(p. D3) “Insightful problem solving can’t be boiled down to any single way of thinking,” the authors say. Creative people have messy processes, and often messy minds, full of contradictions.
Contrary to the well-worn notion that creativity resides in the right side of the brain, research shows that creativity is a product of the whole brain, relying especially on what the authors call the “imagination network” — circuits devoted to tasks like making personal meaning, creating mental simulations and taking perspective.
While creative people run the gamut of personalities, Dr. Kaufman’s research has shown that openness to experience is more highly correlated to creative output than I.Q., divergent thinking or any other personality trait. This openness often yields a drive for exploration, which “may be the single most important personal factor predicting creative achievement,” the authors write.
These are people energized and motivated by the possibility of discovering new information: “It’s the thrill of the knowledge chase that most excites them.”
Once the idea is found, alas, the creative process begins to resemble something more like grinding execution. It’s still creative, but it requires more focus and less daydreaming — one reason highly creative people tend to exhibit mindfulness and mental wandering.
“Creativity is a process that reflects our fundamentally chaotic and multifaceted nature,” the authors write. “It is both deliberate and uncontrollable, mindful and mindless, work and play.”
For the full review, see:
CHRISTIE ASCHWANDEN. “Books; The Blessed Mess of Creativity.” The New York Times (Tues., FEB. 9, 2016): D3.
(Note: the online version of the review has the date FEB. 8, 2016, and has the title “Books; Review: ‘Wired to Create’ Shows the Science of a Messy Process.”)
The book under review, is:
Kaufman, Scott Barry, and Carolyn Gregoire. Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind. New York: TarcherPerigee, 2015.