Creativity and Mental Illness

Creativity and Mental Illness

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Are creative people more likely to be mentally ill? This basic question has been debated for thousands of years, with the 'mad genius' concept advanced by such luminaries as Aristotle. There are many studies that argue the answer is 'yes', and several prominent scholars who argue strongly for a connection. There are also those who argue equally strongly that the core studies and scholarship underlying the mad genius myth are fundamentally flawed. This book re-examines the common view that a high level of individual creativity often correlates with a heightened risk of mental illness. It reverses conventional wisdom that links creativity with mental illness, arguing that the two traits are not associated. With contributions from some of the most exciting voices in the fields of psychology, neuroscience, physics, psychiatry, and management, this is a dynamic and cutting-edge volume that will inspire new ideas and studies on this fascinating topic.show more

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Table of contents

Preface James C. Kaufman; Part I. Creativity and Mental Illness: The State of the Field: 1. A socio-historical overview of the creativity-pathology connection from antiquity to contemporary times George Becker; 2. The mad (creative) genius: what do we know after a century of historiometric research Dean Keith Simonton; 3. Reviewing recent empirical findings on creativity and mental illness Melanie L. Beaussart, Arielle E. White, Adam Pullaro and James C. Kaufman; 4. Building connections on sand: the cautionary chapter Judith Schlesinger; Part II. Cognitive and Neuroscientific Perspectives on Creativity and Mental Illness: 5. Neurocognitive mechanisms underlying creative thinking: indications from studies of mental illness Anna Abraham; 6. The evolutionary genetics of the creativity-psychosis connection Aaron Kozbelt, Scott Barry Kaufman, Deborah J. Walder, Luz Ospina and Joseph Kim; 7. Non-linearity in creativity and mental illness: the mixed blessings of chaos, catastrophe and noise in brain and behavior James E. Swain and John D. Swain; 8. Artists' vulnerability to psychopathology: an integrative cognitive perspective Mark Papworth; Part III. Creativity and the Spectrum of Mental Illness: 9. Creativity and the spectrum of affective and schizophrenic psychoses Neus Barrantes-Vidal; 10. When good is bad and bad is good: mood, bipolarity, and creativity Geir Kaufmann and Astrid Kaufmann; 11. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and creativity: ever the twain shall meet? Dione Healey; Part IV. Creativity and Mental Illness: Possible Commonalities: 12. The shared vulnerability model of creativity and psychopathology Shelley Carson; 13. On the fragility of the artist: art's precarious triad Maja Djikic and Keith Oatley; 14. Creativity as 'compensatory advantage': bipolar and schizophrenic liability, the inverted-u hypothesis, and practical implications Dennis K. Kinney and Ruth Richards; Part V. Creativity and Mental Health: 15. Bringing the whole universe to order: creativity, healing, and post-traumatic growth Marie J. C. Forgeard, Anne C. Mecklenburg, Justin J. Lacasse and Eranda Jayawickreme; 16. Inspiration and the creative process Todd M. Thrash, Emil Moldovan, Amanda K. Fuller and John T. Dombrowski; 17. King Solomon and psychoneuroimmunology: creativity and life coping Michael J. Lowis; Part VI. Creativity and Mental Illness: What Now?: 18. Ruminating about mental illness and creativity Emily C. Nusbaum, Roger E. Beaty and Paul J. Silvia; 19. Creativity and mental illness: reasons to care and beware James C. Kaufman.show more

Review quote

"What a joy to see top scholars seriously engage with this controversial topic. This book dispenses with simplistic myths, and stays grounded in scientific research. The result is a much more complex understanding of the links - and non-links - between creativity and mental illness. This book is required reading." Keith Sawyer, Morgan Distinguished Professor in Educational Innovations, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill "A timely and necessary volume; this handbook provides an excellent compilation of ideas and empirical studies relating to the old and much debated question of creativity and mental illness." Simon Kyaga, Karolinska Institutet "This is a fascinating book on a relatively little-explored topic - the connection between madness and genius - and it is well worth looking at the findings from research studies and reading different interpretations of the results." Sonu Chandiram, Biz Indiashow more

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