Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention Paperback – 6 Aug 2013
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"Although the benefits of this study to scholars are obvious, this thought-provoking mixture of scholarly and colloquial will enlighten inquisitive general readers, too."--Library Journal (starred review)
"Accessible and enjoyable reading."--Washington Times
Although the benefits of this study to scholars are obvious, this thought-provoking mixture of scholarly and colloquial will enlighten inquisitive general readers, too. --Library Journal (starred review)"
Accessible and enjoyable reading. --Washington Times"
About the Author
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is a professor at Claremont Graduate University and former chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago. His previous books include The Evolving Self and the national bestseller Flow.
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Top Customer Reviews
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'?Read more ›
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.
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.
We are first introduced the the creative process, through a little bit about the nature of creativity, the creativity personality, how they go about the creative act and the inevitable link in with the concept of 'flow'. Perhaps the most interesting thing in this section is the suggestion that creativity can never be solely about the creative individual. Csiksgentmihalyi tells us that we need three components: an existing domain - an area of knowledge that that the creative individual knows, the act by the individual, which often involves coming at some aspect of the domain in a novel way, and the field, which are the creative person's peers. Csiksgentmihalyi's argument is that without the field's recognition, the creativity isn't 'real'. So, for instance, he suggests that Bach's work only became creative once it was recognised as great after a couple of centuries of being dismissed.
The next part of the book takes us through the creative lives of his interviewees. I find this kind of thing somewhat tedious to read, as it doesn't really add much to the discussion. We then move on to 'domains of creativity', looking for differences and similarities between, for instance, the 'domain of the word' and 'the domain of life'.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An important if somewhat dense explanation of why we feel happy: absorption in 'the flow' is vital.Published 2 months ago by Sabi
I used this book as the basis for a thesis on creative writing and it received a first, that's a win in my book! Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
This work paints the issue of creativity in broad brushstrokes. Rather sweeping, though it raises some interesting points.Published 14 months ago by delight-in-the-read
Lots of great interviews from all sorts of creatives - a little dry in places and the interviews a bit dated now - and done with people of a couple of generations back - I prefered... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Lucy H. Pearce
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... Read morePublished on 16 April 2014 by Amazon Customer
A FANTASTIC READ, inspiring! After a few pages already opened up some of my own resources for creative ideas. Thank youPublished on 22 Nov. 2013 by Zita Gulyas
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... Read morePublished on 17 Nov. 2013 by Raffaello Palandri