Essential Reads

When Music Becomes Language

Neuroimaging Reveals How the Jazz Masters See Music Differently

The Wisdom of the Rule of Three

The next time you encounter a disagreeable idea count to three

Algorithms of Dreaming: Google and the "Deep Dream" Project

A new computer program helps map the spontaneous visual creativity of dreaming

Recent Posts on Creativity

Want to Know What Constitutes Play?

By Scott G. Eberle Ph.D. on May 15, 2015 in Play in Mind
Play is a moving target. We may know it when we see it, but pinning play down is quite another thing.

World War II Memories

A I was to young to remember much about it. But I've been so riveted to other people's dramatizations of the war in books, films or on the screen, that the war has felt like part of my psychic reality. You could say I've been just one step shy of suffering a Brian Williams type 'embellishment syndrome.'

Longevity Cookbook is Your Chance to Defeat Aging

One dashing 29-year-old scientist is helping to bring longevity research into people's houses—specifically into their kitchens. Maria Konovalenko is one of the lead organizers and authors of the Longevity Cookbook, full of recipes and ideas that will help you live far longer.

My Design Psychology Career: 'Art + Science' = True Love

By Toby Israel Ph.D. on May 14, 2015 in Design on My Mind
Sculpting beautiful, profoundly meaningful places that allow us to transcend

Want to Quit Your Day Job? 7 Good Reasons Why You Shouldn’t

If you’re a part-time writer or entrepreneur in-the-making, here are a few reasons you may not want to quit that day job just yet.

The Definitive Way To Respond to Others' Mistakes

By Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D. on May 13, 2015 in Feeling It
Mistakes happen. The question is: How should we respond? Research shows that compassion will help us come out ahead.

A Grab Bag of Wisdom to Help You Enter Flow

You know those times when you aren't in the mood to write, but you want to get in the mood? Read some of these honest and insightful quotes from good writers to help ease your own transition into the headiness of a creative flow state.

Contemplating Rothko

Can mindfulness enhance creativity?

Fake Your Way to Happiness

The idea that our identities are not set in stone but novels in the making is exhilarating. It grants us freedom, especially if we are depressed, to create a more vital character.

Is Life Just a Sequence of Random Events?

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on May 12, 2015 in Jacob's Staff
How do we understand the role of luck in our lives? If value and meaning can only be achieved by a sequence of events, does that sequence reflect a pre-determined pattern? Whose pattern? Where does this line of thinking take us in terms of planning? How are artists and entrepreneurs different from the rest of us? How do we find meaning in life?

The Good, the Bad, and the Future of Creative Collaboration

By Jeff DeGraff Ph.D. on May 11, 2015 in Innovation You
Collaboration offers us a whole new set of opportunities for growth, but it also presents myriad difficulties.

Shop Courses, Crafts, and Creativity

A great deal of attention is paid to the adverse consequences of eliminating art, theater, dance and music programs from our schools – and rightfully so – but there is another set of classes that usually disappear at the same time: crafts. If we want to foster inventors, we’d better put those crafts classes back into everyone’s curricula, too!

Boost Your Insights, Part I

This first of a 2-part discussion of ways to increase insights reviews of 5 popular ideas: increase swirl, encourage failures, be open to new ideas, apply critical thinking, and get into a quiet, meditative mood. Each suggestion has some unfortunate drawbacks. Assessing their strengths and limits may provide suggestions for a better strategy, to be described in Part II.

Which Creativity Technique Should I Use?

By Drew Boyd on May 10, 2015 in Inside the Box
SIT is a collection of five techniques and a set of principles to help generate quality ideas on demand. One of the challenges you can have is deciding which technique to use. So here are some rules of thumb to get you started.

On Crashing, Burning, and Finding Recovery

Creative people are prone to depression and burnout. Here's how to recover.

Psychoanalysis Is a History of Storytelling

Psychoanalysis is part of the history of storytelling.

Imagining an Authentic Life

Stop trying to be true to yourself, because there's no self to be true to. You are a character in a fiction of your own making, constantly revising your narrative to adapt to your circumstances. If you don't like your life, change your story.

How To Hold It All Together in Life and Literature

By Sheila Kohler on May 05, 2015 in Dreaming for Freud
A great editor once told me, "If you do it once and it works, do it again. If you bring in a character once bring him/ her in again. " This might be applied to both life and literature.

Does Having Empty Time Tend to Increase Your Creativity?

“You have to sit around so much doing nothing,” Gertrude Stein wrote on developing creative genius. F. Scott Fitzgerald thought boredom was necessary for writing: “You’ve got to go by or past or through boredom, as through a filter, before the clear product emerges.”

Does Eating Your Carrots Make You More Creative?

In a new study, people’s daily fruit and vegetable consumption predicted how engaged and inspired they felt that day.

How Rules and Bureaucracy Breed Innovation

By Jeff DeGraff Ph.D. on May 04, 2015 in Innovation You
Here's the thing that innovators tend to forget: bureaucracy is our friend. The rules and regulations of any organization are also the forces that unwittingly create whitespaces, the opportunities to break new boundaries.

Worries about the Apple Watch and the Internet-of-Things

There’s a lot happening in the internet-of-things, most of it beyond the horizon of our thing-filled lifestyles. The Apple Watch is the latest and perhaps most telling thing of all. Should we worry about this dazzling distraction? What will its social impact be? What are the environmental and labor costs associated with this new digital fashion accessory?

Tattoos and Identity

A website urges you to tattoo a song lyric on "your skin and soul." What's going on?

The Honest Truth About Self- Publishing

By Sam Osherson Ph.D. on May 02, 2015 in Listen Up!
There are profound rewards, delights, and costs to self- publishing. They may not be the ones you expect.

How Can We Scale-Up the Education of Innovators?

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on May 01, 2015 in Jacob's Staff
We spend billions of dollars to ask: How can we learn to be innovative and entrepreneurial? If we believe we need more innovators, how might our approach to education need to be changed? How do we know what students learn? Is the ability to innovate more of a creative art or disciplined engineering? What if we had an Artificial Intelligence Mentor? How might that work?

The Art of Art Therapy Shapeshifting

Shapeshifting, also known as transmorgrification and transformation, is found throughout the realms of myth and folklore. Art therapy, a field that embraces the symbolic world and the process of transformation, has its own shapeshifting tales to tell, too.

Hearing Music in Baltimore

The response of the Boston Symphony Orchestra was more than just a "feel good" nicety. Here's why.

The Communicative Advantages of Interrupting

The Sermon on the Mount takes 8 minutes to read aloud, so be wary of any speech act that goes on for longer than that.

One More Reason to Unplug Before Bedtime

How does being "plugged in" to an electronic device impact a young child's developing brain?