Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation

Sawyer, R. Keith

In the last 50 years, psychologists, anthropologists, and sociologists have increasingly turned to studying creativity, so we now know more about it than ever before. However, until about a decade ago, creativity researchers focused only on highly valued activities, such as creating masterpieces in art and making highly significant discoveries in science. In Explaining Creativity, R. Keith Sawyer extends the study of creativity by examining not only these endeavors, but also movies, music videos, cartoons, video games, hypertext fiction, stage performance, business innovation, and advances in computer technology. Sawyer uses the sociocultural approach to creativity that was pioneered by Howard Becker, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and Howard Gardner, allowing him to move beyond the individual to consider the social process. Taking into account the interdisciplinary nature of creativity, Sawyer integrates psychological data with anthropological research on creativity in non-Western cultures and sociological studies on the situations, contexts, and networks of creative activity. For more information, see www.explainingcreativity.com.

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