Essential Reads

More Music, More Empathy

Could music be an effective way to curb bullying and reduce prejudice?

Why It's Imperative to Teach Entrepreneurship

Empowering young people to craft the lives they dream to live.

This Can Give You the Advantage in Online Dating

How to advertise yourself in online dating

Cognitive Signatures of Creativity and Genius

Deconstructing the creative feats of Nobelists and Pulitzer winners.

Recent Posts on Creativity

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?

The Secret to Teaching Creativity

By Jeff DeGraff Ph.D. on April 27, 2015 in Innovation You
The secret to teaching creativity is simply to surround students with people who are creating.

Sitting Can Drain Brain Power and Stifle Creativity

Sitting has become an epidemic. Not only does sitting increase health risks and obesity—sitting can also stifle creative thinking and disrupt cognitive engagement.

8 Myths About Creativity

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on April 25, 2015 in Creating in Flow
Admit it: we all have more than enough excuses and rationalizations for why we aren't doing the creative work we claim to value. Could creative myths be contributing to your procrastination?

7 Core Values for Writers

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on April 25, 2015 in Shadow Boxing
In light of a recent business survey, I found values expressed by successful businesses that can also benefit the literary trade.

Don't Aim for Happiness

Loss and melancholy cannot be avoided. Poetry assists acceptance better than manuals of happiness.

Walking to Boost Creativity

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on April 23, 2015 in The Human Beast
We are all familiar with the health problems caused by obesity. These problems are peculiar to a modern sedentary way of life and are virtually unknown in physically active subsistence societies. Now evidence builds that physical activity is crucial for brain health, and even for creativity.