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Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention Paperback – May 9 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1 edition (May 9 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060928204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060928209
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 381 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #110,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
This book is about creativity, based on histories of contempo rar people who know about it firsthand. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C2sRUX on Feb. 11 2004
Format: Paperback
Dostoevsky said, man needs "Mystery, Miracle, and Authority." This book demystifies the concept of creativity.
Humans want to put labels on people who put out the best ideas, but, what these people do differently than other people can mostly be attributed to habit.
Based off of the universally accepted Hierarchy of Needs by Maslow the author says in order to get to the highest level (self-actualization) where real creativity takes place it is important to not have your limited attention-span concerned with other things.
Here's a brief but effective example:
You're looking for your keys. You're looking for your keys anywhere you can POSSIBLY imagine. Underneath the cushions, in your jean pockets, in drawers, EVERYWHERE, you CAN'T find them and all you can think about is finding them. Bingo. The author argues that this type of psychic thievery is what prevents us from being creative. Since we need to take care of a baser need, we have no time to find ways to solve more enhanced problems.
This book, in the author's opinion, should be taken as a sequal to the "cult" hit FLOW. Unforunately FLOW I think became too much of a hit to be taken as seriously as it should have been. Although a chapter is devoted to FLOW and the concepts, it is necessary to know the nature of work before advancing into a scheduled routine. I recommend reading FLOW before tackling this work.
I must emphasize just how amazing Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is. He will truly be regarded as one of the greatest minds of this time and most certainly the greatest psychologist of the time. His profound knowledge in so many areas is just incredible as well as backing up everything he says with examples AND action.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Stackhouse on Aug. 30 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is one of the top 10 books I recommend, year in and year out, to students, writers, fellow scholars, performers, business innovators, pastors, musicians--anyone who is serious about being creative. I have returned to it frequently for inspiration, new ideas, and perhaps especially for PERMISSION to be odd, to live life differently in order to make the most of what gifts I have. For anyone undertaking serious vocational discernment, and especially along unusual paths in which it is largely up to you what projects you'll take on and how you'll handle them--this is a book that coruscates with suggestive and motivating ideas.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Brilliant premise and idea. Starts off well and gets into very useful and thought provoking fields…then seems to run out of clarity and structure and becomes lost in its own complexity. Sadly the notion of creativity seems mainly explored within the sciences…chemistry and physics. The arts are touched on here and there… visual arts are sorely neglected. There is little mention of film or motion picture as creative field. It would have been a better book if the structure didnt unravel after the first third of the book. It would also be a far more interesting book if more creative people from other very creative fields were included. I was disappointed. It had great promise.
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Format: Paperback
Csikszentmihalyi is in the "flow" in writing this book on creativity as he elucidates his subject in an inspirational way. He approaches his topic from a systems paradigm. Individuals create, but they do so within the context of a system. He also describes the "child like" wonder of creative contributors. He reminds readers that symbols in the office of past successes such as diplomas, awards, photos, reinforce the idea that valid contributors have been made before and can be made again. Regardless of one's arena, something about the process of creativity can be learned from the pages of this book.
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Format: Paperback
AN INTERESTING, IMPORTANT SUBJECT
When you think about it, creativity is a key driver for personal fulfillment and world events- yet most people's understanding consists merely of stereotypes, assumptions, and clichés. There is a lot to know about creativity: what it is (and how it differs from talent and brilliance), conditions that encourage its emergence, creative people's complex personality traits, and what a creative experience looks and feels like. I would not rate 'Creativity' as high as Csikszentmihalyi's 'Flow'- which is an even more important concept to understand- yet it is certainly an informative, well-written, and recommended book.
BOOK IN A NUTSHELL
Research in psychology has traditionally learned about healthy individuals by focusing on pathological cases; this study examines the other end of the continuum- looking at extraordinary people to find out what might be missing from our lives. Trends in the personal histories and habits are taken from interviews with 91 leading contributors (Noble Prize winners, world renown artists, etc.) who have created or dominated their fields. Mainstream creative people (e.g. most creative person in an office or community) and uncreative people are not really discussed in the book- although the insights gained from the interviews may be applicable. Part 3 was not as strong as the rest of the book: the in-depth illustrations of the creative process were somewhat redundant, and some sections (Ch. 12 & 13) seemed to drift into assumptions of political philosophies.
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