The Origins of Positive-Constructive Daydreaming

by Scott Barry Kaufman, December 25, 2011 in Blog

[This article was written by Scott Barry Kaufman and Jerome L. Singer] Once accused of being absent-minded, the founder of American Psychology, William James, quipped that he was really just present-minded to his own thoughts. William James didn’t just live in his own head, but he also studied the phenomenon, coining the term “stream of […]

Confidence Matters Just as Much as Ability

by Scott Barry Kaufman, December 7, 2011 in Blog

A bulk of research shows that when people are put in situations where they are expected to fail, their performance does plummet. They turn into different people. Their head literally shuts down, and they end up confirming the expectations. When they’re expected to win, their performance shoots back up. Same person, difference expectations. In recent […]

The Dark Side of Creativity

by Scott Barry Kaufman, December 2, 2011 in Blog

Creativity is great. In the words of the philosopher Elliot Samuel Paul, “Creativity pervades human life. It is the mark of individuality. The vehicle of self-expression. The engine of progress in every human endeavor.” Still, this doesn’t mean creativity is always ethical. Creativity comes from humans, and humans are complex. Creative people are the most […]

Who Enters Flow?

by Scott Barry Kaufman, November 20, 2011 in Blog

Flow- the mental state of being completely present and fully immersed in a task- is a strong contributor to creativity. When in flow, the creator and the universe become one, outside distractions recede from consciousness, and one’s mind is fully open and attuned to the act of creating. There is very little self-awareness or critical […]

Why Inspiration Matters (Harvard Business Review)

by Scott Barry Kaufman, November 8, 2011 in Blog

In a culture obsessed with measuring talent and ability, we often overlook the important role of inspiration. Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations.Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility, and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities. Inspiration may sometimes be overlooked because […]

Intelligence is Still Not Fixed at Birth

by Scott Barry Kaufman, October 21, 2011 in Blog

In 1932, the entire population of Scottish 11-year olds (87, 498 children) took an IQ test. Over 60 years later, psychologists Ian Deary and Lawrence Whalley tracked down about 500 of them and gave them the same test to take again. Here are the results: Some things to note here. Firstly, the correlation is pretty […]

Is High Ability Necessary for Greatness?

by Scott Barry Kaufman, October 16, 2011 in Blog

As soon as I saw the headline “Research sheds light on origins of greatness” , my interest was piqued. The article is referring to a new paper in Current Directions in Psychological Science, so I immediately downloaded that paper and left the press release open to the side. I’m wary of press releases with these […]

Imagine Science Film Festival Fosters Collaboration Between Scientists and Filmmakers

by Scott Barry Kaufman, October 10, 2011 in Blog

In August 1903, the first ever science film was only a minute long, and starred cheese mites crawling through a piece of Stilton, magnified through a microscope and broadcast in black and white. Science films have come a long way since then. Showing just how far we’ve come, the 4th Annual Imagine Science Film Festival […]

Psychadelics Open the Mind

by Scott Barry Kaufman, 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 […]

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