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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thorough exposition on creativity, 30 Oct 2009
By 
Charles Pardoe (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Creativity (Paperback)
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'?

However, Csikszentmihalyi has published widely and thoroughly on the matter and as such I would not expect any book, brilliant as it may be, to address every aspect of such a complex notion as 'creativity', with all its far reaching implications for mankind. As such I rate this book five stars as it is a well-written and stimulating foray into this area of psychology. I would reccommend this book to people of all levels of knowledge of the field of psychology, although it is not a 'quick-flick' read by any means. I have already started reading another of his books.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the horse's mouth, 29 Jun 2011
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Pipistrel (Oxford United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Creativity (Paperback)
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
By 
Daniel Sa Nogueira "www.wecreate.pt" (Lisbon, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Creativity (Paperback)
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.
Flexibility.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy, 27 Sep 2010
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Good content but a bit flimsy, 16 April 2014
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Amazon Customer "ellie-jay" (Leeds, Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention (Paperback)
Cover is really thin, as is the paper, which makes this feel really cheap. The content is good, but the structure seemed a little odd to me - I ended up reading the chapters in a different order, because they made more sense that way. Nothing really groundbreaking I don't think, but to be fair to the author, they do say that themselves. A good overview of the subject - would have liked a bit more neurology in it, but I do understand that the book didn't promise that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE every Csikszentmihalyi book!!, 22 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention (Paperback)
A FANTASTIC READ, inspiring! After a few pages already opened up some of my own resources for creative ideas. Thank you
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 17 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Creativity (Paperback)
This book by Csikszentmihalyi is an interesting one, giving an inside view of creativity, showing how there's a common perception in creative people about what you need to create new ideas.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written and a good overview of Czikszentmihalyi's work, 29 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Creativity (Paperback)
In this volume Czikszentmihalyi provides an interesting overview of creativity based on his personal experience of interviewing recognized creative individuals. In particular, he explores the social dimension of creativity and his systems model of creativity. One could criticize that much of the information presented is based on subjective observation and in this respect could be described as quasi-scientific. As a counter point, Czikszentmihalyi is well respected in academic circles and has a long history of research involvement. This text should be placed in context; the book is written to be accessible, and the content reflects this. This is a good place to start when exploring/researching on creativity.
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Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention
Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihaly (Paperback - 6 Aug 2013)
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