Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation

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Oxford University Press, USA, Jan 12, 2012 - Psychology - 555 pages
Explaining Creativity is an accessible introduction to the latest scientific research on creativity. In the last 50 years, psychologists, anthropologists, and sociologists have increasingly studied creativity, and we now know more about creativity than at any point in history. It considers not only arts like painting and writing, but also science, stage performance, and business innovation. Until about a decade ago, creativity researchers tended to focus on highly valued activities like fine art painting and Nobel prize winning science. Sawyer brings this research up to date by including movies, music videos, cartoons, video games, hypertext fiction, and computer technology. For example, this is the first book on creativity to include studies of performance and improvisation. Sawyer draws on the latest research findings to show the importance of collaboration and context in all of these creative activities. Today's science of creativity is interdisciplinary; in addition to psychological studies of creativity the book includes research by anthropologists on creativity in non-Western cultures, and research by sociologists about the situation, contexts, and networks of creative activity. It brings these approaches together within the sociocultural approach to creativity pioneered by Howard Becker, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and Howard Gardner. The sociocultural approach moves beyond the individual to consider the social and cultural contexts of creativity, emphasizing the role of collaboration and context in the creative process

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The clearest, best supported information on Human Innovation/Creativity out there. However, it is heavy to read, not friendly at all. Hard to find practicality in a book dedicated to "creativity" :S. Having said that, the information in it is absolute GOLD, once you get past the obscure writing used to present findings. Mr. Sawyer, I'm your fan, but it may not hurt to seek a partnership in the writing department.  

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About the author (2012)

R. Keith Sawyer, a professor of psychology, education, and business at Washington University in St. Louis, is one of the world's leading scientific experts on creativity. He combines this scientific expertise with a strong hands-on background in real-world creativity. After receiving his computer science degree from MIT in 1982, he began his career with a two-year stint designing videogames for Atari. In 1990, Dr. Sawyer began his doctoral studies in psychology, studying creativity with Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Dr. Sawyer has also been a jazz pianist for over 20 years, and spent several years playing piano with Chicago improv theater groups.

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