April 18, 2012
In one of the final semesters of my undergrad experience I enrolled in The Psychology of Creativity, to formally study one of my favorite subjects. The course presented dominant theories about creativity (and there are many!) and delved into the latest research in the field. It was then that I was introduced to the term “functional fixedness” and began to consider the implications of “associative hierarchy”. While this may sound dry to some, I must admit I was never more happy to geek out to the material in an undergrad course. (Though I stopped just short of wearing a t-shirt bearing the words, “How flat is your associative hierarchy?” )
That said, it should come as little surprise when I say that I was quite eager to read Jonah Lehrer’s new book Imagine: How Creativity Works. For weeks before its release I read every article and excerpt that was circulating. More than one friend contacted me to let me know they had just heard an interview on NPR…about a book…that I would probably love. Yes, I said, it’s on my list.
Now that I’ve finished the book I am appreciative to Lehrer for writing it. While I have some questions about specific material that did not make the book, overall I found it to be a very worthwhile read. A good deal of the research that is cited by Lehrer was also included in my readings as an undergrad. But, in addition, Lehrer weaves in some very memorable anecdotes about creativity. One of my many favorites was a remark by a young student enrolled at NOCCA.
If you have even a passing interest in the subject of creativity you will likely enjoy the book. And, if not, Lehrer’s very readable, Imagine, may raise your interest just a bit.
On Tuesday, April 24th from 8-9pm EST Lehrer’s book will be the focus of a book chat on Twitter, using the hashtag #creativereads. Feel free to drop in during that hour to share your thoughts!
© 2012 Kira Campo