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Block Quotes: Advice From Great Writers About Kicking Writer’s Block

A catalog of cures for writers in crisis.



Making Art Boosts Seniors’ Psychological Resilience

German researchers report positive changes in the brains of recent retirees who learned how to create visual art.

The Worst Week


What Is the Worst Thing You’ve Ever Made?

Jen Doll speaks to a bunch of different creative types about what they’ve all learned from being bad at what they now do well.



For Some, Worry Inspires Creativity

In a new study, neurotic people did better on a creativity task after thinking about a worrisome incident.



Are Artists Created in the (Testosterone-Rich) Womb?

New research suggests artists may begin their journey toward creative achievement before they are born.



Literally Touching Greatness Can Increase Your Creativity

New research finds one type of “magical thinking”—the belief that ability can be transferred through touch—can actually work for some people.



High School Music Classes Remain Popular, but Hispanics Lag Behind

New research finds that, contrary to fears, the No Child Left Behind act had little impact on enrollment in music courses.



Leisure-Time Creative Endeavors Make for Better Employees

New research finds a link between off-hours creative activity and several measures of job performance.

This Is Your Brain


The Myth of the Artist’s Creative Routine

For all the interest in the habits of highly creative people, there’s not much to learn from Don DeLillo’s manual typewriter or Maya Angelou’s mid-day showers.

Quick Studies

Figure skater Fontana from Italy performs during the "2010 All That Skate Summer" ice show in Goyang

Can You Learn to Judge Creativity?

A new study suggests that, with training, amateurs can judge the level of creativity of artwork much like experts would. But is expert opinion always correct?



Dishonesty Can Foster Creativity

New research finds people who cheat subsequently perform better on tests measuring creative thinking.

The Big Screen


There’s Nothing Subversive or Anti-Business About ‘The Lego Movie’

More than just a set of plastic bricks, Lego has positioned itself as the perfect toy brand by working to inspire nostalgia, creativity, and wonder. And the hottest film of the year to-date is a celebration of that.



Not-So-Tortured Artists: Creativity Breeds Happiness

New research finds college students are happier than usual when they are engaging in creative activities.

A Conversation With


How Do You Make a Living, Creative Person?

Welcome to a new series in which we talk to creative people—artists, artisans, musicians, authors, entertainers—about making a living. Email us if you’d like to participate. First up: Jeff Deegan.

You Don't Know America


Which of the U.S.’s 3 Distinct Psychological Regions Best Suits You?

An analysis of state-level data confirms some things you already know—basically everyone in the Midwest is friendly and conventional—but also suggests ways to use our psychological characteristics to spur economic development.

Burgh Diaspora


Urban Minor Leagues of Globalization

Manufacturing used to be concentrated in a few great American cities, but the landscape is changing fast.



Creative Urban Spaces Don’t Promote Innovation

No, cities are powered by the exploitation of ambition.



When Do Great Artists Hit Peak Creativity?

New research suggests it occurs just a bit before they hit the two-thirds mark of their lives.

Culture Essays


Rise of the Robot Artist

Everyone knows computers are good at processing information and humans are good at creativity. What if it’s the other way around?



What Kills Creativity?

Many American writers fear that standardized testing could be destroying our children. They might be right.



Abuse Inspires Creativity, You Moron!

New research from Korea finds a link between workplace creativity and having an abusive supervisor.



Narcissism Breeds Belief in One’s Own Creativity

British researchers report narcissists are more likely than most to engage in creative activities.



Can a Messy Desk Make You More Creative?

New research finds working in a disorderly environment can lead to greater creativity—but that clutter isn’t without its downsides.



The Muse: True Inspiration or Total Nonsense?

Your muse might actually be real, but it doesn’t descend from the heavens. Instead, it’s sitting inside your skull.



Turning Repressed Emotions Into Great Art

A new study finds repressed feelings can spur creativity—for some. It depends on your religious and cultural upbringing.

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Don’t Text and Drive—Especially If You’re Old

A new study shows that texting while driving becomes even more dangerous with age.

Apparently You Can Bring Your Religion to Work

New research says offices that encourage talk of religion actually make for happier workplaces.

Canadian Kids Have a Serious Smoking Problem

Bootleg cigarette sales could be leading Canadian teens to more serious drugs, a recent study finds.

The Hidden Psychology of the Home Ref

That old myth of home field bias isn’t a myth at all; it’s a statistical fact.

The Big One

One in two United States senators and two in five House members who left office between 1998 and 2004 became lobbyists. November/December 2014

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