Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention

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HarperCollinsPublishers, 1996 - Psychology - 456 pages
112 Reviews
This book is about what makes life worth living. The creative excitement of the artist at her easel or the scientist in the lab comes as close to the ideal fulfillment as we all hope to, and so rarely do. Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi interviewed more than ninety of possibly the most interesting people in the world - people like actor Ed Asner, authors Robertson Davies and Nadine Gordimer, scientists Jonas Salk and Linus Pauling, and Senator Eugene McCarthy - who have changed the way people in their fields think and work to find out how creativity has been a force in their lives. In his bestselling book Flow, Professor Csikszentmihalyi explored states of "optimal experience" - those times when people report feelings of concentration and deep enjoyment - and showed that what makes experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called "flow". Here Professor Csikszentmihalyi builds on his flow theory, profiling individuals who have found ways to make flow a permanent feature of their lives and at the same time have contributed to society and culture. This book is not so much about the everyday "creativity" that we all experience but the kind of creativity of artists, scientists, and others that can transform our culture and the way we look at the world. By studying the creative lives of exceptional people, Professor Csikszentmihalyi shows us how we can all enhance our everyday lives. His goal is to help us better understand a way of being that is more satisfying and more fulfilling.

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Review: Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention

User Review  - Troy Blackford - Goodreads

I'd give this book six stars, if I could. This is a sprawling and masterful objective analysis of input from dozens of luminaries in various fields and domains, and Csikszentmihalyi assesses the ... Read full review

Review: Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention

User Review  - Tomas Ramanauskas - Goodreads

A solid attempt to disect creativy, to open the veil on this mysterious creature. Csikszentmihalyi gathered a goldmine of interviews, explaining the process, the inspirations and the outcome of the ... Read full review


Where Is Creativity?
The Creative Personality
The Early Years

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About the author (1996)

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced "ME-high CHICK-sent-me-high-ee) is a professor and former chairman of the Department of English at the University of Chicago. His writings have focused on models of enjoyment and how various people access their creative potential. The idea of creative potential, which Csikszentmihalyi terms "flow" has become increasingly popular in the public sector. His 1993 book, Flow, inspired Jimmy Johnson then coach of the World Champion Dallas Cowboys, and was the subject of a feature story during that year's Super Bowl television broadcast. His ideas have also been touted by President Clinton, who called Csikszentmihalyi one of his favorite authors, Newt Gingrich, who put his work on the reading list for a political planning committee, and corporations and cultural institutions, such as Volvo in Sweden and the Chicago Park District. He has published articles in a variety of magazines, including Psychology Today, The New York Times, Omni, and Wired and has made appearances on television in the U.S. and Europe. Csikszentmihalyi currently serves on boards and commissions for the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education, and the Social Science Research Council. He has held visiting professorships at universities in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Italy, and Finland. He received the1990 NRPA National Research (Roosevelt) Award, in addition to two Senior Fulbright Fellowships. Besides Flow, he has also written Beyond Boredom and Anxiety and Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, in which he applies his "flow" theory to various inventors, scientists, and artists to determine how and why they achieve "flow.

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