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?
I just read this English-language translation of an old Russian text by the psychologist Lev Vygotsky, and it surprisingly foreshadows contemporary scientific understandings of creativity and innovation: Our everyday understanding of creativity does not fully conform to the scientific understanding of this word. According to everyday understanding, creativity is the realm of a few selected… Read More Vygotsky on Collective Creativity
You may believe in some variant of this myth: Creative people are more likely to be mentally ill than non-creative people; artists and writers are more likely to be alcoholics, clinically depressed, or commit suicide. Anyone can think of at least one famous artist or writer who committed suicide (Hemingway, Plath) or did some other… Read More The Myth of the Mentally Ill Creative
When I give lectures, whether to the general public or to a business audience, my take-home message is that creativity is always collaborative. I make a strong claim: that no significant creation ever comes from an isolated, lone genius. Instead, it always takes multiple contributions over time, and creators always work within collaborative webs. This… Read More Einstein’s genius