Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Creativity metaphor: opening a door.

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced: chick sent me high), the author of the Flow theory, talks in a TED lecture about creativity.

Among other things mentions a poet's description of a pre-breakthrough moment:

It's like opening a door that's floating in the middle of nowhere and all you have to do is go and turn the hand and open it and let yourself sink into it. You can't particularly force yourself through it. You just have to foat. If there's any gravitational pull, it's from the outside world trying to keep you back from the door.

He also mentions that Einstein described a similar experience.

I can probably design a creativity exercise along these lines to invoke the "open door" effect explicitly. It would be much better than asking students or invention workshop participants to think outside of the box.

tags: creativity, course, psychology, stanford, book

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