neuroscience of Imagination

By Christopher Bergland on February 08, 2012 in The Athlete's Way
Albert Einstein said of the theory of relativity, "I thought of it while riding my bicycle." New ideas tend to bubble up and crystallize when you are inside the aerobic zone. While walking, jogging, biking ... you are able to problem solve in way that is different than when you are sitting at your desk. Neuroscientists are just beginning to understand this phenomenon.

Why Your Best Ideas Come When You Least Expect It

By Sian Beilock Ph.D. on February 08, 2012 in Choke
Not all tasks require working memory for success. In fact, sometimes people's ability to think about information in new and unusual ways can actually be hampered when they wield too much brainpower. This means that what we think of as our optimal time of day may not be optimal for everything.

Expert-By-Association Syndrome

Our society's lack of respect for expertise perfectly captured by a comment in a coffee shop.

Neanderthal Art?

By Rosemary Joyce Ph.D. on February 08, 2012 in What Makes Us Human
Headlines in Spanish language newspapers around the world are variants of the same claim: "Paintings could be the first work of art of humanity."

Personality Tests for Your Characters

Learn how to use psychological personality tests to construct unique character profiles and better understand why your characters do what they do!

Dr. David Eagleman's New Dream Project

By Maureen Seaberg on February 07, 2012 in Sensorium
Top synesthesia researcher Dr. David Eagleman wants to replace himself...

Great Oscar-Nominated Films with People with Disabilities

By Toni Bernhard J.D. on February 07, 2012 in Turning Straw Into Gold
"Coming Home" is the first movie that realistically portrays a romance between a person who is able-bodied and another who suffers from a devastating disability—realistic in that it doesn’t shy away from depicting the emotional and physical challenges they face.

How to Change a Teenager's Life

Have you ever wondered how you could personally change an adolescent’s life, perhaps inspire a career or fuel a young person’s desire to make a difference in the world? While parents are a huge part of kid’s lives, research shows that other adults play equally significant roles.

The Downside of a Great Idea

By Jennifer Hamady on February 07, 2012 in Finding Your Voice
There is simply nothing like the rush of inspiration; the revelation of the big ‘aha' moment. It's what brings us to life. It's what keeps us going. And it's our biggest downfall. We're so excited to finally hold these gems in our hands that we forget that a closed fist is still a closed fist, whether or not something wonderful is inside.

Don't Treat Your Best Customers Like Morons and Marks

By Jonathan Fields on February 07, 2012 in Awake at the Wheel
I recently cancelled an online service. It was a monthly subscription model. A solid service. It's just that my needs had changed and I no longer needed it. I might have in the future, though, and figured I'd go back to it "if and when."

Why Steve Jobs Is a Leadership Nightmare

Steven Jobs was one of the most successful entrepreneurial leaders of the last half-century. He will likely be remembered as one of business's iconic leaders. Many of my students admire him. That is the problem.

The Grey: A Metaphor for Pathology

By Jeremy Clyman Psy.D on February 06, 2012 in Reel Therapy
"The Grey" is a new survival-adventure film that offers a look not just into the world of our ancestors, but the world to which a severely anxious and depressed mind can be transported. For more on how this film offers insight into the mechanisms of such mental illness and effective ways of 'surviving' please proceed...

Zeitgeist: Boomerang and the Creation of a Narrative

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on February 06, 2012 in The Pacific Heart
Lessons from Michael Lewis’ bestseller Boomerang about human nature, and some thoughts on social psychology.