Hi, I’m Scott. I am scientific director of the Imagination Institute, and I conduct research in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania on intelligence, creativity, and well-being. My writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Scientific American, Psychology Today, and Harvard Business Review.

In 2013, I published Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined, which reviewed the latest science of intelligence and also detailed my experiences as a child growing up with a learning disability. In the book, I outlined my Theory of Personal Intelligence, and presented a vision of education that takes into account each young person’s unique development, abilities, engagement, and personal goals.

My latest book is Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind, which I co-authored with the journalist Carolyn Gregoire. In Wired to Create, we review the latest science of creativity, and argue that creativity is a lifestyle that anyone can cultivate by continually engaging in a series of habits– from daydreaming to mindfulness to being open to new experiences.

I received a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Yale University in 2009, and an M. Phil in Experimental Psychology from the University of Cambridge under a Gates Cambridge Scholarship in 2005. I received my undergraduate degree from Carnegie Mellon in 2003, double majoring in Psychology and Human Computer Interaction, and minoring in Opera Performance.

Other stuff I do:

  • I teach the popular undergraduate course Introduction to Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. You can download my most recent syllabus here.
  • Over at Scientific American I write the column Beautiful Minds. I also write a blog here on my personal page.
  • I host The Psychology Podcast. I welcome suggestions for new and exciting guests.
  • I co-founded The Creativity Post with my good friends Milena Fisher and Elliot Samuel Paul. Check out the site for quality content on creativity, innovation and imagination.
  • I like to sing (musical theatre) and dance (hip hop)! In 2005 and 2007, I was rejected from American Idol. So I did what I do best: I analyzed how to win American Idol.

SBK Events View All

Oct 19, 2016 Tulsa, OK Leadership Talks @ Holland Hall School

Nov 30, 2016 Palo Alto Athena Academy

Jan 25, 2017 San Francisco, CA Common Ground Speaker Series