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Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation Paperback – January 19, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0195304459 ISBN-10: 0195304454 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (January 19, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195304454
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195304459
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #897,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Sawyer has put together a mountain of research from a variety of fields to create a unified approach to understanding how people manage to do something different. His book is readable and learned, origninal, but mindful of its relation to all that other work, and well worth the attention of anyone who wants to think seriously about innovation in the arts and in social organizations."--Howard S. Becker, author of Art World, Tricks of the Trade and Outsiders


"An extremely knowledgable, wide-ranging, integrative summary of how the social sciences understand creativity. Keith Sawyer has again produced an intelligent and valuable contribution to knowledge. This is a volume that any scholar or lay-person interested in what creativity entails will want to have."--Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Director, Quality of Life Research Center and C.S. and D.J. Davidson, Professor, Peter F. Drucker School of Management, Claremont Graduate University


"With the publication of Explaining Creativity, Keith Sawyer has emerged as the leading young scholar and proponent of a sociocultural approach to the study of creativity. And with his remarkable grasp of this young field, Professor Sawyer has written the most comprehensive and compelling work on creativity studies in years."--David Henry Feldman, Professor, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development, Tufts University, and co-author of Changing the World


"Without doubt Explaining Creativity is the most comprehensive single-volume presentation of what we know about the creative process, person, and product. Besides that, the book is extremely well written. It would be my first recommendation for anyone fascinated with creativity in all of its complexities and manifestations. There's simply nothing better out there for either specialist or general reader."--Dean Keith Simonton, Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, and author of Origins of Genius


--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

R. Keith Sawyer is Associate Professor of Education at Washington University. He is the author of many books on creativity, including Improvised Dialogues, Creating Conversations, and Group Creativity.

More About the Author

Dr. Keith Sawyer is one of the world's leading scientific experts on creativity, innovation, and learning. In his first job after graduating from MIT, he designed videogames for Atari. He then worked for 6 years as a management consultant in Boston and New York, advising large corporations on the strategic use of information technology. He's been a jazz pianist for over 30 years, and performed with several improv theater groups in Chicago, as part of his research into jazz and improvisational theater.

In addition to ZIG ZAG, his books include GROUP GENIUS and EXPLAINING CREATIVITY, and he has published over 80 scientific articles.

Dr. Sawyer is the Morgan Distinguished Professor in Educational Innovations at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Customer Reviews

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Interesting findings from much research over the years.
F. Green
This book explores how the idea of creativity has evolved from the Individualist approach to the Contextualist approach with supporting research.
J. Patterson
I also recommend the Handbook of Creativity, that is a collection of articles on creativity.
Paulo Waisberg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Explaining Creativity" is one of the best introductions to the science of creativity. It develops a perspective on creativity---an approach known as the sociocultural model---and applies it to a striking range of areas. This sophisticated book requires an open mind. Readers looking for a treatise on the "healing power of the creative spirit" and related pop-psyc pseudoscience will not enjoy "Explaining Creativity," but readers curious to know scientific facts about creativity and innovation will get a lot out of it.

For a different perspective, see Robert Weisberg's fine book "Creativity."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Patterson on November 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have rarely seen a text that focuses on creativity from a scientific perspective. Typically, I have heard of creativity as merely being a measure of how creative others within vicinity of your work think you are. While this may still seem true in the whole of society, rest assured that it is only seeming.

This book explores how the idea of creativity has evolved from the Individualist approach to the Contextualist approach with supporting research. In a society where Individualism is endemic, I feel it becomes even more important to understand how effective collaboration can bring about innovation as well as how our social environment in turn effects our generation of ideas.

I do not recommend this text for those with only a practitioners interest in the subject of bringing about innovation, however. (although there is a short section relevant to implementation)
This text focuses more on the theoretical aspects of creativity and innovation that have came about historically as well as recently.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By F. Green on March 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
An excellent overview of creativity research. Approachable for both layman and researcher. Interesting findings from much research over the years. An important piece in the perspectives on creativity.
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By D. Brennan on September 10, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was so boring! For a book about creativity, the writing was the least creative thing I've read in recent memory. The book is structured like that done by some person who just learned how to write an argumentative essay. There's too much structure that the arguments the author makes become so annoyingly redundant. I'm amazed with myself for making it through the whole book, when I could have learned the main point of the book from the first chapter. The rest of the book gave no interesting insights or enlightenment to me. The book could have been so interesting, which is why I bought it, but it did not turn out that way at all. The best part of the book to me was the comments writen in the book by the previous owner trying to justify their own creativity.
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