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Stories by 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
The Need for Pretend Play in Child Development

The Need for Pretend Play in Child Development

[This post was co-authored with Jerome L. Singer and Dorothy G. Singer] Many people often think of play in the form of images of young children at recess engaging in games of tag, ball, using slides, swings, and physically exploring their environments...

November 11, 2013 — Scott Barry Kaufman
Nostalgia and Creativity

Nostalgia and Creativity

Lately I’ve become increasingly nostalgic: Nostalgic of my college years, old friends, and my more carefree days without as many commitments and responsibility.

November 7, 2013 — Scott Barry Kaufman

Talent on the Sidelines: The Widening Gap in Excellence

An alarming report on the current state of excellence in the United States has been released today. The conclusion of the report "Talent on the Sidelines: Excellence Gaps and the Persistence of America's Permanent Talent Underclass" is that the United States is relying on less than half of its talent, with large percentages of our brightest students [...]..

October 22, 2013 — Scott Barry Kaufman

The Need for Belonging in Math and Science

From her earliest memories, Catherine Good was good at math. By second grade she was performing at the fourth grade level, sometimes even helping the teacher grade other students’ work.

October 21, 2013 — Scott Barry Kaufman

The Heritability of Intelligence: Not What You Think

One of the longest standing assumptions about the nature of human intelligence has just been seriously challenged. According to the traditional “investment” theory, intelligence can be classified into two main categories: fluid and crystallized...

October 17, 2013 — Scott Barry Kaufman
New Cognitive Training Study Takes on the Critics

New Cognitive Training Study Takes on the Critics

Brain training: yay or nay? It’s not so simple. Traversing the swamp of studies on cognitive training is bound to give even the boldest explorer a migraine.

October 9, 2013 — Scott Barry Kaufman

The Real Link Between Creativity and Mental Illness

“There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad.”          —Salvador Dali The romantic notion that mental illness and creativity are linked is so prominent in the public consciousness that it is rarely challenged. So before I continue, let me nip this in the bud: Mental illness is neither necessary nor sufficient for creativity...

October 3, 2013 — Scott Barry Kaufman
Why Education Needs More Radioactive Spiders

Why Education Needs More Radioactive Spiders

Education needs more radioactive spiders. Stay with me. Remember Peter Parker? His childhood wasn’t easy. Both of his parents– Richard and Mary– were killed on a mission as double agents...

September 9, 2013 — Scott Barry Kaufman
Why Do You Want to Be Famous?

Why Do You Want to Be Famous?

In 2012, a study found that a desire for fame solely for the sake of being famous was the most popular future goal among a group of 10-12 year olds, overshadowing hopes for financial success, achievement, and a sense of community...

September 4, 2013 — Scott Barry Kaufman
Blurred Lines, Androgyny and Creativity

Blurred Lines, Androgyny and Creativity

“The time is right for Michael Jackson, because American culture has gotten better at handling sex and playing with gender roles. He gives you the sense that you can play with anything– with being a man or a woman, black or white, scared or scary, or some funny combination of all of them.”  –Marshall Berman in All That [...]..

September 1, 2013 — Scott Barry Kaufman
Wanted: America’s Most Inspiring Dreamers

Wanted: America’s Most Inspiring Dreamers

50 years ago today, Martin Luther King inspired a nation with his I Have A Dream Speech. What if Martin Luther King was never allowed to put his revolutionary dream into action, stifled by an educational climate that promotes conformity, efficiency, and standardization?...

August 28, 2013 — Scott Barry Kaufman

23 Signs You're Secretly a Narcissist Masquerading as a Sensitive Introvert

If I see one more listicle about introversion, I’m going to cry. It started out with the fairly reasonable “31 Unmistakable Signs That You’re An Introvert.” Sure, many of the items on the list offered an exaggerated version of introversion, but there were some real gems that had a large grain of truth. Like this one: [...]..

August 26, 2013 — Scott Barry Kaufman
IQ Test Controversies Persist

IQ Test Controversies Persist

What do IQ tests measure? Can intelligence be improved? How should we select students for gifted and talented programs? How well do IQ tests predict success in life?

August 23, 2013 — Scott Barry Kaufman
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