Explaining Creativity

Explaining Creativity : The Science of Human Innovation

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"Explaining Creativity" is an accessible introduction to the latest scientific research on creativity. In the last 50 years, psychologists, anthropologists, and sociologists have increasingly studied creativity, and 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, and business innovation. Until about a decade ago, creativity researchers tended to focus on highly valued activities like fine art painting and Nobel prize winning science. Sawyer brings this research up to date by including movies, music videos, cartoons, video games, hypertext fiction, and computer technology. For example, this is the first book on creativity to include studies of performance and improvisation. Sawyer draws on the latest research findings to show the importance of collaboration and context in all of these creative activities. Today's science of creativity is interdisciplinary; in addition to psychological studies of creativity. "Explaining Creativity" includes research by anthropologists on creativity in non-Western cultures, and research by sociologists about the situation, contexts, and networks of creative activity. "Explaining Creativity" brings these approaches together within the sociocultural approach to creativity pioneered by Howard Becker, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and Howard Gardner. The sociocultural approach moves beyond the individual to consider the social and cultural contexts of creativity, emphasizing the role of collaboration and context in the creative process.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 354 pages
  • 160 x 236.2 x 22.9mm | 544.32g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 17 black & white photographs and 21 line illustrations
  • 0195161645
  • 9780195161649

Review quote

"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 World, 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, Director, Quality of Life Research Center and C.S. and D.J. Davidson, Professor, Peter F. Drucker School of Management, 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 co-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 Geniusshow more

About R. Keith Sawyer

R. Keith Sawyer is Associate Professor of Education at Washington University. He is the author of many books on creativity, including Improvised Dialogues, Creating Conversations, and Group Creativity.show more

Table of contents

PART I: CONCEPTIONS; 1. Introduction; 2. Conceptions of creativity; INTERLUDE 1: DEFINING CREATIVITY; PART II: INDIVIDUALIST APPROACHES; 3. Personality psychology; 4. The second wave: Cognitive psychology; 5. Biology; 6. Computational approaches; INTERLUDE 2: FROM INDIVIDUAL TO CONTEXT; PART III: CONTEXTUALIST APPROACHES; 7. Sociology; 8. Culture; 9. History; INTERLUDE 3: APPLYING INDIVIDUALIST AND CONTEXTUALIST APPROACHES TO CREATIVITY; PART IV: ARTISTIC CREATIVITY; 10. Visual creativity; 11. Writing; 12. Music; 13. Acting; INTERLUDE 4: GOODBYE TO OUR CREATIVITY MYTHS; PART V: EVERYDAY CREATIVITY; 14. Science; 15. Business creativity; 16. How ro be more creative; EPILOGUEshow more

Rating details

75 ratings
4.18 out of 5 stars
5 39% (29)
4 47% (35)
3 11% (8)
2 3% (2)
1 1% (1)
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