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Stories by Scott Barry Kaufman

Will the Real Introverts Please Stand Up?

Quick Quiz: Which of the following are signs of introversion? Highly sensitive Deep Thinker Reflective Introspective Intelligent Negative emotions Socially Anxious Defensive Vulnerable Always prefers solitude over social interaction Answer: Not a single one...

June 9, 2014 — Scott Barry Kaufman
The Philosophy of Creativity

The Philosophy of Creativity

There is little that shapes the human experience as profoundly and pervasively as creativity. Creativity drives progress in every human endeavor, from the arts to the sciences, business, and technology...

May 12, 2014 — Scott Barry Kaufman

The Neuroscience of Mathematical Beauty

Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty" — Bertrand Russell The latest neuroscience of aesthetics suggests that the experience of visual, musical, and moral beauty all recruit the same part of the “emotional brain”: field A1 of the medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC)...

May 7, 2014 — Scott Barry Kaufman

How Does IQ Relate to Personality?

Personality and IQ have traditionally been viewed as distinct domains of human functioning. However, research over the past three decades suggests that IQ is a personality trait.

April 21, 2014 — Scott Barry Kaufman

Why Academic Tenacity Matters

For academic achievement, ability is not enough. What’s also needed are mindsets and strategies for overcoming obstacles, staying on task, and learning and growing over the long-term. According to Gregory Walton and colleagues, academic tenacity is not about being smart, but learning smart...

April 14, 2014 — Scott Barry Kaufman

Are You Mentally Tough?

Forty seconds before round two, and I'm lying on my back trying to breathe. Pain all through me. Deep breath. Let it go. I won't be able to lift my shoulder tomorrow, it won't heal for over a year, but now it pulses, alive, and I feel the air vibrating around me, the stadium shaking [...]..

March 19, 2014 — Scott Barry Kaufman

Reimagining College Admissions Criteria

I believe that if we implemented a more imaginative college admissions system, we'd be pleasantly surprised by just how much intellectual and creative potential there already exists all around us...

March 12, 2014 — Scott Barry Kaufman
Interest Fuels Effortless Engagement

Interest Fuels Effortless Engagement

Think back to a time when you were completely engaged in an activity. Maybe it was reading a comic book, or catching up with an old friend.

March 5, 2014 — Scott Barry Kaufman
Where do Savant Skills Come From?

Where do Savant Skills Come From?

There's a scene in the 1988 movie Rain Man in which Raymond Babbitt (played by Dustin Hoffman) recites a waitress's phone number. Naturally the waitress is shocked.

February 25, 2014 — Scott Barry Kaufman
The Mind of the Prodigy

The Mind of the Prodigy

Prodigies dazzle us with their virtuoso violin concertos, seemingly prescient chess moves, and vivid paintings. While their work would be enough to impress us if they were 40, prodigies typically reach adult levels of performance in non-verbal, rule-based domains such as chess, art, and music before the age of 10...

February 10, 2014 — Scott Barry Kaufman
From Evaluation to Inspiration

From Evaluation to Inspiration

We live in a culture saturated with evaluation. In school, we learn to take tests. We take the tests, and depending on the outcome, either feel really smart or really stupid.

January 8, 2014 — Scott Barry Kaufman
Do Painters Peak at the Golden Mean?

Do Painters Peak at the Golden Mean?

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” — that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. – John Keats The golden mean, or divine proportion, has fascinated philosophers, mathematicians, artists, and scientists for centuries...

December 15, 2013 — Scott Barry Kaufman
Conversation on Daydreaming with Jerome L. Singer

Conversation on Daydreaming with Jerome L. Singer

Jerome L. Singer is the father of daydreaming. His seminal research over the past 50+ years with his colleagues (including John Antrobus and Eric Klinger) has laid the foundations for virtually all current investigations of the costs and benefits of daydreaming and mind wandering (see “The Origins of Positive-Constructive Daydreaming” and “Ode to Positive Constructive [...]..

December 10, 2013 — Scott Barry Kaufman
Creativity in the Brain

Creativity in the Brain

What’s going on in the brain when we reason, create, and imagine? A group of thoughtful cognitive neuroscientists have been unraveling some of creativity’s mysterious origins (see “The Real Neuroscience of Creativity” or the recent edited volume “Neuroscience of Creativity”)...

November 27, 2013 — Scott Barry Kaufman
Openness to Experience and Creative Achievement

Openness to Experience and Creative Achievement

Openness to experience– the drive for cognitive exploration of inner and outer experience– is the personality trait most consistently associated with creativity.

November 25, 2013 — Scott Barry Kaufman
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Dwindling Supply. Increasing Demand.

Dwindling Supply. Increasing Demand.

Solving the Water Crisis