Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation / Edition 1

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Overview

Explaining Creativity is an accessible introduction to the latest scientific research on creativity. The book summarizes and integrates a broad range of research in psychology and related scientific fields. In the last 40 years, psychologists, anthropologists, and sociologists have devoted increased attention to creativity; we now know more about creativity than at any point in history. Explaining Creativity considers not only arts like painting and writing, but also science, stage performance, business innovation, and creativity in everyday life.

Sawyer's approach is interdisciplinary. In addition to examining psychological studies on creativity, he draws on anthropologists' research on creativity in non-Western cultures, sociologists' research on the situations, contexts, and networks of creative activity, and cognitive neuroscientists' studies of the brain. He moves beyond the individual to consider the social and cultural contexts of creativity, including the role of collaboration in the creative process.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sawyer has put together a mountain of research from a variety of fields to create a unified approach to understanding how people manage to do something different. His book is readable and learned, origninal, but mindful of its relation to all that other work, and well worth the attention of anyone who wants to think seriously about innovation in the arts and in social organizations."
—Howard S. Becker, author of Art Worlds, Tricks of the Trade, and Outsiders

"An extremely knowledgable, wide-ranging, integrative summary of how the social sciences understand creativity. Keith Sawyer has again produced an intelligent and valuable contribution to knowledge. This is a volume that any scholar or lay-person interested in what creativity entails will want to have."
—Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Founding Co-Director, Quality of Life Research Center, and Distinguised Professor of Psychology and Management, School of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences, Claremont Graduate University

"With the publication of Explaining Creativity, Keith Sawyer has emerged as the leading young scholar and proponent of a sociocultural approach to the study of creativity. And with his remarkable grasp of this young field, Professor Sawyer has written the most comprehensive and compelling work on creativity studies in years."
—David Henry Feldman, Professor, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development, Tufts University, and author of Changing the World

"Without doubt Explaining Creativity is the most comprehensive single-volume presentation of what we know about the creative process, person, and product. Besides that, the book is extremely well written. It would be my first recommendation for anyone fascinated with creativity in all of its complexities and manifestations. There's simply nothing better out there for either specialist or general reader."
—Dean Keith Simonton, Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, and author of Origins of Genius

"R. Keith Sawyer's second edition of Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation is so expanded that it is a truly different book from the first edition. The first edition was (correctly) praised and appreciated; the second edition is required reading for anyone interested in the topic. In a just world, Sawyer's thorough and nuanced volume would be the best seller... Sawyer's book is easily the most thorough creativity text on the market." — James C. Kaufman and Alexandra S. McKay, PsycCRITIQUES

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195304459
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/19/2006
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 491,093
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

R. Keith Sawyer, a professor of psychology, education, and business at Washington University in St. Louis, is one of the world's leading scientific experts on creativity. He combines this scientific expertise with a strong hands-on background in real-world creativity. After receiving his computer science degree from MIT in 1982, he began his career with a two-year stint designing videogames for Atari. In 1990, Dr. Sawyer began his doctoral studies in psychology, studying creativity with Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Dr. Sawyer has also been a jazz pianist for over 20 years, and spent several years playing piano with Chicago improv theater groups.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introduction 3
Ch. 2 Conceptions of creativity 9
Interlude 1 : defining creativity 35
Ch. 3 Personality psychology 39
Ch. 4 The second wave : cognitive psychology 57
Ch. 5 Biology 77
Ch. 6 Computational approaches 97
Interlude 2 : from individual to context 113
Ch. 4 Sociology 117
Ch. 8 Culture 137
Ch. 9 History 155
Interlude 3 : applying individualist and contextualist approaches to creativity 173
Ch. 10 Visual creativity 177
Ch. 11 Writing 205
Ch. 12 Music 223
Ch. 13 Acting 243
Interlude 4 : goodbye to our creativity myths 259
Ch. 14 Science 263
Ch. 15 Business creativity 281
Ch. 16 How to be more creative 295
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