PSYC E-1704 Creativity Research: Eccentrics, Geniuses, and Harvard Students
Human creativity is essential to our ability to survive and thrive as a species. In addition, creativity in the arts enriches and adds breadth to our everyday experiences. Creativity in the sciences has extended our lifespan, made living conditions more comfortable, and opened the worlds of outer space and inner space to our scrutiny and amazement. This course provides an overview of the major theories, modern research, and current issues in the field of creativity. We examine creativity from different levels of analysis, including biological, psychological, and social levels. We use three different approaches in our examinations: first, we examine empirical research; second, we employ the case-study approach to learn from the lives of history's most eminent creative achievers; and finally, we use ourselves as subjects to arrive at valuable insights about the creative process. Some of the topics we cover include the definition and measurement of creativity, the nature of the creative process, the creative personality, the role of family life and culture in creativity, the relationship of creativity to IQ, and the relationship of creativity to psychopathology.