Psychadelics Open the Mind

by Scott Barry Kaufman, October 10, 2011 in Blog

I always thought there was something psychedelic about Apple products. In an interview with New York Times reporter John Markoff, Steve Jobs noted that “doing LSD was one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life.” He even remarked that Bill Gates would “be a broader guy if he […]

Why Inspiration Matters

by Scott Barry Kaufman, October 5, 2011 in Blog

“When your Daemon is in charge, do not try to think consciously. Drift, wait, and obey”. — Rudyard Kipling Ivan was obtaining his goals. After graduating from law school, he quickly moved up the ranks of Russia’s professional class. His path was threatened, however, when his wife got pregnant. Fearing his hard earned successes would […]

How To Increase Your Harmonious Passion

by Scott Barry Kaufman, September 26, 2011 in Blog

Work brings some people intrinsic joy. These people feel in control of their work, feel good about themselves while working, find their work to be in harmony with their other activities. Psychologists describe these folks as having harmonious passion. But there’s another kind of passion: obsessive passion. Those who are obsessively passionate feel an uncontrollable […]

Pop Music is Human Nature

by Scott Barry Kaufman, September 13, 2011 in Blog

I’ve got a proud confession: I’m a pop music junkie. Drizzy Drake, Britney, Adele, Nicki, Ke$ha, you name it. I love it. But I’ve got to admit, after awhile it all seems to jumble together. If I listen to too much of it, I get sick of the repetitiveness; there’s only so many times I […]

Put Your Best Self Forward

by Scott Barry Kaufman, September 8, 2011 in Blog

When I think of self-presenters, I conjure up images of slimy used car salesmen and telemarketers on TV at 3 in the morning. But maybe I’m being unfair to self-presenters. After all, the ability to put your best self forward without deception is an important skill, whether it’s during a business interview or on a […]

Does Creativity Require Constraints?

by Scott Barry Kaufman, August 30, 2011 in Blog

If I asked you to draw a person from planet aardvark, would you be more creative if (a) I gave you no examples, or (b) gave you a few examples of what aardvarkians look like? Research suggests you’d be more creative if I didn’t allow your mind to roam free. When people are given the […]

Is Conscientiousness Compatible with Creativity?

by Scott Barry Kaufman, August 26, 2011 in Blog

When it comes to achievement, Conscientiousness is a great thing. All else being equal, the person who has tenacity, persistence, stamina, and grit will be more successful then the person who is lazy and unmotivated. Over 25 years of research supports this commonsense view: Conscientiousness is the most consistent and best predictor of both job […]

A Call for New Measures of Asperger’s and Schizotypy

by Scott Barry Kaufman, August 21, 2011 in Blog

At their extremes, both autism and schizophrenia are debilitating disorders. But what is the relationship between them? The Swiss psychiatrist  Eugen Bleuler, who coined the terms “schizophrenia” and “autism” a century ago, viewed autism as a form of solitude and schizophrenia as an extreme form of autism representing withdrawal from reality. Ever since, there has […]

How Our Senses Influence Creativity

by Scott Barry Kaufman, August 15, 2011 in Blog

Do you focus on the forest or the trees? Whether you have more of a global (holistic) or local (detail-oriented) processing style influences how you fundamentally perceive the world, and is one of the most prominent factors influencing creative thought. Beyond your personality, however, situational factors also play a crucial role in what kind of […]

Why is Narcissism Adaptive in Youth?

by Scott Barry Kaufman, August 13, 2011 in Blog

Everyone loves to bash narcissists (except narcissists). They do make easy targets. Their inflated sense of self makes others feel inferior, so putting them down a peg makes others feel better about themselves. Also, their outlandish, over-the-top displays of grandiosity can serve as good fodder for parody. Nevertheless, in recent years, psychologists have documented the […]

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