How to Be Creative – eBook

PsyBlog's new ebook, How to Be Creative, explains six key principles of the psychology of innovation to help you be more creative.

If we can all be creative, why is it so hard to come up with truly original ideas?

It's because creativity is mysterious. Just ask any scientist, artist, writer or other highly creative person to explain how they come up with brilliant ideas and, if they're honest, they don't really know.

But over the decades psychologists have given ordinary participants countless tests, forms and tasks and conducted hundreds of hours of interviews. From these emerge the psychological conditions of creativity.

Not what you should do, but how you should be.

Six scientific principles of creativity

In the scientific literature six principles of creativity recur again and again:

  1. Knowledge - explores the dangers of expertise.
  2. Problem construction - how creative problems should be approached.
  3. Emotion - explains which types of emotions are most creative.
  4. Combining concepts - why the raw materials are already out there.
  5. Abstraction - how to see your creative problem more clearly.
  6. The wandering mind - reveals how to think flexibly.

Each are explained with examples from the research and are directly applicable to everyday creativity.