Creativity

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I am reading "Creativity" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pron "cheeks-sent-me-hi"). It is an excellent book, based on interviews with 91 creative people, on how people manage to be creative. These are really sharp people, all of them have pretty full on views. Highly recommended for anyone wondering how to tackle a PhD or honours thesis.

One thing that comes up several times in the book is that creative people have to be both emotive and critical, intuitive and rational, naive and honest. Creativity is not just coming up with ideas, but also being able to pick the good ones. To put it in terms of my own pet theory, creativity requires a bit of cat and a bit of dog.

So I am wondering: Cat and dog is essentially a structure for finding good ideas. The two roles seem to be different cognitive modes, which when combined produce better ideas than either alone. Are there these two aspects in everyone, as distinct entities in their own right? A creative individual might be someone in which both these aspect are strong -- the bandwidth between different parts of the brain is much higher than between two people, so they could churn through ideas much faster.

An obvious mapping is that the left hemisphere of the brain plays the dog and the right plays the cat. This fits with the left hemisphere being rational and deductive, and the right being intuitive, emotional and spatial. Prediction: brain imaging will show that before any action, the right hemisphere activates first, then the left.

Anyway, read book. Is good for you.




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