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Beautiful Minds

Beautiful Minds

Insights into intelligence, creativity, personality, and well-being

Robin Williams's Comedic Genius Was Not a Result of Mental Illness, but His Suicide Was

Of course, the media is writing a lot today about the link between mental illness and creativity in light of Robin Williams' suicide. Here's the thing: Williams' comedic genius was a result of many factors, including his compassion, playfulness, divergent thinking, imagination, intelligence, affective repertoire, and unique life experiences...

August 12, 2014 — Scott Barry Kaufman

What predicts NBA success?

“To an outsider watching Pop Herring’s basketball tryout in November 1978, it would not have been obvious that the gym at Laney High in Wilmington, N.C., held a player destined to become the greatest in the universe...

August 5, 2014 — Scott Barry Kaufman

Practice Alone Does Not Make Perfect, Studies Find

When I was a little kid, my mom and grandmom were having a heated argument in the front of the car. At one point I interrupted them, and with exasperation said: “You know, Mom, Grandmom is really right.” Then I turned to my grandmom and said, “I think my Mom is right too.” They were shocked, because [...]..

July 15, 2014 — Scott Barry Kaufman

Introducing… The Imagination Institute!

One of humanity’s most precious resources is imagination. Our ability to overcome the constraints of the present environment and travel to distant places and hopeful futures all in the mind is a skill that is hugely neglected in today’s society...

July 1, 2014 — Scott Barry Kaufman

The Controlled Chaos of Creativity

Fifty years ago, Sarnoff Mednick defined the process of creative thinking as "the forming of associative elements into new combinations which either meet specific requirements or are in some way useful...

June 25, 2014 — 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

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