Novelist Marisa Silver describes the creative process, in the Sunday NYTimes book review: My particular writing methodology, if it could be called that, might be summarized this way: Go inside a dark tunnel filled with conflicting, incongruent ideas, paw around for a few years. Finally, figure out how to crawl toward a pinprick of light… Read More What Happens Next? (The Problem with Plot)
One of the oldest tests for creativity is the “brick test.” It originated in the 1950s, and it’s pretty simple: Take five minutes, and write down as many uses as you can think of for a brick. It’s called a divergent thinking test, which means it measures your ability to generate lots of ideas. And, you… Read More The Brick Test: The Most Unusual Use EVER
A provocative claim: in any country, immigrants are statistically more likely to generate exceptionally creative works. There’s a long list of immigrant geniuses: Victor Hugo, W. H. Auden, Vladimir Nabokov, Nikolas Tesla, Marie Curie, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein. But single cases don’t make a scientific argument. Do we have any statistical data on this? Eric… Read More Are Immigrants More Creative?
December 15, 2015 I’m excited to announce the release of the ZIG ZAG Creativity Cards! The card deck has 48 cards, and each one has a different creativity exercise. There are also four cards that describe how to use the cards alone, in groups, and when you’re facilitating a workshop. The cards are perfect for everyday use. You… Read More ZIG ZAG Creativity Cards Now Available!
“Creativity does not actually exist at all.” –Monica Reuter I just read Monica Reuter’s new book on creativity (Palgrave, 2015). She makes the provocative argument that creativity doesn’t comes from individuals; it comes from groups, and from large networks distributed through society. Creativity is always defined by influential people in society, and its definition changes depending on… Read More Does Creativity Exist?
You’ve got to read the excerpt from Matt Ridley’s new book in today’s Wall Street Journal. Just released this week, his book is called The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge. I have a lot of respect for his previous books, so I’m delighted to learn that his new book makes the same points as… Read More The Emergence of Creativity: Matt Ridley’s New Book
I’m beginning to think that creativity research is elitist. Exhibit A: The most prominent historical studies of creativity focus on high-status individuals: top art schools, Nobel-prize winning scientists; corporate CEOs. Howard Gardner’s book on creativity studied Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham, and Ghandi. Exhibit B: Simon Kyaga’s highly publicized studies (2011, 2012) about creativity and… Read More Is Creativity Research Elitist?
Marc Andreesen, the Silicon Valley investor, has just published a free e-book containing his blog posts from 2007 to 2009. This excerpt from the book was just published in the Wall Street Journal–titled “retaining great people”. It’s really advice about how to build an innovative organization: Don’t create a new group or organization within your… Read More Marc Andreessen on Group Genius
I had a great time giving this morning’s keynote at the annual Montessori teacher’s conference (NAMTA). They invited me to talk about how to foster creativity and collaboration in high school classrooms. In my keynote, I gave an overview of the core lessons from my creativity research, combined with my learning sciences research: Creative learning… Read More Montessori, Collaboration, and Creativity
For several decades, psychologists have been studying creative mental processes, and we have a really good understanding of what goes on in the mind when people are being creative. I summarize this research in my 2012 book Explaining Creativity, by grouping all of the research into eight “stages” or “habits of mind” that are involved… Read More Shortcut: How Analogies Drive Innovation