Jonah Lehrer recalls seeing “sad” surveys of school kids showing that they consider themselves less and less creative as they get older. The result? His recent and now controversial book, Imagine: How Creativity Works. Watch University of Southern California visiting scholar John Seely Brown interview author Jonah Lehrer on his new book, plus why he believes everyone is creative:
“I wanted to convey the fact that the science comes with an optimistic message,” Lehrer said of the impetus behind his book. “The science suggests that creativity is a universal trait – the human mind is a connection machine, we can’t help but imagine new things. It doesn’t mean we’re all equally good at it, of course. Just because you think you’re not [creative], just because you’re not the creative type, doesn’t mean you can’t come up with a creative idea.”
Lehrer is currently working on a project focusing on a new character trait, “grit,” which is about single-mindedness and stubbornness and persistence.
“This is a trait you see in spades in very successful creative people,” he says. “Because to come up with a new idea in the 21st century, it’s never going to be easy. If it looks easy, it’s only because they worked so hard.”
genConnect is credentialed press at the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colo., where we are interviewing the premier speakers and attendees at the conference. For more of our video interviews and articles from the Ideas Festival, click here.
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