Now available from Oxford University Press:
Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation, Second Edition
When I published the first edition of Explaining Creativity in 2006, it was the first overview of creativity research. Since that time, the field has matured significantly, with two more textbook overviews (by Mark Runco and Robert Weisberg) and several edited handbooks, and a lot more great research. So I’ve been hard at work these last two years, writing this second edition… It’s radically new, with seven new chapters, 8 new appendixes, and every other chapter rewritten. As Dean Keith Simonton (UC Davis) says,
Without doubt, Explaining Creativity is the most comprehensive single-volume presentation of what we know about the creative process, person, and product. Besides that, the book is extremely well-written.
Here’s a small sample of some of the more surprising things you’ll learn in this book, that aren’t collected in any other book about creativity:
Which famous creativity researcher first introduced Timothy Leary to psychedelic mushrooms?
- Frank X. Barron (Chapter 2, p. 18)
In what year and location was the first patent granted?
- 1474 in Venice (Chapter 2, p. 21)
The fourth-grade slump is a myth; creativity continually increases with age. (Chapter 4, p. 74)
In recent decades, the formerly observed drop in creativity in later years is no longer occuring; find out why on page 288. (Chapter 15)
Abraham Maslow’s graduate advisor, Harry Harlow, first documented that external rewards interfered with motivation, in a study with which animal species?
- Monkeys (Chapter 4, pp. 78-79)
The story about Archimedes shouting Eureka in the bathtub is a myth; find out how we know on page 97. (Chapter 5)
When was the ten year rule first documented, and in which area of expertise?
- In 1899 with telegraph operators. (Chapter 5, p. 93)
The story of Kekule dreaming of a snake biting its tail and then realizing the molecular structure of benzene is a myth; find out the story on pages 373-374. (Chapter 20)
The story of Mendel discovering modern genetics and then being ignored for 35 years is false; find out the real story on pages 378-379. (Chapter 20)
In what year was the first creativity training program?
- 1937 at GE (Appendix A, p. 439)
Who designed the cover graphic of the Creativity Research Journal?
- Mark Runco’s son, Chris Runco (Appendix C, p. 445)