Creativity from Constraints with Patricia Stokes

by Scott Barry Kaufman, April 16, 2018

“The most important thing is what you are working against.” — Patricia Stokes

Today I’m delighted to speak with Patricia Stokes, an adjunct professor at Barnard College who studies problem solving and creativity/innovation. Stokes is author of the book Creativity from Constraints: The Psychology of Breakthrough, which was informed by her psychological research as well as her background in art and advertising.

In this episode, we cover:

– How Patricia went from art and advertising to creativity researcher

– The importance of constraints and variability for creativity

– How constraints can promote or preclude creativity

– Using constraints to solve the “creativity problem”

– How “the solution path defines the goal state”

– The four major constraints on creativity

– How teachers and parents should praise children for optimal creativity

– How to reward the courage to be novel

– The importance of constraints in fashion and literature

– How to explain Lady Gaga’s creativity


One Response to “Creativity from Constraints with Patricia Stokes”

  1. Paul Lunardi says:

    Do you have a copy of the creativity/constraints model that Patricia was going through? With the initial state and the search space.

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