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Beautiful Minds

Beautiful Minds

Insights into intelligence, creativity, and the mind

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

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

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Beautiful MindsInsights into intelligence, creativity, and the mind

Beyond XX and XY

Biology. Identity. Equality.