126: Creativity from Constraints

Today I’m delighted to speak with Patricia Stokes, an adjunct professor at Barnard College who studies problem solving and creativity/innovation. Stokes is author of the book Creativity from Constraints: The Psychology of Breakthrough, which was informed by her psychological research as well as her background in art and advertising. In this episode, we cover: – How Patricia went from art and advertising to creativity researcher – The importance of constraints and variability for creativity – How constraints can promote or preclude creativity – Using constraints to solve the “creativity problem” – How “the solution path defines the goal state” – The four major constraints on creativity – How teachers and parents should praise children for optimal creativity – How to reward the courage to be novel – The importance of constraints in fashion and literature – How to explain Lady Gaga’s creativity

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