Does Creativity Require Constraints?

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?

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

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

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?

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 […]

Too Hard For Science? Could Michael Jackson Have Created Twitter?

August 9, 2011 in Blog

Fun interview with Charles Q. Choi at Scientific American on the topic: If you are one type of genius, could you have been another? Check out the full interview here: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/assignment-impossible/2011/08/09/too-hard-for-science-could-michael-jackson-have-created-twitter/ Also, check out my Huffington Post article, where I explore the topic in more detail: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-barry-kaufman/michael-jackson-twitter_b_842469.html

Bad Boys Have Lower Standards

August 8, 2011 in Blog

In 2009, Peter Jonason and his colleagues published a paper showing that college students scoring high on characteristics known as the Dark Triad (Machiavellianism, subclinical narcissism, and subclinical psychopathy) tended to report having a higher number of sexual partners as well as more of an interest in short-term mating than those scoring lower on the […]

How to Increase Your Likability

August 6, 2011 in Blog

I found this neat little poster, done by the amazing Guy Kawasaki. It summarizes a lot of the social psychological literature on likeability all in one place. Enjoy!  

Why Your Passion for Work Could Ruin Your Career

August 2, 2011 in Blog

Every business wants workers who passionately love their work. And for good reason: workers who are inspired are more productive, and passion can provide the energy necessary to fuel engagement, amidst obstacles and setbacks. But while passion seems clearly desirable, recent psychological research suggests that not all forms are adaptive. In fact, some forms can […]

Why Nagging Women and Silent Men Drive Each Other Crazy

July 31, 2011 in Blog

In last week’s hilarious episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm (“Palestinian Chicken”), Larry makes a deal with his friend: he won’t have to pay for the damage he made to his friend’s car as long as he tells his friend’s critical, nagging wife how annoying it is when she says “LOL” instead of actually laughing. Why […]

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