Creativity is a Decision
Title:Creativity is a Decision
Robert J. Sternberg, Ph.D.
Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences
February 9, 2010
Auditorium, Annenberg Presidential Conference Center
Texas A&M University
About the Speaker
Dr. Robert J. Sternberg earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University. He is currently the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, professor of psychology, and adjunct professor of education at Tufts University. He is also honorary professor of psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany. The central focus of his research is on intelligence, creativity, and wisdom, and he also has studied love and close relationships as well as hate. This research has been conducted in five different continents.
Prior to accepting his positions at Tufts, he was IBM Professor of Psychology and Education in the Department of Psychology, professor of management in the School of Management, and director of the Center for the Psychology of Abilities, Competencies, and Expertise at Yale. This Center, now relocated to Tufts, is dedicated to the advancement of theory, research, practice, and policy advancing the notion of intelligence as developing expertise--as a construct that is modifiable and capable, to some extent, of development throughout the life span. The Center seeks to have an impact on science, on education, and on society. Dr. Sternberg was the 2003 President of the American Psychological Association and is the 2006–2007 President of the Eastern Psychological Association. He is President-Elect of the International Association for Cognitive Education and Psychology. He was on the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association (2002–2004) and on the Board of Trustees of the APA Insurance Trust (2004) and of the American Psychological Foundation (2005–2007). He is on the Board of Directors of the Eastern Psychological Association (2005–2008) and of the American Association of Colleges and Universities (2007–2009). He is also Chair of the Publications Committee of the American Educational Research Association. Dr. Sternberg is the author of about 1,200 journal articles, book chapters, and books, and has received over $20 million in government and other grants and contracts for his research.
In this lecture, Dr. Sternberg will argue that creativity is, in large part, a decision. It is not some inborn trait, nor some skill possessed only by gifted individuals. Everyone has the potential to be creative. The goal of the talk will be to describe the specific decisions people make to be creative. Thus, those who attend can expect to have concrete tips on how they can enhance their creativity. The basic notion underlying the talk is that creative people are like good investors. Metaphorically, they buy low and sell high in the world of ideas. However, most people choose not to do so because of societal and other pressures. Sternberg will describe the theory underlying the basic ideas as well as data he has collected to test the theory, especially as it applies to college admissions and instruction and assessment at all levels of schooling. Although continual changes in the world make creativity more important to society than ever, schools seem not adequately to emphasize its development, relative to its importance.
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