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Creativity [Paperback]

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 1 Jan 1996 --  
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Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention 4.6 out of 5 stars (8)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 462 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st HarperPerennial Ed edition (1 Jan 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060928204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060928209
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Explains the creative process and shows how creativity can enrich lives.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
This book is about creativity, based on histories of contempo rar people who know about it firsthand. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thorough exposition on creativity 30 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having just finished reading Creativity by Csikszentmihalyi I have become fascinated by the topic. His book is detailed and highly analytical. This is not a fantastical book of spurious claims nor a self-help book. Having said that, he sets out concisely at the end how one might apply certain principles and approaches to life based on those of successful creative people (such as those he refers to in previous chapters). The most contentious argument put forward is that one is only creative if that creativity is recognised by others of sufficient standing in a field and/or domain. However, in the 'Notes' section at the end he goes on to explain the importance of adopting this position in order to apply the scientific metheod to the study of creativity. Clearly if everyone could self-validate their creativity in terms of quantity and quality the subject would be completely subjective. I appreciate this difficulty but it is nonetheless hard to divorce oneself from the conviction that one has, on occasion, been genuinely creative even if it has not been validated by anyone else.

I was unsure as to whether to rate this book as four stars or five on the basis that, although Csikszentmihalyi has approached the matter rigourously and makes few assumptions about the nature of creativity, it would have been valuable, i think, to evaluate the experiences and lives of those who are supposedly not creative. In a similar vein the question of how intelligence should be defined is often studied and disputed, although it seems equally challenging to precisely define its opposite, whatever that is - perhaps 'stupidity'?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the horse's mouth 29 Jun 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating book, based on interviews with 91 highly creative people. Much of it consists of extensive quotations from them, and it gives a great deal of insight into how they live and how they work. The essential element is passionate love of what they do, combined with endless patience. Interestingly and contrary to popular legend, they generally live happily and have a good family life. The suffering genius seems to be a rarity.

I find it hard to go along with the idea that a person can only be called creative when his or her contribution to culture is recognized by the experts in the field. Thus Mendel was not creative in his lifetime but only when his work was discovered by the biological community. Raphael is creative when his work is fashionable and not when he is out of fashion. In fact Cziksentmihaly does not stick closely to his own doctrine, and the last chapter, about how to be creative, says nothing about recognition.

I was amused to see the claim that Naguib Mahfouz had been under house-arrest for several years, which is pure fantasy; on the contrary, the State always treated him as a national treasure. It would be interesting to hear from informed people if some of the other testimonies have been embroidered.
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87 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Science of Creativity 19 Dec 2004
I am passionate about creativity and Innovation.
I train companies and run public workshops.
In this role, I have read dozens of books regarding creativity (debono, michalko, buzan, etc)
This book was extremely refreshing due to its strong scientific approach. I felt like a NASA expert on the science of Creativity once I read it.
It has largely enhanced my understanding of deeper issues related to the physcology of creativity.
The down side for me is that the author does not consider ana ct to be creative unless it is recognised by others. I deeply disagree, but this was not an impedement to take imense value from the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy 27 Sep 2010
Very interested in creative thinking and I can't read this book without a pencil in my hand to underline all the ideas that resonate (not something I do as a habit). Thank you Mihalyi
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