The Dark Side of Creativity

| October 26, 2010

Title: The Dark Side of Creativity

Author: Edited by David H. Cropley, Arthur J. Cropley, James C. Kaufman, Mark A. Runco

Publisher: New York: Cambridge University Press, c. 2010

Check it out: BF408 .D36 2010

From the publisher:

“With few exceptions, scholarship on creativity has focused on its positive aspects while largely ignoring its dark side. This includes not only creativity deliberately aimed at hurting others, such as crime or terrorism, or at gaining unfair advantages but also the accidental negative side effects of well-intentioned acts. This book brings together essays written by experts from various fields (e.g., psychology, criminal justice, sociology, engineering, education, history, and design) and with different interests (e.g., personality development, mental health, deviant behavior, law enforcement, and counterterrorism) to illustrate the nature of negative creativity, examine its variants, call attention to its dangers, and draw conclusions about how to prevent it or protect society from its effects.”

About the editors:

David H. Cropley is Deputy Director of the Defence and Systems Institute at the University of South Australia, where he is also Associate Professor of Engineering Innovation. His interest in creativity and innovation is centered around the role that they play in the design and development of products, processes, systems, and services of a technological nature, for which functionality is as important as form in determining the value of creative solutions. Cropley co-authored the book Fostering Creativity: A Diagnostic Approach for Higher Education and Organizations (2009) with Arthur J. Cropley and has published articles in the Cambridge Journal of Education, the International Journal of Technology and Design Education, the Creativity Research Journal, and the APA journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts.

Arthur J. Cropley is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Hamburg and previously worked at the UNESCO Institute for Education in Hamburg. He is currently a visiting professor of psychology at the University of Latvia. He has published extensively in a wide range of journals and is the author, co-author, or editor of 25 books, which have appeared in a total of 12 languages. He was the founding editor of the European Journal for High Ability (now known as High Ability Studies).

James C. Kaufman is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the California State University at San Bernardino, where he directs the Learning Research Institute. Kaufman is the author or editor of 16 books, including Creativity 101, Essentials of Creativity Assessment (with Jonathan Plucker and John Baer), International Handbook of Creativity (with Robert J. Sternberg), and Applied Intelligence (with Robert J. Sternberg and Elena Grigorenko). He is a founding co-editor of the official journal for the American Psychological Association’s Division 10, Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. He is also the associate editor of Psychological Assessment and the Journal of Creative Behavior, editor of the International Journal of Creativity and Problem Solving, and the series editor of the Psych 101 series.

Mark A. Runco is E. Paul Torrance Professor of Creativity and Gifted Education at the University of Georgia, Athens. He also has taught at the University of Hawaii, Hilo, and California State University, Fullerton. He is a Fellow and Past President of Division 10 of the American Psychological Association and founder of the Creativity Research Journal, of which he remains editorinchief. Runco is currently coediting the second edition of the Encyclopedia of Creativity.

On the web:

“An intriguing intellectual journey into the mad genius and sometimes psychopathically deviant roots of creativity.”
– J. Reid Meloy, University of California, San Diego

“This is one of the most important books on creativity to be published over the last twenty years; its list of editors and contributors stands for high-quality chapters. With the ‘dark side’ illuminated from many different facets, a vastly neglected aspect of creativity has been opened for scholarly discussion. The volume offers an inspiring source and starting point for further research, bringing together a still much broader range of disciplines – since all realms and areas of human thinking and acting owe their benevolent, and malevolent, progress to creative persons, be it scientists, artists, politicians, or engineers, etc. Deep insights and knowledge about the ‘dark side of creativity’ as provided here may help to generally develop more responsibility and more wisdom in dealing with creative motives, actions, processes, and products in the interest of a more humane human cultural evolution.”
– Klaus K. Urban, Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany