Below are abstracts for most publications. These are provided for two reasons.
First, because of the interdisciplinary nature of my research program, no abstract service covers all journals in which I publish.
Second, abstract services too often provide abbreviated, misleading, or erroneous versions of the original published abstracts. With respect to publication #3, for instance, PsycINFO, begins “Using 38 paid college students” when the sample actually consisted of 40 student volunteer participants! Or regarding #43, PsycINFO specifies an “inverted backward-U function” when the original publication correctly says “inverted backward J function” (how can a U function be backward anyway?).
Of course, it is also more convenient to have all of the abstracts in one place, especially from the perspective of internet searches.
1. Simonton, D. K. (1974). The social psychology of creativity: An archival data analysis. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
2. Simonton, D. K. (1975a). Age and literary creativity: A cross-cultural and transhistorical survey. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 6, 259-277.
Research on the relation between age and creative achievement could be improved by using (a) cross-cultural and transhistorical data and (b) multivariate rather than bivariate analyses. A sample of 420 literary creators was drawn from histories, anthologies, and biographical dictionaries of Western, Near Eastern, and Far Eastern literatures. The modal productive age was then regressed on field and civilization categorical variables, longevity, time, and eminence control variables, and a number of interaction terms. Results confirmed that (a) poetry is produced at a younger age than prose (but failed to find any age difference between informative and imaginative prose), (b) achieved eminence and life span are positive determinants of the modal productive age, and (c) these relationships are cross-culturally and transhistorically invariant.
3. Simonton, D. K. (1975b). Creativity, task complexity, and intuitive versus analytical problem solving. Psychological Reports, 37, 351-354.
Using 40 Ss the relative effectiveness of intuitive and analytical problem solving was determined as a function of creativity and task complexity. A three-way analysis of variance yielded a significant three-way interaction between thinking mode (intuition or analysis), task complexity, and creativity (as measured by the Baron-Welsh Art Scale). More creative Ss found intuition more effective for a complex task, analysis on the simple task; this relation was reversed for the less creative S
4. Simonton, D. K. (1975c). Galton’s problem, autocorrelation, and diffusion coefficients. Behavior Science Research, 10, 239-248.
The linked pair solution to Galton’s problem is examined from the perspective of the autocorrelation problem in economics. The estimated degrees of freedom, but not the correlations, are shown to be inflated due to diffusional and historical associations. An alternative form of the linked pair method is derived from the Orcutt-James solution to the autocorrelation problem. This technique permits unrestricted sampling of societies along a diffusion or geographic arc, and then provides a formula for calculating the effective number of nonredundant cases for statistical tests. The advantages and disadvantages of the method are discussed.
5. Simonton, D. K. (1975d). Interdisciplinary creativity over historical time: A correlational analysis of generational fluctuations. Social Behavior and Personality, 3, 181-188.
The interdisciplinary relationships among 15 kinds of creative achievement were examined over 130 generations of European history (controlling for linear, quadratic, and cubic time trends). A P-technique factor analysis located three major interdisciplinary clusters: (a) discursive (science, philosophy, literature, and music), (b) presentational (painting, sculpture, and architecture), and (c) rationalism-mysticism (physical science and general philosophy vs religion and painting). A cross-lagged correlation analysis indicated that minor discursive creators tended to inhibit the development of minor presentational creators in the next generation. Personological, interpersonal, and sociocultural explanations for the findings are discussed.
6. Simonton, D. K. (1975e). Invention and discovery among the sciences: A p-technique factor analysis. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 7, 275-281.
This paper explors how discoveries and inventions in nine scientific disciplines cluster over time in Western culture. The transhistorical sample consisted of 12,761 major scientific contributions tabulated into 44 time-units (full, half, and quarter centuries) extending from 800 B.C. to 1900 A.D. A factor analysis was executed on the correlations among the nine measures after partialing out 3rd-order polynomial time trends. Three orthogonal factors appeared: concrete (chemistry, physics, and biology), abstract (astronomy and mathematics), and applied (technology, geography, and geology) clusters. Medicine loaded moderately on the concrete and abstract clusters. Three types of explanations are discussed – personological, interpersonal, and sociocultural – with suggestions for how they might be tested.
7. Simonton, D. K. (1975f). Sociocultural context of individual creativity: A transhistorical time-series analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 32, 1119-1133.
Hypotheses hypotheses were stated which specify individual creativity as a function of developmental and productive period variables. It was argued that these hypotheses could be better tested by examining generational fluctuations in creativity. Information from cultural and political archival sources was thus aggregated to form time series spanning 127 generations of European history. Data quality checks, control variables, data transformations, time-lagged comparisons, and trend analyses were used to improve the validity of the causal inferences. While the results varied according to the type of creativity (discursive or presentational) and the degree of achieved eminence, creative development was found to be affected by (a) role model availability, (b) political fragmentation, (c) imperial instability, and (d) political instability.
8. Simonton, D. K. (1976a). Biographical determinants of achieved eminence: A multivariate approach to the Cox data. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 33, 218-226.
Ranked eminence of creators and leaders was hypothesized to be a function of both substantive (developmental and productive) variables and methodological artifacts. Results indicate that ranked eminence is (a) a curvilinear inverted-U function of education for creators but a negative linear function for leaders, (b) a positive linear functions of versatility for leaders only, and (c) a curvilinear U-shaped function of life span for creators but a “backwards-J” function for leaders. Although creators were more intelligent than leaders, the correlation that Cox found between intelligence and ranked eminence was shown to be an artifact of data reliability and especially, a time-wise sampling bias. It was also shown that father’s status had no direct impact on ranked eminence.
9. Simonton, D. K. (1976b). The causal relation between war and scientific discovery: An exploratory cross-national analysis. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 7, 133-144.
Using cross-lagged correlation analyses as the basis for causal inferece, the relationship between war and scientific discovery and invention was explored in seven European nations. Measures of war duration and scientific productivity were generated using 14 or 16 quarter-century periods, or “generations,” as the unit of analysis within each nation. The analyses indicated significant associations for England and Russia (war encouraging science in the next generation), Spain (war discouraging science in the next generation), Holland (science discouraging war in the next generation), and France (war and science correlating positively in the same generation), whereas Germany and Italy exhibited no significant relationships. Discussion of the causal inconsistencies led to the suggestion that future research separately analyze different scientific disciplines and their respective relations to various categories of war.
10. Simonton, D. K. (1976c). Do Sorokin’s data support his theory?: A study of generational fluctuations in philosophical beliefs. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 15, 187-198.
The question was raised regarding the empirical support for Sorokin’s cyclical theory of philosophical, religious, and scientific movements. Transhistorical measures of creativity and philosophical beliefs were used which spanned 122 generations (or 20-year periods) from 540 B.C. to 1900 A.D. in Western history. An analysis of non-transformed and first-differenced data indicated that (a) philosophical beliefs form two positively correlated Sensate and Ideational clusters, (b) Sensate times are associated with scientific creativity and Ideational times with religious activity, and (c) these relationships hold solely for immediate generational fluctuations since the time-wise trends for Sensate and Ideational systems are the same. An alternative explanation was proposed which may better fit the data but which casts doubt on Sorokin’s forecast of a new Ideational age of religious activity.
11. Simonton, D. K. (1976d). Ideological diversity and creativity: A re-evaluation of a hypothesis. SocialBehavior and Personality, 4, 203-207.
Using political fragmentation and imperial instability as indicators, an earlier study attempted to show that cultural diversity has a positive influence on personal creative development. This paper re-examines that hypothesis by first introducing ideological diversity as a more direct indicator and then testing for relationships using cross-lagged correlation analysis. With data extending over 122 generations (20-year periods) of Western history, it was found that: (1) political fragmentation, imperial instability, and ideological diversity all correlate with creativity, but the first indicator has no contemporaneous relationship with the last two; (2) none of the cross-lagged correlations between the three cultural diversity indicators and creativity were statistically significant, and hence they may not be developmental influences; and (3) political fragmentation has a significant impact on the emergence of ideological diversity in the next generation. The inference is that the original hypothesis is probably oversimplified.
12. Simonton, D. K. (1976e). Interdisciplinary and military determinants of scientific productivity: A cross-lagged correlation analysis. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 9, 53-62.
This paper explores the contemporaneous and intergenerational relationships among various scientific endeavors and military activity. Using European historical data from 1500 to 1900 A.D., generational (or 25-year) fluctuations were examined for nine categories of scientific discovery and invention and for two aspects of military activity. A cross-lagged correlational analysis indicated that (a) casualties (but not war duration) has a significant negative contemporaneous association with medical discoveries, (b) several scientific disciplines display positive intergenerational influences (e.g., medicine, geology, and chemistry on biology), and (c) astronomy exhibits a negative intergenerational impact on technology, medicine, biology, and geology. Findings are discussed in terms of both stimulating interdisciplinary information exchanges and inhibitory competitive recruitment.
13. Simonton, D. K. (1976f). Philosophical eminence, beliefs, and zeitgeist: An individual-generational analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 34, 630-640.
Twelve hypotheses were proposed that specify the eminence of thinkers to be a function of belief structure, zeitgeist relationships, and sociocultural and political variables. An archival research design was introduced that simultaneously tests individual and generational factors. The sample consisted of 2,012 thinkers from Occidental civilization spanning 124 generations from 580 B.C. to 1900 A.D. The dependent variable was derived from a factor analysis of 10 distinct measures. A multiple-regression analysis indicated that philosophical eminence is a function of (a) breadth, extremism, and consistency of belief structure; (b) zeitgeist representativeness, precursiveness, and modernity; (c) role model availability (but not ideological diversity); (d) political fragmentation and political instability (but neither imperial instability nor war intensity); and (e) historical proximity to the present. Implications of the results and design for further research are briefly discussed.
14. Simonton, D. K. (1976g). The sociopolitical context of philosophical beliefs: A transhistorical causal analysis. Social Forces, 54, 513-523.
This paper applies a quasi-experimental design to the problem of the causal relation between intellectual and political movements. A sample of 122 consecutive “generations” (or 20-year periods) was drawn from European history (540 B.C. to 1900 A.D.). A cross-lagged correlation analysis indicated the following intergenerational influences: (1) political fragmentation has a positive impact on the emergence of empiricism, skepticism-criticism-fideism, materialism, temporalism, nominalism, singularism, and the ethics of happiness; (2) war has a negative impact on the appearance of most of these just mentioned beliefs; (3) skepticism-criticism-fideism and perhaps materialism have a positive influence on the appearance of war; and (4) civil disturbances tend to polarize beliefs on all major philosophical issues.
15. Simonton, D. K. (1977a). Creative productivity, age, and stress: A biographical time-series analysis of 10 classical composers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 35, 791-804.
The determinants of creative productivity were specified in the form of six hypotheses. Using a multivariate, cross-sectional, time-series design with several controls, the lives and works of 10 classical composers were analyzed into consecutive 5-year periods. Two independent measures of productivity were operationalized (works and themes), with each measure subdivided into major and minor compositions according to a citation criterion. It was consistently found across both productivity measures that (a) quality of productivity was a probabilistic consequence of productive quantity and (b) total productivity, while affected by age and physical illness, was otherwise free of external influences (viz, social reinforcement, biographical stress, war intensity, and internal disturbances). Due to the more selective nature of the thematic productivity measure, the criterion of total themes alone was affected by competition and a time-wise bias. The article closes with a brief discussion of the broad subtantive utility of the methodological design.
16. Simonton, D. K. (1977b). Cross-sectional time-series experiments: Some suggested statistical analyses. Psychological Bulletin, 84, 489-502.
In the past, statistical analyses for time-series experiments have usually operated with a single-case model, thereby limiting the general applicability of the designs. In this article, alternative analytical procedures are developed for cross-sectional time-series in which the sample size is large and the number of observations per case is relatively small. Interrupted time series, equivalent time samples, and multiple time series are all treated within a multiple regression framework. A generalized least squares estimation procedure is outlined as a more suitable alternative to the Box and Jenkins approach. Some of the special advantages of the designs are briefly discussed.
17. Simonton, D. K. (1977c). Eminence, creativity, and geographic marginality: A recursive structural equation model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 35, 805-816.
A recursive structural equation model that specifies the individual and generational causes – both direct and indirect – of achieved eminence was hypothesized. Although the model can be applied to any creative discipline, it was specifically tested on 696 of the most famous composers in Western classical music. The detection of several significant specification errors in the postulated model necessitated its respecification until a final model emerged. The resulting seven-equation model describes the complex causal network interrelating eminence, creative productivity, creative longevity, life span, creative precociousness, geographic marginality, role-model availability, and birth year. Although the structural model awaits further confirmation on samples of famous creators in other disciplines, the present model is seen as exemplifying a general procedure of causal analysis just recently introduced into personality and social psychology.
18. Simonton, D. K. (1977d). Women’s fashions and war: A quantitative comment. Social Behavior and Personality, 5, 285-288.
Previous research has suggested that the fashion changes in women’s dress may be influenced by contemporary political context. This suggestion was tested for European women from 1797 to 1936. International war was found to induce women to wear the short “Empire” mode, whereas international peace was found to encourage the long “Hour Glass” mode. By comparison, intranational war apparently nurtures the short Hour Glass mode, while intranational peace favors the long Empire mode. Contrary to the conclusions of prior research, the fashion behavior of women does not become more unstable during political conflicts.
19. Simonton, D. K. (1978a). The eminent genius in history: The critical role of creative development. Gifted Child Quarterly, 22, 187-195.
Why do creative geniuses appear in some periods of history but not in others? A review of recent research suggests that various external factors – including formal education, role-model availability, zeitgeist, political fragmentation, war, civil disturbances, and political instability – have a critical impact on the development of creative potential in the young genius. Once that potential is established, however, and the genius enters adulthood, creative productivity tends to proceed with little interference from outside events.
20. Simonton, D. K. (1978b). Erratum to Simonton. Psychological Bulletin, 85, 1000.
Reports an error in the original article by D. K. Simonton (Psychological Bulletin, 1977 [May], Vol No. 84, 489-502). There is an error on page 497. Contrary to the author’s statement, each and every independent variable (namely, the dummy, time, and product terms) should be transformed in the same manner as the dependent variable, using Equation 4.
21. Simonton, D. K. (1978c). Independent discovery in science and technology: A closer look at the Poisson distribution. Social Studies of Science, 8, 521-532.
Social determinists have argued that the occurrence of independent discoveries and inventions demonstrates the inevitability of techno-scientific progress. Yet the frequence of such multiples may be adequately predicted by a probabilistic model, especially the Poisson model suggested by Price. A detailed inquiry reveals that the Poisson distribution can predict almost all of the observed variation in the frequency distribution of multiples collected by Merton, and by Ogburn and Thomas. This study further indicates that: (a) the number of observed multiples may be greatly underestimated, particularly those involving few independent contributors; (b) discoveries and inventions are not sufficiently probable to avoid a large proportion of total failures, and hence techno-scientific advance is to a large measure indeterminate; (c) chance or ‘luck’ seems to play such a major part that the ‘great genius’ theory is no more tenable than the social deterministic theory.
22. Simonton, D. K. (1978d). Intergenerational stimulation, reaction, and polarization: A causal analysis of intellectual history. Social Behavior and Personality, 6, 247-251.
Some of Sorokin’s conclusions regarding ideological creativity were appraised by applying a cross-lagged correlation analysis to his generational measures of 7 intellectual issues and 18 beliefs. These measures extended from 540 B.C. to 1900 A.D. but were confined to European philosophers. Results indicate the operation of intergenerational stimulation, reaction, and polarization in the history of ideas. But Sorokin’s specific qualitative inductions were only partly substantiated. In particular, there was no evidence that the rise of one idea can cause the decline of another idea in the following generation.
23. Simonton, D. K. (1978e). Time-series analysis of literary creativity: A potential paradigm. Poetics, 7, 249-259.
Many key questions concerning literary creativity may be answered using time-series analysis. The two most useful types of time series are (a) biographical time series consisting of consecutive observations of the lives of eminent writers and (b) transhistorical time series consisting of consecutive observations of the progression of literary traditions. Either time series may be subjected to correlation analyses (bivariate correlation, autocorrelation, and p-type factor analysis), quasi-experimental analyses (interrupted time series and cross-lagged correlation technique), and multiple regression analyses (generational time series, individual-generational analysis, and cross-sectional time series). Past research on creativity is cited to illustrate the scope of the substantive issues which can be addressed using time series designs.
24. Simonton, D. K. (1979a). Multiple discovery and invention: Zeitgeist, genius, or chance? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1603-1616.
The occurrence of independent contributions by two or more scientists can be interpreted in terms of zeitgeist, genius, or chance. The relative adequacy of these three theories was examined by hypothesizing four critical empirical tests. These tests focus on (a) the general and intradisciplinary probability distribution of multiples and (b) the relationship of individual eminence with multiple production and priority. An analysis of 579 multiples and of 789 scientists and inventors gave the most support to the chance theory, followed by the zeitgeist theory. Results are integrated into a single probabilistic perspective that incorporates some of the major features of all three theories.
25. Simonton, D. K. (1979b). The notion of independent simultaneous invention or discovery. Social Studies of Science, 9, 509-510.
26. Simonton, D. K. (1979c). Reply to Algina and Swaminathan. Psychological Bulletin, 86, 927-928.
Algina and Swaminathan have proposed more sophisticated analyses for the cross-sectional time-series experiment. Especially valuable is their suggested procedure for testing the empirical adequacy of the hypothesized intervention model. Nonetheless, the greater complexity of their approach may not always be justified in many research applications. In particular, their exact-test method will normally yield statistical inferences similar to those of my approximate-test procedure.
27. Simonton, D. K. (1979d). Was Napoleon a military genius? Score: Carlyle 1, Tolstoy 1. Psychological Reports, 44, 21-22.
Carlyle’s “Great Man” theory and Tolstoy’s “Zeitgeist” theory provide two alternative explanations of historical events. Yet a quantitative study of the military career of Napoleon and his contemporaries demonstrates that both views account for a significant percentage of the variance in military success during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
28. Simonton, D. K. (1980a). Intuition and analysis: A predictive and explanatory model. Genetic Psychology Monographs, 102, 3-60.
The present paper develops a model of intuitive processes. The model assumes that (a) behavior and thought can be viewed partly in terms of conditional probabilistic associations; (b) the four probability thresholds of attention, behavior, cognition, and habituation prescribe the psychological consequences of any given association (e.g., whether it will be nonconscious, infraconscious, conscious, or ultraconscious, respectively); (c) the overall probability distribution of associations provides the basis for a two-dimensional personality typology; and (d) arousal level has important relationships with both this typology and the four probability thresholds. A number of empirical propositions are derived which focus on verbal conditioning, concept formation, and problem solving. The explanatory value of the model is discussed with respect to selected issues in aesthetics, attitude change, and social judgment.
29. Simonton, D. K. (1980b). Land battles, generals, and armies: Individual and situational determinants of victory and casualties. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 38, 110-119.
Military success on the battlefield was hypothesized to be a function of both individual and situational factors. Potential individual determinants included age (linear and curvilinear), experience (battles and years), competence (winning streaks and cumulative victories), and willingness to take the offensive. Possible situational determinants included army size, home defense, divided command, and soldier heterogeneity. Military success was gauged according to either a tactical victory or a battle casualty edge (or superior “kill ratio”). A discriminant analysis of 326 land battles indicated that the victor could be identified 71% of the time, given the predictors of years of experience, winning streaks, willingness to take the offensive, and divided command. A regression analysis of 205 land battles found that 18% of the variance in battle casualty edge could be explained if cumulative victory, army size, divided command, and date were known. Individual determinants were more important for predicting victory, whereas situational determinants were more crucial for predicting an edge in battle casualties. No Individual X Situation interaction effects were found.
30. Simonton, D. K. (1980c). Techno-scientific activity and war: A yearly time-series analysis, 1500-1903 A.D. Scientometrics, 2, 251-255.
Previous research may have failed to find a general relationship between war and techno-scientific activity due to the failure (a) to treat the various types of war separately and (b) to use yearly rather than generational time series. Hence, the present study examined 404 consecutive years in European civilization from 1500 to 1903. Measures of four distinct kinds of war were defined and a log-transformed measure of techno-scientific activity was derived from a factor analysis of six histories and chronologies. The techno-scientific measure was regressed on the war measures plus a set of control variables. Techno-scientific activity was found to be a negative function of balance-of-power and defensive wars fought within Europe. In contrast, imperial and civil wars exerted no influence.
31. Simonton, D. K. (1980d). Thematic fame and melodic originality in classical music: A multivariate computer-content analysis. Journal of Personality, 48, 206-219.
In order to understand the foundation of eminence in cultural activities, an attempt was made at learning why some works creators produce are more famous than others. This paper specifically investigates the differential fame of 5,046 themes by 10 eminent composers of classical music. Hypotheses derived from past research in creativity and esthetics were tested using a computerized content analysis. Results show that (a) the fame of a musical theme is a positive linear function of melodic originality (rather than a curvilinear inverted-U function) and (b) melodic originality is a positive function of biographical stress and of historical time, and an inverted backwards-J function of age.
32. Simonton, D. K. (1980e). Thematic fame, melodic originality, and musical zeitgeist: A biographical and transhistorical content analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 38, 972-983.
The fame of a musical theme was hypothesized to be a function of melodic originality and the composer’s concurrent creative productivity. Melodic originality, in turn, was hypothesized to be a function of historical time and the composer’s age. A citation measure was used to define the fame of 15,618 themes from the classical repertoire. A computerized content analysis of two-note transition possibilities was used to operationalize melodic originality relative to both the entire repertoire and the zeitgeist at time of composition. Methodological variables were also defined to control for form, medium, work size, competition, and the composer’s lifetime productivity. A multiple regression analysis showed that thematic fame is an inverted-J function of repertoire melodic originality, a J-function of zeitgeist melodic originality, and a positive function of creative productivity. Repertoire melodic originality is a positive function of historical time and an inverted backwards- J function of the composer’s age, whereas zeitgeist melodic originality is a positive linear function of the composer’s age. The research design was also shown to be especially suited for studying a creative product within the total aethetic, personological, developmental, and sociocultural context.
33. Simonton, D. K. (1981a). Creativity in Western civilization: Extrinsic and intrinsic causes. American Anthropologist, 83, 628-630.
Comments on the defense of the external validity of laboratory experiments by Berkowitz and Donnerstein, arguing that they overlook the fact that lab experiments are not adept at demonstrating exclusive one-way causality when two-way causality is a distinct possibility in real-world settings.
34. Simonton, D. K. (1981b). Presidential greatness and performance: Can we predict leadership in the White House? Journal of Personality, 49, 306-323.
Two related questions regarding presidential leadership are addressed. First, what are the principal determimants of the rated greatness of American presidents? Second, can presidential performance be predicted using preelection biographical variables? Reliable measures of greatness and performance were operationalized for the 38 Presidents of the United States, along with numerous potential predictors suggested by past literature on leadership, achieved eminence, and presidential popularity and greatness. About 75% of the variance in Presidential greatness can be predicted using administration duration, number of war years, unsuccessful assassination attempts, scandals, and prepresidential publication record. Family background, personal characteristics, education, occupation, and political experiences provided few if any predictors of Presidential performance, although succession to office through the vice-presidency exerted a rather general negative effect.
35. Simonton, D. K. (1981c). The library laboratory: Archival data in personality and social psychology. In L. Wheeler (Ed.), Review of personality and social psychology (vol. 2, pp. 217-243), Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.
36. Simonton, D. K. (1981d). Totalitarian ego: Analogy or identity? American Psychologist, 36, 689.
Comments that the analogy used by Greenwald may be a disguised identity, as when an entity is inadvertently made into an analogy with itself in a hidden form of circular reasoning.
37. Simonton, D. K. (1982). One-way experimentation does not prove one-way causation. American Psychologist, 37, 1404-1406.
Comments on the defense of the external validity of laboratory experiments by Berkowitz and Donnerstein , arguing that they overlook the fact that lab experiments are not adept at demonstrating exclusive one-way causality when two-way causality is a distinct possibility in real-world settings.
38. Simonton, D. K. (1983a). Dramatic greatness and content: A quantitative study of Eighty-One Athenian and Shakespearean plays. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 1, 109-123.
Three hypotheses specified the possible direct and indirect determinants of a play’s greatness and issue content. The sample consisted of eighty-one plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripedes, Aristophanes, and Shakespeare. Each play’s dramatic greatness was operationalized using a citation measure. The Great Books Syntopicon was used to define nineteen issue content domains and general issue richness. Multiple regression analyses indicated that 1) dramatic greatness is a positive function of line quotability, which in turn is a positive function of issue richness, and 2) the particular issue or themes addressed in a play are affected both by the playwright’s personal age and by the presence of civil unrest at the time of composition.
39. Simonton, D. K. (1983b). Esthetics, biography, and history in musical creativity. In Documentary report of the Ann Arbor Symposium (Session 3, pp. 41-48). Reston, VA: Music Educators National Conference.
40. Simonton, D. K. (1983c). Formal education, eminence, and dogmatism: The curvilinear relationship. Journal of Creative Behavior, 17, 149-162. [Abstract in Resources in Education, 1981, 16, 89.]
The relationship between formal education and creativity was investigated in two studies. A reanalysis of Cox’s (1926) 301 geniuses indicated that achieved eminence of creators is a curvilinear inverted-U function of formal education. Secondly, a study of 33 American presidents found that dogmatism (i.e., idealistic inflexibility) is a curvilinear U-shaped function of formal education. Since creativity and dogmatism are negatively associated, and may represent opposite points on a single bipolar personality dimension, these findings imply that the optimal amount of formal education for maximal creative potential is a college experience that falls just short of attaining the baccalaureate degree.
41. Simonton, D. K. (1983d). Intergenerational transfer of individual differences in hereditary monarchs: Genetic, role-modeling, cohort, or sociocultural effects? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 354-364.
Individual differences may be transferred across generations through either genetic inheritance, identification with role models, cohort effects, or sociocultural influences. Each of these four possible mechanisms makes different predictions regarding what traits display intergenerational continuities, the pattern of relationships between an individual and his or her relatives, as well as the relative impact of same-sex and cross-sex relationships. A sample of 342 hereditary monarchs were drawn from 14 European nations. These rulers, along with their parents, grandparents, and predecessors, were then assessed on the variables of intelligence, morality, eminence, leadership, life span, and reign span. Theoretically significant interaction effects were also operationalized, using such moderator variables as genetic relationship, years of overlap in lives, age difference, difference in reign midpoints, and sex. The intergenerational transfer of intelligence and life span was best explained by genetics, whereas the transfer of morality and eminence was governed by role-modeling processes. The remaining variables were either transferred by more complex mechanisms (viz. leadership) or not transferred at all from one generation to the next (viz. reign span). Results contradict both Woods’s (1906) belief that morality is genetically inherited and Galton’s (1869) argument that eminence can serve as a nearly equivalent proxy variable for intellectual genius.
42. Simonton, D. K. (1983e). Psychohistory. In R. Harré & R. Lamb (Eds.), The encyclopedic dictionary of psychology (pp. 499-500). Oxford: Blackwell.
43. Simonton, D. K. (1984a). Artistic creativity and interpersonal relationships across and within generations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 1273-1286.
A successful “social psychology of creativity” demands that the creative individual be placed within a network of interpersonal relationships and group influences. Toward this end, 772 artists were assessed for achieved eminence, and their relationships with other artists were gauged in terms of both quantity and quality. These social relationships could concern predecessors (paragons, masters, and parents), contemporaries (rivals, collaborators, associates, friends, copupils, and siblings), and successors (apprentices and admirers). Aggregate measures of group artistic activity (zeitgeist) were also defined for both contemporary and preceding generations. Five relationships – paragons, rivals, associates, apprentices, and admirers – emerged as the most consistent correlates of artistic eminence, though the aggregate measures provided useful predictors over and above the individual-level effects. The impact of the various interpersonal relationships was often moderated by the mean age difference between the artist and the fellow artists entering a given social interaction. For example, artistic eminence is a curvilinear inverted backward J function of the mean artist-paragon age gap, in which the optimum point varies as a negative monotonic function of the number of paragons emulated.
44. Simonton, D. K. (1984b). Creative productivity and age: A mathematical model based on a two-step cognitive process. Developmental Review, 4, 77-111.
It is argued that several empirical aspects of the relation between age and productivity can be explained by hypothesizing a simple two-step model of the creative process. Such a hypothesis permits a delayed single-peak function to result from an underlying process of constantly decelerating decay. The derived equation describes creative productivity as a function of individual age. The equation is not only shown to be consistent with empirical data on the relation between age and achievement, but several important empirical predictions and theoretical consequences are also inferred from the model. For instance, the model (a) maintains that the age curves may be largely the intrinsic outcome of cognitive processes rather than the extrinsic effect of developmental changes or sociological influences; (b) predicts the explanatory superiority of professional over chronological age; (c) explains the observed positive intercorrelation among creative precociousness, productivity, and longevity in terms of their mutual dependence on individual differences in creative potential; and (d) provides a substantive basis for interpreting the variation in age peaks across disciplines by introducing the concepts of ideation rate, elaboration rate, and creative half-life. Tests to confirm or disconfirm the model are also proposed
45. Simonton, D. K. (1984c). Creativity and leadership: Causal convergence and divergence. In S. S. Gryskienicz, J. T. Shields, & S. J. Sensabaugh (Eds.), Blueprint for innovation: Creativity Week VI, 1983 (pp. 187-202). Greensboro, NC: Center for Creative Leadership.
46. Simonton, D. K. (1984d). Generational time-series analysis: A paradigm for studying sociocultural influences. In K. Gergen & M. Gergen (Eds.), Historical social psychology (pp. 141-155). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
47. Simonton, D. K. (1984e). Genius, creativity, and leadership: Historiometric inquiries. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Dean Keith Simonton examines uncommon people; those creators and leaders whose impact on their own and later times has been so great that they deserve the label “genius” [from jacket].
48. Simonton, D. K. (1984f). Is the marginality effect all that marginal? Social Studies of Science, 14, 621-622.
49. Simonton, D. K. (1984g). Leader age and national condition: A longitudinal analysis of 25 European monarchs. Social Behavior and Personality, 12, 111-114.
In order to determine the relationship between age and achievement in the politico-military domain, the reigns of 25 long-tenured European absolute monarchs (those who reigned between the Middle Ages and the Napoleonic era) were analyzed as cross-sectional time series of 238 5-year age periods. Both linear and curvilinear age functions were defined along with variables to control for individual differences, linear time trends, and other potential artifacts. A partial correlation analysis indicated that leader age tended to be negatively correlated with military success in foreign wars and with treaty negotiation and positively correlated with civil instability at home, whether in the royal family or in the populace. Moreover, some indicators of military and diplomatic success were curvilinear inverted U-functions of leader age, with the peak occurring approximately in the leader’s 42nd year.
50. Simonton, D. K. (1984h). Leaders as eponyms: Individual and situational determinants of monarchal eminence. Journal of Personality, 52, 1-21.
The eponymic theory of leadership maintaints that the eminence of rulers depends on their utility as historical labels without regard to their personal attributes. The explanatory scope of this interpretation was tested, for methodological reasons, on a sample of 342 European hereditary monarchs. In support of eponymic theory: (a) about two-thirds of variance in leader eminence could be ascribed to the number of significant events occurring during the leader’s tenure in office; (b) events with positive and negative social valence carried approximately equal positive weight; (c) events over which the leader exerts considerable control have about the same weight as those over which personal control is virtually nonexistent; and (d) the effects of epochcentric bias and reign span are mediated by the number of significant events. But qualifying eponymic theory: (a) eminence was not determined solely by the event tabulation (e.g., leader fame is a J-curve function of intelligence and a U-curve function of morality); (b) the number of events was not accounted for by reign span; and (c) reign span was not solely a function of life span (e.g., reign span is a positive linear function of assessed leadership). The results endorse a form of the theory in which provision is made for intellectual and personality factors.
51. Simonton, D. K. (1984i). Melodic structure and note transition probabilities: A content analysis of 15,618 classical themes. Psychology of Music, 12, 3-16.
A content analytical scheme is described that can assess aspects of melodic structure in large samples of themes. This objective, computerized system was applied to 15,618 themes drawn from the classical repertoire. Tables result that give the probabilities of two- and three-note transitions, and, in the former case, the probabilities are presented both presented transition-by-transition and averaged across all transitions. Despite the simplicity of the coding system, it has been shown in past research to be powerful enough to distinguish the musical style of a composer and to yield a measure of melodic originality that relates in significant ways to other aesthetic, biographical, and historical variables. To illustrate this utility, the table of two-note transition probabilities is employed both to gauge the melodic originality of a sample set of composed themes and to generate contrived themes with known originality scores for use in laboratory experiments on musical aesthetics.
52. Simonton, D. K. (1984j). Huiyi Pulaisi. [Remembering Price]. Kexue Xue Yu Kezue Jishu Guanli [Science Studies and Management of Science and Technology], 9, 7-8.
53. Simonton, D. K. (1984k). Scientific eminence historical and contemporary: A measurement assessment. Scientometrics, 6, 169-182.
In some studies of scientific creativity it has proved useful to assess the differential eminence of scientists according to their presence in the historical record (as registered by scholarly works). To determine the research utility of such indicators, a sample of 2026 scientists spanning several centuries and nationalities was taken from three biographical dictionaries of science. The eminence of each scientist was gauged 23 distinct ways using a diversity of reference works (e.g., histories, biographical dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc.) and variable operationalizations (e.g., space measures, ratings, rankings, etc.). Despite minor discrepancies due mainly to the degree of timewise bias and reference work type, a factor analysis demonstrated the existence of a pervasive consensus. A linear composite of these measures had an alpha reliability of 0.78. Further, it was shown that (a) the reliability of assessed eminence somewhat declines as it is applied to more recently born scientists, (b) the reliability remains high within separate disciplines and nationalities, and (c) assessed eminence, once complex time trends are controlled, correlates positively with the more commonly used citation counts, especially the number of cited publications. Hence, archival indicators of scientific eminence are both reliable and consistent with other scientometric procedures.
54. Simonton, D. K. (1984l). Shakespeare színdarabjai és szonettjei: A differenciális népszerüség meghatározói [Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets: Correlates of differential greatness]. Pszichológia, 4, 459-467.
55. Simonton, D. K. (1984m). The nourishing mentor. Occidental, 8, 20-23.
Creative individuals provide role models and even personal mentors, paragons that establish the basis for the next step in the progress of human civilization.
56. Simonton, D. K. (1985a). Genius, creativity and leadership. IEEE Potentials, 4, 31-32.
57. Simonton, D. K. (1985b). Individual creativity and political leadership. In R. L. Merritt & A. J. Merritt (Eds.), Innovation in the public sector (pp. 39-62). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.
58. Simonton, D. K. (1985c). Intelligence and personal influence in groups: Four nonlinear models. Psychological Review, 92, 532-547.
Four models are progressively developed that provide a conceptual basis for a curvilinear relation between intelligence and an individual’s influence over other group members. Model 1, by assuming that influence is a function of percentile placement in intelligence, predicts that beyond an IQ of about 120 intelligence bears a negligible connection with influence. Model 2 adds the consideration of the degree of comprehension by potential followers, yielding a nonmonotonic function with a predicted peak IQ of about 108 (or a 0.5 SD above the mean). Model 3 incorporates the criticism factor that acknowledges a group member’s vulnerability to intellectual superiors, and thereby predicts a second nonmonotonic function with an optimal IQ of about 119 (or 1.2 SD above the mean). Model 4 expands on the fact that the mean group IQ varies across different groups and, consequently, predicts a high correlation between the group mean IQ and the IQ of its most influential member, with a leader-follower gap of between 8 and 20 points (depending on the submodel).
59. Simonton, D. K. (1985d). Quality, quantity, and age: The careers of 10 distinguished psychologists. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 21, 241-254.
The longitudinal relationship between quality and quantity of productive output is examined over the careers of ten recipients of the Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award. Four alternative models of this relationship – expertise-acquisition, youthful-enthusiasm, peak-age, and constant-probability-of-success – yield distinctive predictions regarding 1) how the ratio of major contributions to total output changes as a career advances and 2) the developmental association between major and minor works over consecutive time periods. The quality of a publication was assessed by the citations it earned in the professional literature. The results endorse the constant-probability-of-success model (both across and within careers). Not only does confirmation of this model provide support for Campbell’s blind-variation-and-selective-retention theory of creative thought, but it additionally has important implications for understanding the role of age and chance in the careers of successful psychologists.
60. Simonton, D. K. (1985e). The vice-presidential succession effect: Individual or situational basis? Political Behavior, 7, 79-99.
Simonton (1981) found that “accidental presidents do not perform as well as duly elected chief executives. Though this vice-presidential succession effect might be due to individual factors, such as some deficiency in personality or political experience, it might be due instead to situational factors, most notably the failure to be perceived as having legitimate power by those already in power positions. Three studies investigated the relative plausibility of individual and situational explanations. Study 1 examined 49 president-vice-president teams to determine the criteria by which running mates are selected. Study 2 looked at 69 leaders who served as either president, vice-president, or both, in order to discover if accidental presidents can be differentiated on biographical and political background variables. Study 3 scrutinized 100 congressional units in a time-series design to gauge the impact of serving an unelected term as president. Results support a situational interpretation based on the attribution of legitimate power.
61. Simonton, D. K. (1986a). Aesthetic success in classical music: A computer analysis of 1935 compositions. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 4, 1-17.
To further elucidate the basis of aesthetic success in classical music, data on 8,992 themes were aggregated into 1,935 compositions by 172 composers from the Renaissance to the present day. Aesthetic success was gauged via compositional popularity and ratings of aesthetic significance and audience accessibility, while aesthetic attributes were assessed by melodic originality and originality variation as determined by a computer content analysis of melodic structure. The results demonstrate that the probability of a work being performed and recorded is a function of aesthetic attributes and melodic content, with direct and indirect effects of artistic, biographical, and historical conditions. Aesthetic taste is thus not arbitrary but lawful, for it is grounded in the intrinsic qualities of a piece, which in turn reflect the state of the composer at the time of composition.
62. Simonton, D. K. (1986b). Harminchat magyar és amerkai novella esztétikai sikeressége [Aesthetic success in 36 Hungarian and American short stories]. Pszichológia, 6, 533-540.
The argument [is] presented . . . that subjective ratings and objective citation measures are essentially equivalent due to underlying contrasts in artistic effectiveness we have been asked to apply our theoretical and methodological wherewithal to 18 Hungarian and 18 American short stories / therefore, these 36 stories provide the basis for addressing the problem at hand / first, I demonstrate that independent assessors will form a consensus on the differential aesthetic success of these short stories / second, I show that this agreement is in accordance with what we would conclude on the basis of an archival citation measure.
63. Simonton, D. K. (1986c). Age, creative productivity, and chance. In Proceedings of the 81st Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association,92. [Abstract]
A socio-psychological theory of innovation is outlined which can be considered an extensive elaboration, with shifts in nomenclature, of Donald Campbell’s (1960) blind-variation and selective-retention model of knowledge acquisition. Styled the “chance-configuration theory,” this interpretative framework specifies just how chance mediates the connection between individual age and both the creation and the social acceptance of a novel cultural product. In particular, the theory (a) yields an equation that precisely predicts the functional relation between productivity and career age over the life span while concomitantly explicating stable contrasts across disciplines in the age curves, (b) explains the basis for individual differences in productive precocity, contribution rates, and longevity, including the distinctive skewed distribution of total output across careers, and (c) provides a larger conceptual foundation for the constant-probability-of-success model of the association between quantity and quality of productive output both across and within careers. In addition, the chance-configuration theory can handle other key issues in sociocultural change, mot notably, Planck’s principle, the Ortega hypothesis, and the phenomenon of multiple discovery and invention.
64. Simonton, D. K. (1986d). Biographical typicality, eminence, and achievement style. Journal of Creative Behavior, 20, 14-22.
Examined how exceptional achievers in diverse endeavors can be differentiated by their biographical characteristics, using data on 314 famous personalities from a study by M. G. Goertzel et al (1978). Data on each S were given a biographical typicality score and a relative eminence score. The most illustrious contributors to a field were found to be neither typical nor marginal in a biographical sense, although a very modest tendency for the most eminent to be the most typical did exist. Results suggest that there is no basis for discounting the most famous personalities as some variety of freak or oddball; they are just as good exemplars of the biographical antecedents as are their less notable colleagues, and may be a bit more so.
65. Simonton, D. K. (1986e). Dispositional attributions of (presidential) leadership: An experimental simulation of historiometric results. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 22, 389-418.
Historiometric results regarding the predictors of presidential greatness were interpreted in terms of an attributional model. The model delineates how historians make dispositional inferences according to a leadership schema that is activated by salient information. Study 1 tested the model by asking naive raters to assess anonymous leaders, whereas Study 2 required identical assessments of anonymous presidents. As predicted, greatness attributions were determined by the same information that is employed by historians, with roughly the same weights. Moreover, impact of the six historiometric predictors (years in office, war, scandal, assassination, war hero, intelligence) on greatness was largely mediated by three semantic components (i.e., strength, activity, goodness). Finally, college undergraduates, though ignorant of the identity of the leaders being rated, if granted the same limited information, can accurately reproduce the ratings the presidents are given by historians.
66. Simonton, D. K. (1986f). The masterpiece! Who? What? Where? When? Psychology and the Arts Newsletter, Fall/Winter, 4-15. [Presidential address.]
67. Simonton, D. K. (1986g). Multiple discovery: Some Monte Carlo simulations and Gedanken experiments. Scientometrics, 9, 269-280.
Two major interpretations of multiples have been offered, the traditional one based on the scientific zeitgeist, the more recent one based on chance processes. To clarify the issues involved in any plausible explanation, six successive Monte Carlo simulations were developed. Though all models started with the same underlying probabilistic mechanism, several elaborations were introduced, including exhaustion, communication of both successes and failures, and variation in success probability. The models yield the same probability distributions for multiple grades, but they disagree on the frequency of nulltons. Additional Gedanken experiments dealt with the zeitgeist notions of a causal link between potential contributions.
68. Simonton, D. K. (1986h). Multiples, Poisson distributions, and chance: An analysis of the Brannigan-Wanner model. Scientometrics, 9, 127-137.
Brannigan and Wanner argue that the empirical distribution of multiple grades can be more adequately explained in terms of a negative contagious Poisson model. This alterantive is based on a Zeitgeist theory which places emphasis on the role of communication in scientific discovery. Nonetheless, a detailed analysis indicates the following: (a) mathematically, the simple Poisson is the limiting case of the contagious Poisson when the contagion parameter approaches zero; (b) empirically, the mean and variance are so nearly equal (i.e., the contagion effect is very small) that predictions from the contagious Poisson are virtually equivalent to those of the simple Poisson; (c) in particular, both distributions predict that multiples are less common than singletons and even nulltons, the latter occurring with a probability of over one third (thereby implying that chance plays a much bigger part than Zeitgeist or maturational theories would suggest); (d) estimates from the Simonton, Merton, and Ogburn-Thomas data sets all concur that the contagion effect is not only small, but positive besides, yielding a modest positive contagious Poisson that contradicts the principal tenet of the communication interpretation.
69. Simonton, D. K. (1986i). Popularity, content, and context in 37 Shakespeare plays. Poetics, 15, 493-510.
A two-stage research paradigm is outlined: the aesthetic success of an artistic creation is a consequence of intrinsic attributes (form and content), which in turn result from specific biographical and historical context factors. The paradigm is illustrated by exploiting data on the differential popularity of the 37 plays attributed to Shakespeare. Statistical analyses demonstrate that (a) relative aesthetic success can be reliably assessed via objective citation measures, (b) dramatic popularity is affected by the thematic content of each play, and (c) the thematic content has particular contextual antecedents. Thus the methodological paradigm, which has proven fruitful in enhancing our understanding of creativity in classical music, features considerable promise in advancing our appreciation of literary creativity, dramatic or otherwise.
70. Simonton, D. K. (1986j). Presidential greatness: The historical consensus and its psychological significance. Political Psychology, 7, 259-283.
Two interconnected questions are addressed. One, does a historical consensus exist concerning the differential “greatness” of the American presidents? Two, what do these ratings imply about presidential leadership? A factor analysis of 16 presidential assessments indicated the presence of a primary “greatness” dimension and a bipolar “dogmatism” dimension. The three most recent measures were singled out for an analysis aimed at identifying the antecedents of presidential greatness. Hundreds of potential predictors were operationalized, including family background, personality traits, occupational and political experiences, and administration events. Five predictors that replicated across the greatness measures and survived tests for transhistorical invariance. In descending order of predictive generality, these are the number of years in office, the number of years as a wartime commander-in-chief, administration scandal, assassination, and having entered office as a national war hero. The theoretical meaning of these predictors is explored in further empirical analysis and discussion.
71. Simonton, D. K. (1986k). Presidential personality: Biographical use of the Gough Adjective Check List. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 149-160.
The Gough Adjective Check List was used to gauge the personality differences among the 39 American presidents. The original 300 adjectives were reduced to 110 on which reliable assessments were feasible, and a factor analysis collapsed the data into 14 dimensions, namely, Moderation, Friendliness, Intellectual Brilliance, Machiavellianism, Poise and Polish, Achievement Drive, Forcefulness, Wit, Physical Attractiveness, Pettiness, Tidiness, Conservatism, Inflexibility, and Pacifism. All but one of these factors had respectable internal consistency reliability coefficients. The factor scores were further validated by correlating them with (a) previous content-analytical and observer-based assessments and (b) indicators of developmental antecedents and performance criteria, including ratings of presidential greatness. Similarities in personality profiles were explored using a cluster analysis.
72. Simonton, D. K. (1986l). Stochastic models of multiple discovery. Czechoslovak Journal of Physics, B 36, 138-141.
The phenomenon of multiple discovery has been traditionally interpreted as evidence for a “zeitgeist” theory of scientific creativity. As an alternative, multiples are proposed to result from a stochastic process. The simple Poisson is shown to match the observed distribution of multiple grades, while a contagious Poisson introduces a communcation restriction that induces approximate simultaneity. Monte Carlo simulation models have further explored the theoretical requisites for a full explication of the phenomenon. The fundamental generating mechanism is thus shown to be stochastic rather than deterministic.
73. Simonton, D. K. (1986m). Theory and philosophy in the psychology of the arts. Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 6, 122-123.
74. Simonton, D. K. (1987a). Musical aesthetics and creativity in Beethoven: A computer analysis of 105 compositions. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 5, 87-104.
A fundamental task in empirical aesthetics is to determine why some artistic creations earn the label “masterpiece” whereas others slip into oblivion. Computer content analyses can help us achieve this goal, first, by isolating connections between the differential aesthetic success of diverse works and their content attributes, and, second, by identifying the compositional, biographical, and historical correlates of those content analytical predictors. After reviewing the key findings with respect to the thousands of musical pieces defining the classical repertoire, this investigation strategy is applied to 105 compositions (containing 593 themes) by Beethoven. Two distinct measures of artistic impact, compositional popularity and aesthetic signifiance, were shown to be associated – often in a curvilinear fashion – with four content characteristics: melodic originality and variation and metric originality and variation. Some of these attributes are linked to such circumstances as the work’s key, the instrumentation, and the number of movements, Beethoven’s age and concurrent level of productivity, stress, and health, and the presence of international war in Europe. Hence, an objective, computer analysis can enhance our understanding of the aesthetic and creative processes behind a single creator’s artistic reputation.
75. Simonton, D. K. (1987b). Developmental antecedents of achieved eminence. Annals of Child Development, 5, 131-169.
76. Simonton, D. K. (1987c). Genius: The lessons of historiometry. In S. G. Isaksen (Ed.), Frontiers of creativity research: Beyond the basics (pp. 66-87). Buffalo, NY: Bearly Limited.
77. Simonton, D. K. (1987d). Multiples, chance, genius, creativity, and zeitgeist. In D. N. Jackson & J. P. Rushton (Eds.), Scientific excellence: Origins and assessment (pp. 98-128). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.
Chapter outlines a theoretical interpretation of multiples review of recent attempts to advance an entirely new conception of the multiples phenomenon.
78. Simonton, D. K. (1987e). Presidential inflexibility and veto behavior: Two individual-situational interactions. Journal of Personality, 55, 1-18.
The suitable personality traits for optimal leadership may depend on the type of leadership, the criterion of leader effectiveness, and various situational constraints. This point was illustrated via the specific area of presidential leadership. The working relationship between: the Chief Executive and Congress, as defined by regular vetoes overturned, provided the criterion variables for a congressional time-series analysis (N = 99) of all 39 American presidents. The impact of a single personality attribute, presidential inflexibility, was examined in the context of several variables suggested by past research. The relation between inflexibility and willingness to exploit the regular veto varied according to the incumbent’s electoral mandate, while the association between inflexibility and the propensity of Congress to override a veto depended on the extent to which the president’s party controlled Congress – this last interaction was labeled the Johnson-Wilson effect. In the context of the person-situation debate, these findings illustrate how situations can determine whether, and to what degree, a stable individual attribute will have behavioral manifestations.
79. Simonton, D. K. (1987f). Why presidents succeed: A political psychology of leadership. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
In this book, Dean Keith Simonton takes an innovative look at the issue of presidential success, proposing that we evaluate American presidents quantitatively instead of qualitatively. Simonton measures presidential performance by four criteria-elections, public opinion polls, relations with Congress, and evaluation by historians [from the jacket].
80. Martindale, C., Brewer, W. F., Helson, R., Rosenberg, S., Simonton, D. K., Keeley, A., Leigh, J., & Ohtsuka, K. (1988). Structure, theme, style, and reader response in Hungarian and American short stories. In C. Martindale (Ed.), Psychological approaches to the study of literary narratives (pp. 267-289). Hamburg: Buske.
Attempt to show the interrelations of the quantitative measures used in these individual chapters / in regard to the texts themselves, we have gathered measures of overall typicality as well as more specific indices of story structure, semantics, and lexical realization / we have also obtained measures of readers’ cognitive and affective responses to the stories / below, we first give a brief description of the variables in each of these categories / then the most important interrelationships about the variables are described the three basic questions we have sought to answer in this chapter are (1) what determines overall story typicality, (2) how are structural, semantic, and linguistic aspects of literary texts interrelated, and (3) what determines liking for and interest in a literary text looked at the global relations of structural variables, thematic variables, and stylistic variables and their relations to reader response variables.
81. Simonton, D. K. (1988a). Age and outstanding achievement: What do we know after a century of research? Psychological Bulletin, 104, 251-267.
This article examines, in four sections, the substantial literature on the longitudinal connection between personal age and outstanding achievement in domains of creativity and leadership. First, the key empirical findings are surveyed, with special focus on the typical age curve and its variations across disciplines, the association between precocity, longevity, and production rate, and the linkage between quantity and quality of output over the course of a career. Second, the central methodological issues are outlined, such as the compositional fallacy and differential competition, in order to appraise the relative presence of fact and artifact in the reported results. Third, the more important theoretical interpretations of the longitudinal data are presented and then evaluated for explanatory and predictive power. Fourth and last, central empirical, methodological, and theoretical considerations lead to a set of critical questions on which future research should likely concentrate.
82. Simonton, D. K. (1988b). Creativity, leadership, and chance. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), The nature of creativity: Contemporary psychological perspectives (pp. 386-426). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Creativity is a form of leadership in that it entails personal influence over others creativity involves the participation of chance processes both in the origination of new ideas and in the social acceptance of those ideas by others the theory. Topics: ; chance permutations; configuration formation; configuration acquisition; self-organization; communication and acceptance; communication configurations; social acceptance empirical elaboration; creative process; anecdotes; introspective reports; individual differences; motivation; productivity; developmental antecedents; role models; formal education; Zeitgeist; marginality; multiples; logical issues; empirical issues [from the chapter].
83. Simonton, D. K. (1988c). Evolution and creativity. Journal of Social and Biological Structures, 11, 151-153.
84. Simonton, D. K. (1988d). Galtonian genius, Kroeberian configurations, and emulation: A generational time-series analysis of Chinese civilization. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55, 230-238.
In his attack on Galton’s (1869) theory of genius, Kroeber (1944) introduced the ideas of cultural configurations and individual emulation. These concepts are translated into testable hypotheses that can be evaluated using a sample of 10,160 eminent creators, leaders, and celebrities from Chinese civilization. After aggregating these historical figures into 141 twenty-year periods for 35 achievement categories, generational time-series analyses indicated (a) that major and minor figures tend to fluctuate together across historical time and (b) that both unweighted and weighted fluctuations are adequately described by first- or second-order autoregressive models (once exponential trends are removed). Although the results offer tentative support for Kroeber’s position, some latitude remains for a much-qualified version of Galton’s thesis.
85. Simonton, D. K. (1988e). Quality and purpose, quantity and chance. Creativity Research Journal, 1, 68-74.
Discusses method and theory as points of convergence and contrast between the paradigms adopted by D. K. Simonton (e.g., 1980, 1988) and H. E. Gruber (1991) on creativity. While Gruber’s evolving systems approach to individual creativity is ideographic, Simonton recommends single case historiometry, which can address ideographic and nomothetic questions simultaneously. Simonton’s (1988) chance-configuration theory of genius is contrasted with Gruber’s notion of “purpose” in his evolving systems paradigm.
86. Simonton, D. K. (1988f). Presidential style: Personality, biography, and performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55, 928-936.
Past research in the personality basis of leadership has led several investigators to study the characteristics of American presidents using content-analytical and biographical measures. In this article, biographical information on 39 U.S. chief executives provided the basis for assessments by seven raters on 82 items concerning presidential style. The presidents could be reliably discriminated on 49 items, which a factor analysis reduced to five dimensions: the interpersonal, charismatic, deliberative, creative, and neurotic styles. These styles were shown to be related to broader personality traits, biographical experiences, and both objective and subjective indicators of leader performance.
87. Simonton, D. K. (1988g). Scientific genius: A psychology of science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
In this book, Dean Keith Simonton, develops a theory of scientific genius. His starting point in Donald Campbell’s “blind variation and selective retention” model of creativity, which he elaborates into his own “chance-configuration” theory. He then uses this to account for key aspects of pathbreaking science. He considers the mental processes and behaviors behind the creative act, including intuition, incubation, and serendipity. He discusses the cognitive and motivational styles of great scientists in terms of a personality typology. He examines the causes and consequences of exceptional productivity: individual differences in lifetime output, the functional relation between age and achievement, the probabilistic connection between quantity and quality, and such issues as the Ortega hypothesis, the Yuasa phenomenon, and Planck’s principle. He reviews the developmental antecedents of distinguished scientific work – family background, education, role models, marginality, and the zeitgeist – with respect to their complex impact on the growth of creative potential [from the cover].
88. Simonton, D. K. (1989a). Age and creative productivity: Nonlinear estimation of an information-processing model. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 29, 23-37.
A two-step cognitive model is outlined that explicates the key empirical findings on the relation between age and creative productivity. Two primary information-processing parameters, the ideation and elaboration rates, define a mathematical function that both describes the age curves and specifies how those curves vary across disciplines. To validate the model further, a nonlinear estimation program was applied to previously published tabulations on the longitudinal fluctuations in creative output. The resulting parameter estimates also yield the expected peak age and the creative half-life for each domain of achievement. Despite the prediction of a post-peak decline, the model’s implications for creativity over the life span are optimistic.
89. Simonton, D. K. (1989b). The chance-configuration theory of scientific creativity. In B. Gholson, W. R. Shadish, Jr., R. A. Neimeyer, & A. C. Houts (Eds.), The psychology of science: Contributions to metascience (pp. 170- 213). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
The chance-configuration theory provides a useful “psychology of science” / it explicates anecdotal and introspective reports concerning the creative process in science, and it integrates the varied empirical findings regarding the personality characteristics and developmental antecedents associated with scientific creativity the theory specifically explains the probability distribution of multiple grades, the occurrence of both simultaneous contributions and rediscoveries, and the probabilistic link between scientific eminence and multiples participation [From the chapter].
90. Simonton, D. K. (1989c). Creativity and individual development. In T. Husen & T. N. Postlethwaite (Eds.), International encyclopedia of education: Supplementary volume one (pp. 181-184). New York: Pergamon Books.
91. Simonton, D. K. (1989d). Shakespeare’s sonnets: A case of and for single-case historiometry. Journal of Personality, 57, 695-721.
The two oldest forms of psychohistory, as generically defined, are psychbiography (idiographic, qualitative, and single-case) and historiometry (nomothetic, quantitative, and multiple-case). In practice this distinction gets blurred, both because psychobiography is often nomothetic (e.g., psychoanalytic) and because historiometry may work with N = 1. After outlining the assets of single-case historiometry, a specific case is given in an analysis of 154 sonnets of William Shakespeare. These sonnets were first reliably differentiated on aesthetic success according to an archival popularity measure, and then this relative merit was predicted using content analytical measures suggested by research on artistic creativity. The superior sonnets (a) treat specific themes, (b) display considerable thematic richness in the number of issues discussed, (c) exhibit greater linguistic complexity as gauged by such objective measures as the type-token ratio and adjective-verb quotient, and (d) feature more primary process imagery (using Martindale’s Regressive Imagery Dictionary). Afterdiscussing how these results can enlarge our general understanding of artistic creativity as well as our specific appreciation of Shakespeare’s creativity, the potential application of single-case historiometry to intrinsically psychobiographical problems is examined.
92. Simonton, D. K. (1989e). The surprising nature of scientific genius. The Scientist, 3 (February 6), 9, 11.
93. Simonton, D. K. (1989f). The swan-song phenomenon: Last-works effects for 172 classical composers. Psychology and Aging, 4, 42-47.
Creative individuals approaching their final years of life may undergo a transformation in outlook that is reflected in their last works. This hypothesized effect was quantitatively assessed for an extensive sample of 1,919 works by 172 classical composers. The works were independently gauged on seven aesthetic attributes (melodic originality, melodic variation, repertoire popularity, aesthetic significance, listener accessibility, performance duration, and thematic size), and potential last-works effects were operationally defined two separate ways (linearly and exponentially). Statistical controls were introduced for both longitudinal changes (linear, quadratic, and cubic age functions) and individual differences (eminence and lifetime productivity). Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that composers’ swan songs tend to score lower in melodic originality and performance duration but higher in repertoire popularity and aesthetic significance. These last-works effects survive control for total compositional output, eminence, and most significantly, the composer’s age when the last works were created.
94. Simonton, D. K. (1990a). Creativity and wisdom in aging. In J. E. Birren & K. W. Schaie (Eds.), Handbook of the psychology of aging (3rd ed., pp. 320-329). New York: Academic Press.
Begins by briefly reviewing the central empirical findings of lifespan changes in both creativity and wisdom. An attempt is made to integrate these data by reviewing some empirical and theoretical results that seem germane to both characteristics [from the chapter].
95. Simonton, D. K. (1990b). Creativity in the later years: Optimistic prospects for achievement. Gerontologist, 30, 626-631.
Despite the apparent decline in productivity in the final years of life, seven considerations suggest a more favorable outlook: the actual magnitude of the age decrement; the role of extrinsic influences; the contingency on career age; the impact of individual differences in creative potential; the interdisciplinary variation in the age curves; the virtual absence of an age decrement on a contribution-for-contribution basis; and the resurgence of creativity in the form of the swan-song phenomenon.
96. Simonton, D. K. (1990c). Does creativity decline in the later years? Definition, data, and theory. In M. Perlmutter (Ed.), Late life potential (pp. 83-112). Washington, DC: Gerontological Society of America.
97. Simonton, D. K. (1990d). History, chemistry, psychology, and genius: An intellectual autobiography of historiometry. In M. Runco & R. Albert (Eds.), Theories of creativity (pp. 92-115). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
In an autobiographical description of a gifted youth as potential, he [the author] presented a cogent argument for what might be called a reciprocal-interactive model / discussed the ambivalence that distal cultures (e.g., educational opportunities and content) may show to talent and the formative pushes and pulls of the proximal family as a source of internalized material and motivation for continuous intellectual and occupational growth [from the book].
98. Simonton, D. K. (1990e). Lexical choices and aesthetic success: A computer content analysis of 154 Shakespeare sonnets. Computers and the Humanities, 24, 251-264.
A research paradigm is suggested that combines the perspectives of the humanistic scholar and the behavioral scientist: After differentiating the popularity of actual aesethic products using archival indices and then subjecting these compositions to objective computer content analyses, further statistical treatment may divulge the intrinsic properties responsible for differences in impact. This approach is illustrated by an analysis of the 154 sonnets attributed to William Shakespeare. Each sonnet was partitioned into four consecutive units (three quatrains and a couplet), and then a computer gauged how the number of words, different words, unique words, primary process imagery, and secondary process imagery changed within each sonnet. Taking advantage of a previous objective measure of the relative aesthetic merit of the sonnets, and implementing a statistical search for interaction effects, it was demonstrated that Shakespeare’s lexical choices adopt a discernable pattern in the highly popular creations that is not found in the more obscure poems. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this pattern shift is the distinct manner in which the poet modifies his vocabulary when composing the concluding couplet in his best sonnets.
99. Simonton, D. K. (1990f). Monsieur appends reflections. Creativity Research Journal, 3, 146-149.
Simonton responds to comments by Bailin, Feldman, Hausman, Martindale, Rubenson, Stariha and Walberg, and Stein on his article on political pathology and societal creativity.
100. Simonton, D. K. (1990g). Personality and politics. In L. A. Pervin (Ed.), Handbook of personality theory and research (pp. 670-692). New York: Guilford.
The psychometric examination of political leaders represents the leading edge of current personality research, the present chapter is primarily a review of this innovative work the emphasis is on the connection between personality and political leadership the fundamental tenet of personality psychology is that people vary: considerable individual differences exist on an impressive array of traits, and this variation presumably translates into consistent patterns of behavior across diverse situations / equally manifest to any observer of the political scene is the parallel axiom that people differ in their relevant attitudes and actions / this personal diversity is apparent in ideology, party affiliation, candidate preferences, policy choices, and political leadership for the personality psychologist fascinated with political phenomena, the central question is this: how do the personal traits that are so conspicuous in everyday life determine the more exceptional events that characterize the world of politics this issue breaks down into three subsidiary questions / how does personality affect the political follower / how is personality involved in the policy and performance of the political leader / how does personality enter into the attitudes and behaviors of the political activist, the individual who often occupies the middle ground between follower and leader [from the chapter].
101. Simonton, D. K. (1990h). Political pathology and societal creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 3, 85-99.
Complementing the hypothesized intimate relation between creativity and psychopathology at the individual level are conjectures concerning the relation between creativity and pathology at the sociocultural level. This article reviews the empirical literature on the subject, with special focus on how societal creativity is affected by international war, external threat, political instability, and civil disturbances. Such events and circumstances are shown to affect both the quantity of creative activity and the form that any creativity takes. Although some of these effects are short-term and transient, other influences operate after some delay and tend to be more lasting. There follows a discussion of what these results imply about how creativity at the individual level is shaped by the social context in which creative development and thought take place.
102. Simonton, D. K. (1990i). Psychology, science, and history: An introduction to historiometry. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Is there a scientific way to assess the validity of generalizations about historical events? Can we test psychological hypotheses about human behavior? In this book Dean Keith Simonton describes how the emerging field of historiometry provides such tests by applying quantitative analyses to historical data about representative people and events. Simonton, a pioneer in the field, presents an overview of historiometry, explaining how it is practiced and how useful it can be to historians, psychologists, and other social scientists. In clear and accessible language, Simonton discusses the methodology of historiometry: formulating the basic questions of a study, deciding what information is necessary, and analyzing the information so as to assess the original hypothesis. He then shows how historiometry has expanded our scientific understanding of such key phenomena as genius, creativity, leadership, and aggression. By scrutinizing the personal papers, biographies, and creative output of historical figures ranging from composers, writers, and scientists to American presidents, European monarchs, and generals, practitioners of historiometry can illuminate many variables affecting human personality and achievement. Throughout the book, Simonton provides examples of the way that historiometry offers insights into such areas as the degree to which attitudes toward politicians are influenced by specific persuasion techniques, the effect of economic and political conditions on the authoritarian personality, and the impact of genetic endowment, birth order, family background, and formal education on personality development [from the jacket].
103. Simonton, D. K. (1990j). Some optimistic thoughts on the pessimistic-rumination thesis. Psychological Inquiry, 1, 73-75.
Comments on Zullow and Seligman’s study of the effects of pessimistic rumination on election outcomes and discusses research strategies in political psychology. It is suggested that Zullow and Seligman’s explanatory construct needs to be integrated with the prediction schemes of political scientists.
104. Simonton, D. K. (1991a). Career landmarks in science: Individual differences and interdisciplinary contrasts. Developmental Psychology, 27, 119-130.
A conceptual framework is introduced for interpreting individual differences in the developmental location of the first, best, and last contributions of a creative career. Eight hypotheses are offered that specify how the placement of the three landmarks over the life span should vary according to both individual differences (in age at career onset, lifetime productivity, and eminence) and interdisciplinary contrasts (resulting from the inherent cognitive requirements of each field). The hypotheses are then confirmed on a sample of 2,026 scientists and inventors (even after introducing controls for potential artifacts). The results (a) place further constraints on theoretical explanations of the relation between age and creative productivity, (b) lead to new predictions regarding how creative achievement may vary across and within careers, and (c) suggest how to examine changes in creative potential from childhood through old age.
105. Simonton, D. K. (1991b). Creative productivity through the adult years. Generations: Journal of the American Society on Aging, 15, 13-16.
Considers 6 points in discussing the decline in creative powers in the latter half of life. The generalized age curve is a function of career rather than chronological age; the average rate of output in the 70s falls to around half the rate seen at the career optimum in the 30s and 40s; and age curves vary substantially across disciplines. Also, studies show that the quality of output across the life span is strongly associated with the quantity of output; individuals vary greatly in creative potential; and creative productivity can undergo a substantial renaissance in the final years.
106. Simonton, D. K. (1991c). Emergence and realization of genius: The lives and works of 120 classical composers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 829-840.
Building on a model of individual differences in career development, new predictions are proposed regarding the preparatory phase of a creative life. After data on an elite sample of 120 classical composers from the Renaissance to the 20th century were collected, productivity variables were defined in terms of both themes and works, and the “hits” in each category were identified according to actual popularity. The theory successfully provided a foundation for understanding the positive, negative, and null relationships among eminence, lifetime output, maximum annual output, and the ages of first lessons, first composition, first hit, best hit, last hit, maximum annual output, and death. On the basis of the results, further questions are raised regarding the early childhood roots of adulthood creativity.
107. Simonton, D. K. (1991d). Genes and genius from Galton to Freud. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 14, 406-407.
108. Simonton, D. K. (1991e). Latent-variable models of posthumous reputation: A quest for Galton’s G. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 607-619.
Galton’s (1869) theory of genius posits an intimate correspondence between personal ability and social eminence. This connection implies that the covariance structure for multiple indicators of distinction is described by a simple single-factor model. After defining rival models that predict no traitlike consistency and stability, structural equation software programs (TETRAD and EQS) were used to test 4 alternative measurement models on 5 data sets of between 6 and 16 indicators each (28 presidents, 2,012 philosophers, 772 artists, 696 composers, and a subset of 92 composers). Despite slight method artifacts that sometimes suggested the addition of correlated error terms, a single-factor model provided a precise and parsimonious explanation for all covariance matrices, even when the eminence measures were separated by several decades. Galton’s G may have a behavioral basis in an achiever’s lifetime contributions.
109. Simonton, D. K. (1991f). Personality correlates of exceptional personal influence: A note on Thorndike’s (1950) creators and leaders. Creativity Research Journal, 4, 67-78.
Past investigations suggest that the magnitude of social influence exerted by an eminent individual may be determined by similar personality traits for both creators and leaders. This hypothesis is tested by examining 91 historical figures whom Thorndike (1950) had assessed on 48 characteristics. After collapsing the assessments into the four dimensions of industriousness, extraversion, aggressiveness, and intelligence, and objectively measuring the differential eminence of the individuals using a composite archival index, it was found that achieved distinction in both domains was a positive linear function of intelligence and aggressiveness. Not only were the functions identical across both creators and leaders, but the relationships also seemed to be transhistorically invariant.
110. Simonton, D. K. (1991g). Predicting presidential greatness: An alternative to the Kenney and Rice Contextual Index. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 21, 301-305.
In this journal Kenney and Rice proposed an equation that predicts a president’s long-term reputation in terms of eight contextual factors. Their Contextual Index is compared with an earlier six-variable equation that was constructed from a multivarite analysis of a huge database on presidential leadership. Despite some overlap in predictors, the recommended alternative has twice the predictive power and is robust across over a dozen different assessments of presidential greatness. The six predictors are years in office, number of war years, assassination, war hero, intelligence, and scandal. However, both predictive schemes suggest that Reagan will go down in history as an above-average but not outstanding chief executive.
111. Simonton, D. K. (1991h). [Review of the book Genius: The history of an idea, P. Murray (Ed.)]. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 27, 174-176.
112. Simonton, D. K. (1991i). [Review of the book Understanding quantitative history, L. Haskins & K. Jeffrey]. Social Science Quarterly, 72, 855-856.
113. Simonton, D. K. (1992a). The child parents the adult: On getting genius from giftedness. In N. Colangelo, S. G. Assouline, & D. L. Ambroson (Eds.), Talent development: Volume I. Proceedings from the 1991 Henry B. and Jocelyn Wallace National Research Symposium on Talent Development (pp. 278-297). Unionville, NY: Trillium Press.
114. Simonton, D. K. (1992b). Gender and genius in Japan: Feminine eminence in masculine culture. Sex Roles, 27, 101-119.
The number of distinguished women was hypothesized to fluctuate over consecutive historical periods according to concomitant change in the dominant male culture. Three conjectures were evaluated in 2,453 Japanese creators and leaders active between 580 and 1959. Applying generational time-series analysis to 69 consecutive 20-year periods, indicators gauged changes in female literary and nonliterary eminence along with male literary activity, power and aggressive behavior, and ideology. Although the emergence of gender-biased belief systems was negatively associated with female distinction in all domains, literary success of both men and women was linked to similar contextual factors, especially a negative association with male power and aggressive activities. The group-level results are interpreted in terms of possible individual and interpersonal processes.
115. Simonton, D. K. (1992c). Late-life creativity: Who is really over the hill? Executive Health’s Good Health Report, 28, 1, 4-6.
116. Simonton, D. K. (1992d). Leaders of American psychology, 1879-1967: Career development, creative output, and professional achievement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 5-17.
Building on previous work in the metasciences, this article examines 69 eminent psychologists who helped make the US a center of disciplinary activity. After measuring professional eminence (occupying the American Psychological Association presidency and posthumous reputation), creative output (using both citation indicators and a content analysis of titles), and career development (aspects of graduate training and institutional affiliations), along with essential control variables, the analyses (a) provide a sketch of the “typical” eminent American psychologist, (b) trace the historical trends in the general profile across 8 decades, and (c) identify some cognitive and behavioral factors underlying differential distinction.
117. Simonton, D. K. (1992e). Presidential greatness and personality: A response to McCann (1992). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 676-679.
McCann (1992) offered a new set of equations that predict presidential greatness. He explicitly argued that his new equations contradict the attributional model put forward by Simonton (1986, 1987). However, several conceptual and statistical problems may undermine the force of his argument. These include (a) a selection procedure that exploits arbitrary fluctuations in samples and ratings, (b) the choice not to reopen the search for situational predictors, (c) an excessive reliance on an inferior measure of presidential greatness, (d) the use of statistical procedures that may distort the true effect sizes, and (e) the decision to ignore the larger body of research supporting Simonton’s equations and their theoretical interpretation.
118. Simonton, D. K. (1992f). Psychoeconomic creativity – How psychological? How economic? How creative?: A response to Rubenson and Runco. New Ideas in Psychology, 10, 167-171.
Comments on the article by Rubenson and Runco concerning a psychoeconomic model of the creative process and discusses the pros and cons of the model.
119. Simonton, D. K. (1992g). [Review of the book Creativity and psychological health: Origins of personal vitality and creative freedom, F. Barron]. American Journal of Psychology, 105, 119-123.
120. Simonton, D. K. (1992h). [Review of the book Innovation and creativity at work: Psychological and organizational strategies, M. A. West & J. L. Farr (Eds.)]. Administrative Science Quarterly, 37, 679-681.
121. Simonton, D. K. (1992i). The social context of career success and course for 2,026 scientists and inventors. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 18, 452-463.
The career success and course of 2,026 eminent scientists and inventors were examined relative to the social networks in which their work took place. Career success was gauged by eminence and lifetime contributions; career course was assessed by the age at first, best, and last contributions and the career duration. Once social relationships were grouped into 15 categories, such as mentors, collaborators, and successors, the relationships were assessed according to their number, eminence, and age gap. Controlling for potential artifacts, analysis revealed how career achievements were associated with the presence of specific proximal and distal interactions and influences across and within generations. Isaac Newton is shown to typify the overall pattern of results.
122. Simonton, D. K. (1993a). Blind variations, chance configurations, and creative genius. Psychological Inquiries, 4, 225-228.
Comments on Eysenck’s proposed theory of a link between creativity and psychoticism. It is contended that Eysenck has misconstrued what the author meant by the word “chance” in his own theories. The main cause of this misunderstanding is that many people perceive chance in dichotomous terms. A process is thought to be either chancy or determined by some logic. To appreciate properly the role of chance in creativity, however, the phenomenon should be contemplated as a continuum. It is argued that the creative process becomes more probabilistic when the number of potential paths to a solution increases and when the subjective odds that these alternative paths will lead to a solution becomes more equal and, so, equally small besides. By defining the probabilistic nature of creativity this way, the controversy between Eysenck’s view and Simonton’s view disappears.
123. Simonton, D. K. (1993b). Creative genius in music: Mozart and other composers. In P. F. Ostwald & L. S. Zegans (Ed.), The pleasures and perils of genius: Mostly Mozart (pp. 1-28). New York: International Universities Press.
[Defines] what we mean by genius, with emphasis on how we can justify assigning that label to Mozart, reviews the key empirical findings about musical genius, and discusses how and whether Mozart exemplifies the emerging picture psychometric genius. Topics: historiometric genius / the life of genius [developmental antecedents, career performance] / the works of genius [stress, aging, death] / Mozart as prototypical genius [from the chapter].
124. Simonton, D. K. (1993c). Esthétique et créativité en musique classique: Ce que les ordinateurs peuvent décrypter à partir des six premières notes [Esthetics and creativity in classical music: What computers can decipher from the first six notes]. Bulletin de Psychologie, 46, 476-483.
125. Simonton, D. K. (1993d). From childhood giftedness to creative genius. In J. Brzezinski, S. Di Nuovo, T. Marek, & T. Maruszewski (Eds.), Creativity and consciousness: Philosophical and psychological dimensions (pp. 367-381). Amsterdam: Rodopi.
126. Simonton, D. K. (1993e). Further Details on VOTER HELPERTM0: A response to the editor’s comments. Political Psychology, 14, 555-558.
Responds to comments by S. A. Renshon concerning the present author’s (1994) views on selecting the best political leaders for the US presidency. Simonton clarifies his position about the way future political psychologists might make recommendations and the use of the hypothetical software, VOTER HELPER.
127. Simonton, D. K. (1993f). Genius and chance: A Darwinian perspective. In J. Brockman (Ed.), Creativity: The Reality Club IV (pp. 176-201). New York: Simon & Schuster.
Discusses a spinoff of Darwin’s revolutionary hypothesis [of evolution] / Darwinian ideas have inspired the framework for a comprehensive theory of creativity / outline this theory under four headings: (1) thoughts and processes, (2) products and ideas, (3) persons and personalities, and (4) schools and cultures / these headings demarcate the four levels at which Darwinian creativity functions [from the chapter].
128. Simonton, D. K. (1993g). JCB’s quarter century… and beyond. Journal of Creative Behavior, 27 (4), v-vi.
129. Simonton, D. K. (1993h). The new editor speaks… Journal of Creative Behavior, 27 (3), v-vi.
130. Simonton, D. K. (1993i). Putting the best leaders in the White House: Personality, policy, and performance. Political Psychology, 14, 539-550.
This paper discusses what political psychology might have to offer in making it more likely that the best leaders might become presidents of the United States. An analytical framework outlines some of the more likely contributions of the political psychologist to the electoral process. This framework defines how the leader’s personality, likely policy preferences, and political performance may be objectively inferred from available biographical and content analytical data. After reviewing examples of relevant empirical research, the paper closes with a discussion of the assets and liabilities of the analysis.
131. Simonton, D. K. (1994a). Computer content analysis of melodic structure: Classical composers and their compositions. Psychology of Music, 22, 31-43.
The computerized content analysis of musical structure can reveal a great deal about the psychology of musical aesthetics and creativity. This is shown in a series of studies on 15,618 themes by 479 classical composers. Computer assessments of a composition’s originality are associated with (a) temporal changes across time, whether in the successive movements of a large composition, different stages of a composer’s career, or alterations of the prevalent stylistic zeitgeist in Western music; (b) dramatic events and situations in the composer’s life; and (c) the aesthetic importance, listener accessibility, and ultimate poularity of the compositions producted. Notwithstanding the apparent simplicity of the measure, the computer can still infer many important factors that affect the creation and evaluation of musical compositions.
132. Simonton, D. K. (1994b). Creativity inside out – but not upside down [Review of the book Creative cognition: Theory, research, and applications, R. A. Finke, T. B. Ward, & S. M. Smith]. Contemporary Psychology, 39, 12-13.
133. Simonton, D. K. (1994c). Editor’s comments… Reflections on the past year. Journal of Creative Behavior, 28 (4), iv.
134. Simonton, D. K. (1994d). Genius and giftedness: Parallels and discrepancies. In N. Colangelo, S. G. Assouline, & D. L. Ambroson (Eds.), Talent development: Volume II. Proceedings from the 1993 Henry B. and Jocelyn Wallace National Research Symposium on Talent Development (pp. 39-82). Dayton, OH: Ohio Psychology Publishing.
135. Simonton, D. K. (1994e). Greatness: Who makes history and why. New York: Guilford Press.
In this [book, the author] examines a range of important personalities and events that have influenced the course of history. He discusses how people who go down in history might be different from the rest of us, and explores which personality traits predispose certain people to become world leaders, movie stars, scientific geniuses, and star athletes. In exploring the psychology of greatness, this [book] also sheds light on the characteristics that any of us may share with history-making people [from the cover].
136. Simonton, D. K. (1994f). Individual differences, developmental changes, and social context. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 17, 552-553.
137. Simonton, D. K. (1994g). [Review of the book Motivation and personality: Handbook of thematic content analysis, C. P. Smith, Ed.]. Political Psychology, 15, 603-606.
Author examines the principal assets of the reviewed book. These include an extremely comprehensive treatment of the principal methods of thematic content analysis and the provision of coding manuals and practice materials to enable researchers to master the techniques. While concentrating on motivational variables, content analytical strategies are provided for other domains as well, such as cognitive and interpersonal. Not every possible content analytical system is presented, and the volume can become rather technical and demanding, but on the whole it represents a major contribution to the measurement literature.
138. Simonton, D. K. (1994h). Scientific eminence, the history of psychology, and term paper topics: A metascience approach. Teaching of Psychology, 21, 169-171.
Teachers of courses in the history of psychology sometimes assign term papers requiring the treatment of a single major figure in the discipline. One instructive conceptual framework for writing such “great person” essays is to interpret a psychologist’s life and work according to the typical profile of an eminent scientist. This profile is provided by empirical research in the metasciences, especially the psychology of science. A sample handout suggests some of the questions that students can address when evaluating whether an eminent psychologist.
139. Simonton, D. K. (1994i). Three life-span perspectives on talent development. In N. Colangelo, S. G. Assouline, D. L. Ambroson (Eds.), Talent development: Volume II. Proceedings from the 1993 Henry B. and Jocelyn Wallace National Research Symposium on Talent Development (pp. 133-136). Dayton, OH: Ohio Psychology Publishing.
140. Simonton, D. K. (1995a). A sampler of tasty tidbits [Review of the book Dimensions of creativity, M. A. Boden (Ed.)]. Contemporary Psychology, 40, 968-969.
Review noting that these papers were originally presented at meetings of The Achievement Project, a research group sponsored by the Renaissance Trust in Great Britain. Simon Schaffer discusses the rich historical and philosophical complexity of what we psychologists often style a “discovery.” Schaffer shows that discovery is often a long, drawn-out affair with numerous participants. The next chapter, by Gerd Gigerenzer, also performs a historical analysis, only this time the topic of discussion documents a “tools-to-theories” model, in which the methods that behavioral scientists use later become metaphors that are elevated to the level of scientific theory. Margaret Boden’s own contribution takes a different approach altogether. As a computer scientist and philosopher, her interest is in computational models of the creative process. Most conspicuous is the book’s emphasis on pure research, thereby omitting any detailed discussion of educational practices, organizational constraints, personnel selection, and similar issues that figure prominently in the applied research on creativity. In short, this collection cannot be said to constitute a “handbook.” Thus the book’s title is wisely chosen.
141. Simonton, D. K. (1995b). Behavioral laws in histories of psychology: Psychological science, metascience, and the psychology of science. Psychological Inquiry, 6, 89-114.
Suggests that histories of psychology frequently include statements that explicitly or implicitly express behavioral laws citing ideas, individuals, or groups. Usually, these meta-historical generalizations provide covering laws for explanatory accounts, contextual frames, or paradoxical contrasts. These abstract propositions come from many sources, vary immensely in scientific validity, and are found in psychological publications besides histories, including book reviews, obituaries, journal articles, monographs, and trade books. It is suggested that not only could the authors of these nomothetic claims make better use of empirical results in the metasciences, but these assertions themselves offer an inventory of valuable hypotheses that should inspire research in the behavioral sciences and especially in the psychology of science.
142. Simonton, D. K. (1995c). Creativity. In G. L. Maddox (Ed.), The encyclopedia of aging (2nd ed., pp. 241-243). New York: Springer.
143. Simonton, D. K. (1995d). Creativity as heroic: Risk, success, failure, and acclaim. In C. M. Ford & D. A. Gioia (Eds.), Creativity in organizations: Ivy tower visions and real world voices (pp. 88-93). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
144. Simonton, D. K. (1995e). Editor’s comments: Current and forthcoming features. Journal of Creative Behavior, 29 (3), iii-v.
145. Simonton, D. K. (1995f). Drawing inferences from symphonic programs: Musical attributes versus listener attributions. Music Perception, 12, 307-322.
In classical music listening, program announcements, both on radio and in concerts, will usually introduce the performance of a symphony with the same minimal articles of information, such as the composer, the order of composition, the key, and the name, if any. But how much can a listener infer about the musical attributes of the work from these basic facts? Examination of 99 symphonies by 13 symphonists between Beethoven and Shostakovich showed that such rudimentary programmatic data can predict several subjective and objective features, including aesthetic significance, listener accessibility, repertoire popularity, melodic originality, originality variation, and playing time. Discussion follows about what these empirical relationships may imply about how composers create their symphonies and how appreciators perceive those musical products.
146. Simonton, D. K. (1995g). Exceptional personal influence: An integrative paradigm. Creativity Research Journal, 8, 371-376.
Comments on the article by Kasof (1996) on attributions for creative behavior. Simonton presents a paradigm for exceptional personal influence. The paradigm centers on 3 vertices of a triangle: the person who manifests personal influence, the others who respond to the target person, and the environment. Simonton invites the reader to consider Kasof’s ideas in the context of his paradigm.
147. Simonton, D. K. (1995h). Foresight in insight? A Darwinian answer. In R. J. Sternberg & J. E. Davidson (Eds.), The nature of insight (pp. 465-494). Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press.
The article develops further a Darwinian (variation-selection) model of the creative process. After providing introspective and anecdotal evidence for the theory, two key questions are addressed. First, what is the role of chance in the creative process? Second, how aware are creators of the processes underlying their insights? The article then treats the problem of whether creative insights can display any foresight according to the Darwinian model. The discussion begins with the role of prior preparation, both in the long-term and in the short-term. It then ends with an examination of whether the ultimate fate of insights can be predicted at either personal or social levels.
148. Simonton, D. K. (1995i). Many are called, but few are chosen [Review of the book Talented teenagers: The roots of success and failure, M. Csikszentmihalyi, K. Rathunde, & S. Whalen]. Contemporary Psychology, 40, 733-735.
Talented Teenagers investigates how talent develops over time. Csikszentmihalyi et al scrutinize five different domains of giftedness, a broad definition of talent that permits the examination of similarities and differences in talent development across contrasting forms of achievement. They also use some innovative methods to help them assess variables that are often overlooked in other longitudinal inquiries, the most distinctive of which is the experience sampling method. The authors focus on a relatively narrow span of time, namely that limited by attendance in a four-year high school. They do a commendable job of exploiting to the maximum their distinctive approach in this longitudinal study. Despite the reviewer’s minor reservations, he still believes that this is the most significant study of talent development to appear since Bloom’s (1985).
149. Simonton, D. K. (1995j). Personality and intellectual predictors of leadership. In D. H. Saklofske & M. Zeidner (Eds.), International handbook of personality and intelligence (pp. 739-757). New York: Plenum.
What are [the] crucial personal assets [that individuals in leadership positions possess]? Can we psychologists devise reliable and valid measures of the needed attributes? Can we successfully predict who will do best in such positions of power and influence? Presents a historical overview of the key methods and findings [from the chapter].
150. Simonton, D. K. (1995k). [Review of the book Telling the truth about history, J. Appleby, L. Hunt, & M. Jacob]. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, 37, 220-221.
151. Simonton, D. K. (1995l). Spread-eagle over the disciplinary chasm. Psychological Inquiry, 6, 135-141.
Responds to 7 commentaries on the behavioral generalizations in the history of psychology target article by Simonton (1995). Comments by Danziger and Furumoto are viewed as critiques by Simonton, those by Evans and Robinson are viewed as receptive, and those by Feist and Gholson are viewed as appreciative. The Wertheimer and Wertheimer comment is seen as integrative by Simonton. Danziger and Furumoto appear to share certain concerns on the focus of the article, while Evans and Robinson raise more issues for consideration. Feist and Gholson elaborate, extend, and exemplify the article’s argument. Wertheimer and Wertheimer advance substantive hypotheses on the scientific analysis of nomothetic propositions.
152. Simonton, D. K. (1996a). Achievement. In J. E. Birren (Ed.), Encyclopedia of gerontology (pp. 27-36). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
153. Simonton, D. K. (1996b). Creative expertise: A life-span developmental perspective. In K. A. Ericsson (Ed.), The road to expert performance: Empirical evidence from the arts and sciences, sports, and games (pp. 227-253). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Traces the development of [creative] expertise across the entire individual life span, from birth to death and everything between / furthermore [the author introduces] a theoretical (and sometimes even mathematical) model that aspires to explain the main features of this life-span development / develops a formal framework for understanding the emergence and manifestation of creative expertise across a creator’s life span / the framework begins by hypothesizing a longitudinal model of creative productivity, and then defines the role of individual-difference variables / [proposes] a mathematical model that predicts how the output rate of creative products varies during the course of a career age and creative productivity [From the chapter].
154. Simonton, D. K. (1996c). Creativity. In J. E. Birren (Ed.), Encyclopedia of gerontology (pp. 341-351). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
155. Simonton, D. K. (1996d). Individual genius within cultural configurations: The case of Japanese civilization. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 27, 354-375.
A classic controversy in the study of outstanding achievement concerns the importance of the cultural milieu in the emergence of genius. The current inquiry addresses this debate by investigating the correlation between an individual’s historical eminence and his or her location within a cultural growth pattern or “configuration.” In particular, the posthumous reputation of 611 Japanese creators and leaders was examined with respect to the shape of the configuration defined by 1,631 lesser figures active in the same domains of activity. The local configuration was classified as a peak, trough, an ascent, or a descent using both domain-specific and system-wide definitions. Findings indicate that the most eminent Ss were more likely to emerge during system-wide ascents and were less likely to appear during domain-specific descents.
156. Simonton, D. K. (1996e). Minding creativity [Review of the book The creative cognition approach, by S. M. Smith, T. B. Ward, & R. A. Finke, (Eds.)]. Contemporary Psychology, 41, 1015-1016.
The editors of this collection of essays are all affiliated with the same university, where they have founded the Creative Cognition Research Group. All three have joined in a single mission. They wish to establish creativity as a legitimate and important topic in cognitive science. At the same time, they aspire to establish their “creative cognition” approach as a central enterprise in contemporary research on creativity. The way the editors envision this research strategy, both cognitive science and creativity research have much to gain by a fusion of investigative activity. On the one hand, our understanding of creative processes may be greatly enhanced by taking full advantage of the techniques and concepts of mainstream cognitive science. On the other hand, the editors also believe that researchers can learn a great deal more about cognitive processes by investigating them within the context of creativity. According to the reviewer, to demonstrate the utility of the advocated approach, the three editors have gathered an impressively diverse collection of essays. He indicates that he knows of no collaborative triad that is comparable to this Texas threesome.
157. Simonton, D. K. (1996f). Musical creativity across time: Period, age, and compositional changes. International Journal of Psychology, 31, 110. [Abstract]
A characteristic feature of musical creativity is that compositional styles tend to change over time. This generalization holds for almost every type of music, whether jazz, rock, or pop. Stylistic changes are especially pronounced in classical music, as is evident by comparising compositions by composers widely dispersed in historical time (e.g., Josquin des Press, Monteverdi, J. S. Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Wagner, Schoenberg, and Philip Glass). Moreover, these stylistic changes can often be observed within the careers of individual composers (e.g., Beethoven’s three compositional periods). Computerized content analyses of music in the classical repertoire have indicated how these stylistic changes occur.
158. Simonton, D. K. (1996g). Presidents’ wives and First Ladies: On achieving eminence within a traditional gender role. Sex Roles, 35, 309-336.
Women sometimes attain distinction through their relationships with highly successful men. This association may entail some combination of several individual and dyadic processes. Possible processes were explored in the lives of 48 wives and First Ladies associated with 39 U.S. Presidents. Three primary dimensions of the women’s performance were used to determine the connection between their eminence and that of the President. Although a reflected-glory effect was apparent in the unreciprocated influence of the President’s reputation on his First Lady’s reputation, the woman’s reputation was independently determined by (a) her performance as the President’s political colleague and (b) her success at establishing her own distinct personality. On the other hand, her reputation was not influenced by her expertise in fulfilling more traditional gender role responsibilities. Some biographical antecedents of the women’s performance were also identified.
159. Simonton, D. K. (1996h). The psychology of famous personalities: Historiometric methods. International Journal of Psychology, 31, 455. [Abstract]
Most empirical studies in psychology are conducted on subjects who are both contemporary and anonymous, such as college students or clinical populations. However, many substantive issues of considerable interest and importance can best be answered by examining subjects who are both deceased and illustrious, such as notable leaders or creators. The distinctive advantages of using these subject pools are especially prominent in the subdisciplines of personality, developmental, and social psychology. Yet these particular subjects cannot be studied by mainstream methods. Instead, data must be obtained using historiometric techniques that permit the analysis of historical, biographical, and content analytical data.
160. Simonton, D. K. (1996i). [Review of the book Genius: The natural history of creativity, H. Eysenck]. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 34, 395.
161. Mumford, M. D., & Simonton, D. K. (1997). Creativity in the workplace: People, problems, and structures. Journal of Creative Behavior, 31, 1-6.
In a dynamic global economy, creativity and innovation are essential requirements for organizational success. Creativity, unfortunately, has not always been seen as playing an important role in the design and structure of organizations. In this article, we argue that creativity and innovation are key requirements for the growth and adaptation of organizations. Subsequently, we review a series of articles, appearing in this issue, about how we might encourage creativity and innovation in the workplace. Some potentially useful directions for future research are discussed along with the methodological issues likely to arise as we seek to understand creativity in the workplace.
162. Simonton, D. K. (1997a). Achievement domain and life expectancies in Japanese civilization. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 44, 103-114.
Previous studies have found that the expected life span of eminent personalities may vary systematically according to the domain of achievement. The current investigation examines this phenomenon more closely by 1) introducing methodological controls for potential gender and cohort artifacts, 2) adding substantive predictors (e.g., suicide and homicide) that provide clues regarding the substantive basis for the differences, 3) scrutinizing a greater variety of achievement domains in both creativity and leadership, and 4) using a non-Western sample of historical figures (1,632 Japanese born between 450 and 1883 A.D.). Multiple regression analyses revealed domain contrasts in life expectancy (e.g., the shorter life spans of fiction authors and political figures, but the longer life spans of religious leaders and sword makers). In addition, the analyses helped decipher the extent to which these domain differences were due to violent death or to the stress of occupying high positions of power.
163. Simonton, D. K. (1997b). Cognition, creativity, genius, and truth in advertising [Review of the book Creativity and the mind: Discovering the genius within, T. B. Ward, R. A. Finke, & S. M. Smith]. Contemporary Psychology, 42, 902-904.
The reviewer states that he is using this book as a springboard for indicating a gigantic zone of ignorance in the research on how to make people more creative. Some books on creative powers, like this one, are produced by competent academics, and thus are rooted in scientific research. Other self-help offerings came from the pens of writers with less solid credentials – pop psychologists rather than behavioral scientists. What is patently missing from all these books is a series of well-controlled experiments in which participants are randomly assigned books to read and afterward tested for improvements in their creativity skills.
164. Simonton, D. K. (1997c). Creative productivity: A predictive and explanatory model of career trajectories and landmarks. Psychological Review, 104, 66-89.
The author developed a model that explains and predicts both longitudinal and cross-sectional variation in the output of major and minor creative products. The model first yields a mathematical equation that accounts for the empirical age curves, including contrasts across creative domains in the expected career trajectories. The model is then extended to account for individual differences in career trajectories, such as the longitudinal stability of cross-sectional variation and the differential placement of career landmarks (the ages at first, best, and last contribution). The theory is parsimonious in that it requires only two individual-difference parameters (initial creative potential and age at career onset) and two information-processing parameters (ideation and elaboration rates), plus a single principle (the equal-odds rule), to derive several precise predictions that cannot be generated by any alternative theory.
165. Simonton, D. K. (1997d). Creativity in personality, developmental, and social psychology: Links with cognitive psychology? In T. B. Ward, S. M. Smith & J. Vaid (Eds.), Creative thought: An investigation of conceptual structures and processes (pp.309-324). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Comments on the previous chapters in this volume by Cacciari et al., Markman et al. , Chi et al., Murphy, and Barsalou et al., cognitive psychologists who study creativity are fascinated with mental processes and operations that produce creative ideas / personality, developmental, and social psychologists, in contrast, tend to examine creativity from wider or more inclusive perspectives / it is from these 3 distinct orientations that the author directs his examination [from the chapter].
166. Simonton, D. K. (1997e). Evolution, personality, and history [Review of the book Born to rebel: Birth order, family dynamics, and creative lives, F. Sulloway]. American Journal of Psychology, 110, 457-461.
167. Simonton, D. K. (1997f). Foreign influence and national achievement: The impact of open milieus on Japanese civilization. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 86-94.
Input from alien cultures might stimulate exceptional national achievements. This hypothesis was tested by applying generational time-series analysis to a society whose history shows tremendous variation in its receptiveness to the external world (viz., Japan between 580 and 1939). After required controls and data transformations were introduced, the cross-correlations were examined between 3 measures of extracultural influx (outside influence, travel abroad, and eminent immigrants) and 14 measures of national achievement (politics, war, business, religion, medicine, philosophy, nonfiction, fiction, poetry, drama, painting, sculpture, ceramics, and swords). For most domains of creative achievement, the number of eminent individuals at generation g was a positive function of the amount of foreign influence at generation g – 2. For many leadership domains, in contrast, activity at generation g tended to be positively associated with national openness to alien influences at g + 1.
168. Simonton, D. K. (1997g). Genius and creativity: Selected papers. Greenwich, CT: Ablex.
This book is a collection of papers on creativity and eminence. Building on the work of such experts as Galton, Terman, and Cox the author examines achievement in a variety of cultural settings and in response to major historical events, such as wars. By doing this he has brought together comprehensively and systematically many of the powerful historical, personal, and cultural influences determining significant real-world creativity and its influences. In doing so the author attempts to develop an empirically based theory of creative eminence [from the preface].
169. Simonton, D. K. (1997h). Giftedness, talent, and genius: How the same? How different? In J. A. Leroux (Ed.), Selected proceedings from the 12th World Conference of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, Inc., 12, 189-214.
170. Simonton, D. K. (1997i). Historiometric studies of creative genius. In M. Runco (Ed.), Handbook of creativity research (Vol. 1, pp. 3-28). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
171. Simonton, D. K. (1997j). Imagery, style, and content in 37 Shakespeare plays. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 15, 15-20.
Using the Regressive Imagery Dictionary (RID), Derks  assessed the thirty-seven plays of Shakespeare on three content analytical variables: primordial content, conceptual content, and incongruous juxtapositions. In the current study, these three RID measures were shown to correlate with style and content attributes not examined in the earlier article. For example, primordial content was found to be positively associated with the proportion of lines in rhymed verse and negatively associated with the proportion of lines in prose. Moreover, although this study replicated some of Derks’ findings with respect to incongruous juxtapositions, it also discovered a negative relation this variable and the play’s level of thematic richness. It is possible that some of these results are not idiosyncratic to Shakespearem but rather may characterize literary creativity in general.
172. Simonton, D. K. (1997k). Products, persons, and periods: Historiometric analyses of compositional creativity. In D. Hargreaves & A. North (Eds.), The social psychology of music (pp. 107-122). New York: Oxford University Press.
Reviews what has become known as the historiometric approach to music, drawing extensively on his own pioneering research in the field on the relationship between broader sociocultural variables (e.g., warfare) and musical taste and creativity [from the book]. There are multiple ways psychologists might go about extracting good behavioural science from the available material / discuss the historiometry method, a scientific discipline in which nomothetic hypotheses about human behaviour are tested by applying quantitative analyses to data concerning historical individuals’ / review some of the major historiometric findings concerning the product, person, and period aspects of music compositional creativity [from the chapter].
173. Simonton, D. K. (1997l). When giftedness becomes genius: How does talent achieve eminence? In N. Colangelo & G. A. Davis (Eds.), Handbook of gifted education (2nd ed., pp. 335-349). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
174. Simonton, D. K. (1998a). Achieved eminence in minority and majority cultures: Convergence versus divergence in the assessments of 294 African Americans. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 804-817.
Although psychologists have often used eminence measures as individual-difference variables, no researcher has investigated the differential eminence of individuals belonging to disadvantaged minority groups. Here a sample of 294 illustrious African Americans is scrutinized from the standpoint of the majority (White) culture and the minority (Black) subculture. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses of 7 Black and 10 White eminence measures indicate that (a) these measures can be explained by two latent variables but that (b) the two dimensions correlate very highly. Multiple regression analyses then showed that the Black and White composite assessments, although concurring on the impact of most predictor variables (e.g., gender, famous firsts, and Spingarn Award), could nonetheless disagree on the consequences of achievements in certain domains (e.g., athletes, blues and jazz musicians, and civil rights activists). The results have implications for the development of causal models that explain individual differences in achievement within minority- and majority-culture populations.
175. Simonton, D. K. (1998b). Donald Campbell’s model of the creative process: Creativity as blind variation and selective retention. Journal of Creative Behavior, 32, 153-158.
This special issue honors Donald Campbell, who died on May 6, 1996. Although Campbell became best known for his methodological contributions, he also published a classic 1960 paper in which he developed a blind-variation and selective-retention model of the creative process. Not only does this Darwinian model accurately describe Campbell’s own creative modus operandi, but in addition it may provide the basis for a comprehensive theory of creativity. The articles collected for this special issue are devoted to evaluating Campbell’s theoretical proposal from the hindsight of nearly 40 years of research and thinking on the creative process.
176. Simonton, D. K. (1998c). Career paths and creative lives: A theoretical perspective on late life potential. In C. Adams-Price (Ed.), Creativity and successful aging: Theoretical and empirical approaches (pp. 3-18). New York: Springer.
177. Simonton, D. K. (1998d). Creativity and genius. In H. S. Friedman (Ed.), Encyclopedia of mental health (Vol. 1, pp. 607-617). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
178. Simonton, D. K. (1998e). Creativity, genius, and talent development. Roeper Review: A Journal on Gifted Education, 21, 86-87.
In this letter, the author describes his historiometric studies of eminent personalities, with particular focus on creative geniuses in the arts and sciences. He highlights some of the more prominent issues that need to be fathomed more fully in future research. Specifically, he considers 7 questions.
179. Simonton, D. K. (1998f). Defining and finding talent: Data and a multiplicative model? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 21, 424-425.
The Simonton (1991) study of 120 classical composers may provide evidence for the existence of innate talent. A weighted multiplicative model of talent development provides a basis for evaluating the adequacy of Howe et al.’s conclusions.
180. Simonton, D. K. (1998g). Fickle fashion versus immortal fame: Transhistorical assessments of creative products in the opera house. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 198-210.
Although the output of creative products provides a valid measure of individual differences in creativity, this criterion assumes that judgments of a product’s creativity have long-term stability. This assumption was tested with a sample of 496 operas by 55 composers whose work spanned 332 years (1607-1938). In addition to examining the functional relation between initial reception and current acclaim, the investigation determined whether the interperiod consensus exhibited transhistorical stability, exponential decay, gradual attrition, or fashion cycles. Reception by contemporaries was assessed by 2 measures, whereas current status was gauged by 7 alternative assessments. Current aesthetic success was consistently found to vary as a positive monotonic function of initial reception, but the relationship changed over time in a cyclical manner. The results have important implications for the study of creativity in both historical and modern populations.
181. Simonton, D. K. (1998h). Gifted child – genius adult: Three life-span developmental perspectives. In R. C. Friedman & K. R. Rogers (Ed.), Talent in context: Historical and social perspectives (pp. 151-175). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
This chapter explores Shakespeare’s observation (1601) that “Some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” Organized around these 3 central perspectives, this chapter explores the developmental process: the biological perspective – why some are born great; the sociological perspective – why some have greatness thrust upon them; and the psychological perspective – why some achieve greatness [from the chapter].
182. Simonton, D. K. (1998i). Historiometric methods in social psychology. European Review of Social Psychology, 9, 267-293.
Historiometry is a correlational methodology that applies quantitative analyses to archival data concerning historic individuals and events, with the goal of testing nomothetic hypotheses about human behavior. Although not as common as laboratory experiments, this approach was first used in social psychological research about a century ago. Since then, historiometric studies have made important cotnributions to the scientific understanding of human social behavior. These contributions have touched upon such core issues as attitudes and beliefs, aggression and violence, group dynamics, and leadership. Although the technique must often admit certain disadvantages, historiometry also enjoys some distinct advantages.
183. Simonton, D. K. (1998j). Historiometry and a historic life. Journal of Personality, 66, 487-493.
Responds to comments by Read and Nasby (1998) and Velicer and Plummer (1998) on the present author’s article regarding the nature and impact of personal and political stress on the mental and physical health of King George III of Great Britain. Simonton focuses on 3 issues: George’s personality, moving-average models, and methodological hindsight. Simonton argues that George’s pathology requires a more complete examination of his entire personality, although that empirical association for a bona fide explanatory account must be extended. He discusses 2 directions research may take. Namely, utilizing techniques using biological data to provide personalty profiles for imminent leaders, and using methods to scrutinize the dynamics of the king’s character over the course of his adult life. Simonton argues that he was not interested in the stochastic models themselves, but used these models as tools to prewhiten the data, and that it may be necessary to arrive at 4 sets of explanatory accounts (political stress, personal stress, physical illness, and mental illness). He contends that even if these modes are currently identified, that does not demand that there exits a theoretical implication.
184. Simonton, D. K. (1998k). Mad King George: The impact of personal and political stress on mental and physical health. Journal of Personality, 66, 443-466.
Both historians and psychiatrists have tried to explain the recurrent attacks of mental and physical illness experienced by King George III of Great Britain. Although the porphyria hypothesis is widely accepted, this diagnosis assumes that the king’s breakdowns were not precipitated by extreme stress. This assumption was tested using single-case historiometric methods. Biographical data were compiled to form, two extensive chronologies of the monarch’s life, one for stressful events and the other for pathological symptoms. From this information 22 independent judges reliably assessed fluctuations in stress (total, personal, and political) and health (total, physical, and mental) across 624 consecutive months between 1760 and 1811. The cross-correlations were then calculated for the raw, first-differenced, and prewhitened time series. A consistent tendency appeared for the king’s health to deteriorate after increases in stress, most frequently with a 9-mo delay. The current study demonstrates the utility of applying quantitative techniques to a psychobiographical debate hitherto examined solely by qualitative approaches.
185. Simonton, D. K. (1998l). Masterpieces in music and literature: Historiometric inquiries [Arnheim Award Address]. Creativity Research Journal, 11, 103-110.
Having taken a class from Rudolf Arnheim during my graduate student days at Harvard University, I can take this experience as the point of departure for describing a research program that departs appreciably from that of my former teacher. Rather than the single-case, qualitative, and interpretative approach favored by Arnheim, I argue for a multiple-case, quantitative, and hypothesis-testing approach – the historiometric analysis of artistic products. The advantages of such historiometric analyses are illustrated by reviewing key findings in three separate domains: Western classical music, dramatic and poetic literature, and opera. I also discuss whether or not these same techniques can be usefully applied to the visual arts, the domain that most interested Arnheim.
186. Simonton, D. K. (1998m). Political leadership across the life span: Chronological versus career age in the British monarchy. Leadership Quarterly, 9, 309-320.
Although there exists extensive empirical literature on the relationship between age and outstanding achievement, very few investigations have examined the impact of age on the performance of political leaders. Taking advantage of certain methodological assets, the current study examined the British monarchs who governed between 1066 and 1811. After dividing this period into 110 5-year periods, the leadership performance was assessed on 17 criteria. Using a multivariate multiple regression analysis, these criteria were regressed on both chronological age and career age (using both linear and quadratic terms), along with five control variables. Although nine performance criteria exhibited no developmental changes, five were a curvilinear function of career age, two were a curvilinear function of chronological age, and one was a curvilinear function of both chronological and career age. The findings suggest that leader performance is determined by several processes that bear distinct relationships with life-span changes.
187. Simonton, D. K. (1998n). Political leadership: The 1996 presidential election. Leadership Quarterly, 9, 333-334.
188. Simonton, D. K. (1998o). Political leadership: World heads of state. Leadership Quarterly, 9, 239-242.
189. Simonton, D. K. (1998p). [Review of the book World Military leaders: A collective and comparative analysis, M. Rejai & K. Phillips.] Political Psychology, 19, 249-251.
190. Simonton, D. K., Taylor, K., & Cassandro, V. (1998). The creative genius of William Shakespeare: Historiometric analyses of his plays and sonnets. In A. Steptoe (Ed.), Genius and the mind: Studies of creativity and temperament in the historical record (pp. 167-192). New York: Oxford University Press.
In a series of historiometric inquiries conducted over the past dozen years, Shakespeare’s life work has been the subject of quantitative and nomothetic scrutiny. We summarize those findings that contribute to our comprehension of literary creativity and aesthetics. The review falls into 2 parts. First we examine studies that focused on Shakespeare’s dramatic output, and then we look at the studies that concentrated on his poetic outpu [from the chapter].
191. Simonton, D. K. (1999a). Certainly not creative, but definitely depressing [Review of the book Manic depression and creativity, D. J. Hershman & J. Lieb]. Contemporary Psychology, 44, 489-491.
The core of the volume consists of four case studies of Newton, Beethoven, Dickens, and Van Gogh (Chapters 3-6). These studies examine the lives and careers of assuredly creative but allegedly manic depressive individuals. The four case studies are then followed by a chapter titled “Diminishing Creativity,” another titled “Augmenting Genius,” concluded by an Epilogue by Lieb. Terminating the volume is a bibliography, but absolutely no index is provided. The book was obviously replete with all sorts of interesting quotations and anecdotes. Nevertheless, genuine citations to the literature published in professional journals were all but absent. This was clearly a volume with a more humanistic than scientific thrust. According to the reviewer, this is a reprint of an earlier book, “The Key to Genius.” The two books are equally well written-precisely so for Chapters 1 through 6! And the four case studies remain chock full of fun facts, curious observations, and striking stories. For all those who expect to learn anything up to date about the fascinating linkage between creativity and manic depression, this is definitely not the book for them.
192. Simonton, D. K. (1999b). Changing of the guard. Journal of Creative Behavior, 33, ii.
193. Simonton, D. K. (1999c). The continued evolution of creative Darwinism. Psychological Inquiry, 10, 362-367.
Responds to comments made by Ericsson, Feist, Gardner, Martindale, Montell, Mumford, Perkins, Schooler and Dougal, Sternberg, and Russ on the article by Simonton (2000) that argued that creativity can be accounted for by a general process of blind variation and selective retention, which is traced back to a Darwinian account of biological evolution. The current author addresses the issues of expertise, randomness, religion, and evolution.
194. Simonton, D. K. (1999d). The creative society: Genius vis-á-vis zeitgeist. In A. Montuori & R. Purser (Eds.), Social creativity (Vol. 1, pp. 265-286). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
195. Simonton, D. K. (1999e). Creativity and genius. In L. A. Pervin & O. John (Eds.), Handbook of personality theory and research (2nd ed., pp. 629-652). New York: Guilford.
Provides an overview of the substantive findings and issues regarding individual differences in creativity and genius, with a special emphasis on the two combined. A psychometric and historiometric definition of genius is provided. Everyday and exceptional achievements, childhood vs adulthood creativity, cognitive vs dispositional attributes, scientific vs artistic creativity, nature vs nurture in creative development, individual vs situational determinants of creativity and empirical vs theoretical personality profiles are differentiated.
196. Simonton, D. K. (1999f). Creativity as blind variation and selective retention: Is the creative process Darwinian? Psychological Inquiry, 10, 309-328.
Darwinism provides not only a theory of biological evolution but also supplies a more genetic process applicable to many phenomena in the behavioral sciences. Among these applications is the blind-variation and selective-retention model of creativity proposed by Campbell (1960). It is argued that research over the past 4 decades lends even more support to Campbell’s model. This support is indicated by reviewing the experimental, psychometric, and historiometric literature on creativity. Then 4 major objections to the Darwinian model are examined (sociocultural determinism, individual volition, human rationality, and domain expertise). The article concludes by speculating whether the Darwinian model may actually subsume all alternative theories of creativity as special cases of the larger framework.
197. Simonton, D. K. (1999g). Creativity from a historiometric perspective. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Handbook of creativity (pp. 116-133). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
What is creativity? How can creativity be measured? What factors predict the appearance or demonstration of creativity? How can the psychologist even begin to tackle these questions? One methodological approach is called historiometry and constitutes the subject of the current chapter. After first defining exactly what this method entails, I provide a brief history of its historical development, and then outline some of the central topics addressed by this distinctive type of research. Stated most formally, historiometry is that “scientific discipline in which nomothetic hypotheses about human behavior are tested by applying quantitative analyses to data concerning historical individuals” [from the chapter].
198. Simonton, D. K. (1999h). A creator’s creative overview of creativity [Review of the book Understanding those who create, J. Piirto]. Contemporary Psychology, 44, 394-395.
This article reviews the book “Understanding Those Who Create (2nd ed.)” by Jane Piirto (1998). The reviewer also examines specific chapters of the text and concludes with a review of positive features of the book.
199. Simonton, D. K. (1999i). Eminence. In M. A. Runco & S. Pritzker (Eds.), Encyclopedia of creativity (Vol. 1, pp. 647-657). San Diego: Academic Press.
200. Simonton, D. K. (1999j). Historical trends in art and art criticism: Historiometric perspectives. Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought, 22, 687-703.
Historiometrics integrates history with psychometrics, and applies quantitative methods to historic personalities and events to test significant nomothetic hypotheses. In a historiometric analysis of an artistic epoch and its metamorphosis over time, variables widely linked to artistry are selected in advance. The analysis proceeds with the collection of data on artists, their artworks, and relevant historical variables. The data are then coded and quantified. Typically this requires biographical scales (artistic precocity, available mentors, vanguard involvement), personality scales (psychodynamics, traits, psychopathology), creativity scales (innovation, productivity, fame), and zeitgeist scales (amount, type, and rate of artistic, intellectual, and sociopolitical ferment). Artistic products are evaluated as well, in content and form. Interrater reliability is checked and computerized statistical analyses are performed. The historiometric approach yields precise statements as to what variables facilitate successful artistry and/or effect cultural change. Historiometrics also enables comparison of historical periods characterized by paradigm shifts. In this, one can see what general principles are at work in paradigm shifts, transcending the particulars of time and place.
201. Simonton, D. K. (1999k). Historiometry. In M. A. Runco & S. Pritzker (Eds.), Encyclopedia of creativity (Vol. 1, pp. 815-822). San Diego: Academic Press.
202. Simonton, D. K. (1999l). Matthew effects. In M. A. Runco & S. Pritzker (Eds.), Encyclopedia of creativity (Vol. 1). San Diego: Academic Press.
203. Simonton, D. K. (1999m). Origins of genius: Darwinian perspectives on creativity. New York: Oxford University Press.
Examines the nature and origins of creative genius and argues that creativity can be best understood as a Darwinian process of variation and selection. For example, the artist or scientist generates a wealth of ideas, and then subjects these ideas to aesthetic or scientific judgement, selecting only those that have the best chance to survive and reproduce. In deed, the true test of genius in this example is the ability to bequeath an impressive and influential body of work to future generations. Drawing on research into creativity, the author explores such topics as the personality type of the genius, whether genius is genetic or produced by environment and education, the links between genius and mental illness, the high incidence of childhood trauma, especially loss of a parent, amongst Nobel Prize winners, and the importance of unconscious incubation in creative problem-solving [from the jacket].
204. Simonton, D. K. (1999n). [Review of the book Strange brains and genius: The secret lives of eccentric scientists and madmen, C. A. Pickover]. Isis: Journal of the History of Science Society, 90, 107-108.
205. Simonton, D. K. (1999o). Significant samples: The psychological study of eminent individuals. Psychological Methods, 4, 425-451.
Psychologists occasionally study eminent individuals, such as Nobel laureates, U.S. presidents, Olympic athletes, chess grandmasters, movie stars, and even distinguished psychologists. Studies using such significant samples may be differentiated along 7 distinct dimensions: qualitative versus quantitative, single versus multiple case, nomothetic versus idiographic, confirmatory versus exploratory, cross-sectional versus longitudinal, micro versus macro analytical units, and direct versus indirect assessments. However, the vast majority of psychological inquiries may be clustered into just 4 types: historiometric, psychometric, psychobiographical, and comparative. After presenting the intrinsic and extrinsic justifications for studying famous persons, the main methodological issues concerning sampling, measurement, and analysis are discussed. The future prospects of significant samples in psychological research are then briefly examined.
206. Simonton, D. K. (1999p). Talent and its development: An emergenic and epigenetic model. Psychological Review, 106, 435-457.
Although superior performance in games, sports, science, and the arts is often ascribed to talent, the hypothesized phenomenon may not be fully understood unless it is conceived as a multidimensional and multiplicative developmental process. This point is elaborated in the form of a 2-part emergenic-epigenetic model. The emergenic part treats domain specificity, profile heterogeneity, cross-sectional distributions and predictability, familial heritability, and domain complexity. The epigenetic part treats early versus late bloomers, early signs, cross-sectional distribution across the life span, talent loss and shifts in talent domain, and longitudinal predictability. Besides explaining the available cross-sectional and longitudinal data, the resulting model has critical implications for how best to investigate the development of exceptional performance in all talent domains.
207. Simonton, D. K. (1999q). William Shakespeare. In M. A. Runco & S. Pritzker (Eds.), Encyclopedia of creativity (Vol. 2, pp. 559-563). San Diego: Academic Press.
208. Simonton, D. K. (2000a). Archival research. In A. E. Kazdin (Ed.), Encyclopedia of psychology (Vol. 1, pp. 234-235). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association; New York: Oxford University Press.209. Simonton, D. K. (2000b). Artistic genius: The three analytical perspectives. Bulletin of Psychology and the Arts, 1, 8.
210. Simonton, D. K. (2000c). Creative development as acquired expertise: Theoretical issues and an empirical test. Developmental Review, 20, 283-318.
Although outstanding creativity has been viewed as an acquired expertise, creative development might operate differently than occurs in sports, games, and music performance. To test the creative-expertise hypothesis, the careers of 59 classical composers were examined according to the differential aesthetic success of their 911 operas. The potential predictors were seven measures of domain-relevant experience: cumulative years (since first operas, first compositions, and first lessons) and cumulative products (genre-specific operas, all operas, all vocal compositions, and all compositions). The nonmonotonic longitudinal trends and the relative explanatory power of the expertise-acquisition measures indicate that complex specialization (“overtraining”) and versatility (“cross-training”) effects may determine creative development across the life span. The broader implications of the findings are then discussed.
211. Simonton, D. K. (2000d). Creativity and psychopathology from a Darwinian perspective. Bulletin of Psychology and the Arts, 1, 38-40.
Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selections provided an explanation of how new species could emerge by a simple process of “blind-variation and selective-retention” (BVSR). A similar BVSR mechanism provides a comprehensive theory of creativity, albeit the process is far more complicated and operates on multiple levels. The empirical support for this theory is documented two ways. First, the theory’s explanatory power is shown with respect to the cognitive processes, individual differences, developmental antecedents, and sociocultural influences underlying creativity. Second, the theory’s predictive power is demonstrated with respect to creative careers, stylistic evolution, and multiple discoveries. In addition, the BVSR model provides the foundation for the only computer programs that have generated authentic creative products. Finally, by conceiving creativity in Darwinian terms, the phenomenon is linked with evolutionary psychology, the only framework for a theoretical integration of the biological, behavioral, and social sciences.
212. Simonton, D. K. (2000e). Creativity: Cognitive, developmental, personal, and social aspects. American Psychologist, 55, 151-158.
Although many psychologists have expressed an interest in the phenomenon of creativity, psychological research on this topic did not rapidly expand until after J. P. Guilford claimed, in his 1950 APA presidential address, that this topic deserved far more attention than it was then receiving. This article reviews the progress psychologists have made in understanding creativity since Guilford’s call to arms. Research progress has taken place on 4 fronts: the cognitive processes involved in the creative act, the distinctive characteristics of the creative person, the development and manifestation of creativity across the individual life span, and the social environments most strongly associated with creative activity. Although some important questions remain unanswered, psychologists now know more than ever before about how individuals achieve this special and significant form of optimal human functioning.213. Simonton, D. K. (2000f, December). Déjà vu. Monitor on Psychology, 31 (11), 8, 86.
214. Simonton, D. K. (2000g). Genius and giftedness: Same or different? In K. A. Heller, F. J. Mönks, R. J. Sternberg, & R. F. Subotnik (Eds.), International handbook of research and development of giftedness and talent (2nd ed., pp. 111-121). Terrytown, NY: Pergamon.215. Simonton, D. K. (2000h). Human creativity, cultural evolution, and niche construction. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 23, 150-151.
Cultural evolution may be even more proflific in the generation of new forms than is biological evolution – especially when it takes the form of creative genius. Yet evolutionary theories have tended to overlook the factors that might select for outstanding individual creativity. A recent duel-inheritance theory is outlined and then integrated with the niche-construction theory of Laland et al.
216. Simonton, D. K. (2000i). Methodological and theoretical orientation and the long-term disciplinary impact of 54 eminent psychologists. Review of General Psychology, 4, 13-24.
The long-term influence of 54 highly eminent psychologists was hypothesized to be a function of their methodological and theoretical orientation. Individual differences in impact were gauged via theSocial Sciences Citation Index for 1976-1980 and 1986-1990. Orientation was assessed along 6 dimensions: objectivistic versus subjectivistic, quantitative versus qualitative, elementaristic versus holistic, impersonal versus personal, static versus dynamic, and exogenist versus endogenist (R. W. Coan, 1979). Correlation and regression analyses revealed that long-term influence could be predicted by both method and theory measures. Especially significant was the curvilinear backward-J curve between total citations and a general factor defined by all 6 bipolar dimensions. The most influential psychologists tend to take extreme positions on the controversies that have characterized the history of psychology.
217. Simonton, D. K. (2000j). The music or the words? Or, how important is the libretto for an opera’s aesthetic success? Empirical Studies of the Arts, 18, 105-118.
What are the comparative contributions of composer and librettist to the aesthetic impact of great operas? This question was empirically answered using a sample of 911 operas by fifty-nine composers. The aesthetic success of each opera was gauged by a composite measure that included performance and recording frequencies as well as archival indicators. The predictor variables were both idiographic (e.g., the specific identities of the librettists and the literary sources) and nomothetic (e.g., literary genre, language, librettist’s age, and experience). After introducing appropriate control variables, the multiple-regression analyses demonstrated that coomposers play a much bigger role in determining operatic impact than do librettists or their libretti. The identity of the composer alone accounted for almost half of the variance in aesthetic success. As far as opera is concerned, the music is aesthetically more crucial than are the words.
218. Simonton, D. K. (2000k, April). The positive repercussion of traumatic events: The life lessons of historic geniuses. Psych-Talk, Special Bulletin, No. 1, 21-23.
219. Simonton, D. K. (2000l, March). Psychohistory from a historiometric perspective. Clio’s Psyche, 6, 146-148.
220. Simonton, D. K. (2000m). [Review of the book Insights of genius: Imagery and creativity in science and art, A. I. Miller]. Perception, 29, 1265-1268.221. Locher, P., & Simonton, D. K. (2001). Report on the XVI Biannual Congress of IAEA, New York, U.S.A., 2000. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 19, 135-136.
222. Simonton, D. K. (2000n). Statistical correlations, nomothetic principles, and exceptions to the rule. Politics and the Life Sciences, 19, 173-174.
223. Simonton, D. K. (2001a). Creativity as a secondary Darwinian process. Bulletin of Psychology and the Arts, 2, 33-39.
224. Simonton, D. K. (2001b). Creativity as cognitive selection: The blind-variation and selective-retention model. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24, 554-556.
Campbell (1960) proposed a “blind-variation and selective-retention” model of creative cognition. Subsequent researchers have developed this BVSR model into a comprehensive theory of human creativity, one that recognizes that human creativity operates by more than one cognitive process. The question is then raised of how the BVSR model can be accommodated within the Hull et al. selectionist system.
225. Simonton, D. K. (2001c). Creativity, psychopathology, and positive psychology. Los Angeles Psychologist, 15, 11-12.
226. Simonton, D. K. (2001d). Emotion and composition in classical music: Historiometric perspectives. In P. Juslin & J. Sloboda (Eds.), Music and emotion: Theory and research (pp. 205-222). New York: Oxford University Press.
227. Simonton, D. K. (2001e). Harvey C. Lehman’s Age and Achievement: Talent development across the life span [Review of the book Age and achievement, H. C. Lehman]. Roeper Review: A Journal on Gifted Education, 23, 166.
228. Simonton, D. K. (2001f). Kings, queens, and sultans: Empirical studies of political leadership in European hereditary monarchies. In O. Feldman & L. O. Valenty (Eds.), Profiling political leaders: Cross-cultural studies of personality and behavior (pp. 97-110). Westport, CT: Praeger.
Analyzes similarities between modern heads of state and historic hereditary monarchs by reviewing research from the perspective of psychology, sociology, history, and political leadership. The author finds evidence for strong variation in personality and leadership style across hereditary monarchs and relates this variation to genetic proclivity, role-modeling effects, and gender. This preliminary discussion is then used to determine the relative influence of historical activity, individual characteristics, and personality attributes upon political leadership and perceptions of greatness, both for historic hereditary monarchs and for modern heads of state. Findings are specifically compared to what has been learned in research on presidents of the US. This chapter concludes with a discussion of the essential similarity of predictive independent variables in determining performance and eminence in monarch and modern heads of state and an argument that this comparison may help to develop a more comprehensive understanding of political leadership [from the introduction].
229. Simonton, D. K. (2001g). Predicting presidential greatness: Equation replication on recent survey results. Journal of Social Psychology, 141, 293-307.
For more than 2 decades, researchers have tried to identify the variables that predict the overall performance of US presidents. In 1986, there emerged a 6-variable prediction equation (D. K. Simonton, 1986, 1987) that has been replicated repeatedly. The predictors are years in office, war years, scandal, assassination, heroism in war, and intellectual brilliance. The author again replicated the equation on recent rankings of all presidents from George Washington through William Jefferson Clinton according to a survey of 719 experts (W. R. Ridings, Jr., & S. B. McIver, 1997). The original 6-variable equation successfully predicted both the overall rankings as well as the 5 core components of the rankings (leadership qualities, accomplishment, political skill, appointments, character and integrity). The predictive value of the equation was illustrated for the presidencies of Ronald W. Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Clinton.
230. Simonton, D. K. (2001h). [Review of the book The things we do: Using the lessons of Bernard and Darwin to understand the what, how, and why of our behavior, G. Cziko]. Quarterly Review of Biology, 76, 268.
231. Simonton, D. K. (2001i). Talent development as a multidimensional, multiplicative, and dynamic process. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10, 39-43.
Recent empirical research has challenged the common belief in the existence of talent, suggesting that exceptional performance is entirely the product of nurture rather than nature. However, this research has been based on a simple conception of what talent entails. Rather than involving a unidimensional, additive, and static genetic process, talent may instead emerge from a multidimensional, multiplicative, and dynamic process. This latter possibility is described in a two-part model that combines multidimensional and multiplicative inheritance with dynamic development. The first part of the model handles domain specificity, profile heterogeneity, the distribution of individual differences, familial heritability, and domain complexity. The second part explicates early- vs late-bloomers, early signs of talent, talent loss, and shifts in the domain of talent. The resulting model has crucial implications for how best to gauge the impact of nature in the development of talent.
232. Simonton, D. K. (2001j). Totally made, not at all born [Review of the book The psychology of high abilities, M. J. A. Howe]. Contemporary Psychology, 46, 176-179.
The current volume is but one publication among many in which M. Howe has argued that exceptional ability is entirely a product of nurture, not nature. Moreover, among the several books that take this position, this can be considered among the best. It is written well and well organized. For its length, it reviews a large amount of scholarly research and does so competently. The book is full of concrete examples, and avoids getting distracted by technical details. Finally, the book covers almost all of the central topics in the psychology of high abilities. In particular, it treats the various influences on abilities (Chapter 1), the family backgrounds of high achievers (Chapter 2), the question of whether the acquisition of abilities can be accelerated (Chapter .3), the central phenomena of child prodigies (Chapter 4) and geniuses (Chapter 5), the relation between intelligence and high abilities (Chapter 6), and how to help young children to acquire high abilities (Chapter 8). Not surprisingly, a whole chapter is allotted to and titled “Innate Talents: Reality or Myth?” (Chapter 7). Here Howe makes it very clear which stand he thinks is most scientifically defensible. All in all, it is an excellent book and one that I can heartily recommend to any psychologist intrigued by exceptional abilities, whether they subscribe to the drudge theory or not.
233. Cassandro, V. J., & Simonton, D. K. (2002). Creativity and genius. In C. L. M. Keyes & J. Haidt (Ed.), Flourishing: Positive psychology and the life well-lived (pp. 163-183). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
This chapter describes the nature of both creativity and the creative genius, their relationship to the positive psychology movement, as well as strategies that have been developed to measure these phenomena at the individual and sociocultural levels. The concept of creativity is said to entail three essential and product-focused criteria: novelty, adaptiveness or appropriateness to the problem at hand, and completeness. Genius is said to entail uniqueness, impact, and quality of intellectual power. Creative products, eminence, intelligence, cognitive style, and personality and biography are characteristics discussed in terms of the study of creative genius at the level of the individual. And, briefly discussed is the fact that creativity and genius can also be conceptualized and measured at the sociocultural level as unique features of a cultural or historical period [from the chapter].
234. Simonton, D. K. (2002a). Collaborative aesthetics in the feature film: Cinematic components predicting the differential impact of 2,323 Oscar-nominated movies. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 20, 115-125.
Unlike most forms of artistic expression, the feature film is the collaborative product of many individuals. The comparative impact of these separate contributions was assessed in 2,323 movies nominated for Academy Awards in the major categories. The raw data from the sampling procedure and variable measurement came from primarily electronic sources. Two criteria of a film’s impact were defined (best picture honors and movie guide ratings) along with 16 potential predictor variables (direction, male and female leads, male and female supporting roles, screenplay, art direction, costume design, makeup, cinematography, film editing, score, song, visual effects, sound effects editing, and sound) and five control variables (release date and the genre of drama, comedy, romance, and musical). Multiple regression analyses indicated that between 30% and 75% of the variance in impact could be explained using a subset of these factors.
Simonton, D. K. (2002b). Creativity. In D. J. Ekerdt (Ed.), Encyclopedia of aging (pp. 290-293). New York: Macmillan Reference.
236. Simonton, D. K. (2002c). Creativity. In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.), The handbook of positive psychology (pp. 189-201). New York: Oxford University Press.
237. Simonton, D. K. (2002d). Errors and inaccuracies. Contemporary Psychology, 47, 94.
238. Simonton, D. K. (2002e). Great psychologists and their times: Scientific insights into psychology’s history. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
This book comprehensively compiles research on the factors that contribute to a psychologist having a high impact on the discipline. Simonton examines those individuals who have contributed most tot he advancement of psychological science. Moreover, these notables are examined from a scientific perspective – especially from the standpoint of the psychology of science. The book integrates all of the relevant research on the psychology of eminent psychologists, from the pioneering work of Francis Galton to work published in the 21st century. Chapters contain examples drawn from the lives and careers of notable psychologists, examining such issues as birth order, intellectual precocity, mentoring, psychopathology, worldview, and aging. Of particular interest are chapters exploring what aspects of the sociocultural context are most conductive to the emergence of illustrious psychologists and how these sociocultural conditions – including political events, economic disturbances, or cultural values – affect not only the magnitude of achievement but also the very nature of that achievement. The findings reviewed lead to suggestions about how best to educate and train both undergraduate psychology majors and graduate students in psychology [from the jacket].
239. Simonton, D. K. (2002f). In the beginning … The alpha and omega of the mind [Review of the book The evolution of cognition, C. Heyes & L. Huber (Eds.)]. Contemporary Psychology, 47, 386-388.
As Heyes emphasizes in her introductory chapter, the goal is to treat evolutionary psychology “in the round.” By this she means a discipline that goes beyond an anthropocentric focus on just the human species, and a discipline that encompasses the full range of analytical perspectives, including the ecological, phylogenetic, comparative, and selection theoretic. The volume’s chapters were therefore selected to demonstrate the full breadth and depth of this alternative evolutionary psychology. The awesome diversity of issues and methods is augmented by the tremendously diverse backgrounds of those who wrote the chapters. In short, the chapters represent an international and interdisciplinary perspective on the evolution of cognition. This book presents an evolutionary psychology that is not just in the round, but global besides.
240. Simonton, D. K. (2002g). Intelligence and presidential greatness: Equation replication using 56
estimates. Advances in Psychology Research, 13, 163-174.
For more than 20 years researchers have tried to identify the variables that predict the overall performance of US presidents. Eventually a six-variable prediction equation emerged that has undergone repeated replication in studies published between 1986 and 2001. The predictors are years in office, war years, scandal, assassination, war hero, and intellectual brilliance. However, because previous investigations were confined to presidents between Washington and Reagan, the current study extended the test to all presidents between Washington and Clinton. In addition, the test used the most recent ratings of presidential performance and introduced updated intelligence estimates that were transformed into IQ scores. According to a multiple regression analysis, all six predictors were again statistically significant, together accounting for 77% of the variance in presidential performance ratings.
241. Simonton, D. K. (2002h). It’s absolutely impossible? A longitudinal study of one psychologist’s response to conventional naysayers. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Psychologists defying the crowd: Stories of those who battled the establishment and won (pp. 238-254). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
The author presents a professional autobiography of his research into creativity. The relationship between the author’s research and mainstream psychology interests form the context of the autobiography [from the chapter].
242. Simonton, D. K. (2002i). Las personas que hacen historia. In R. Ardila (Ed.), La psicholgía en el futuro: Los más destacados psicólogos del mundo reflexionan sobre el futuro de su disciplina (pp. 271-275). Madrid: Ediciones Pirámide.
243. Simonton, D. K. (2002j). On underrepresented populations in creativity research. Creativity Research Journal, 14, 279-280.
Replies to a commentary by S. Benolken (2002) regarding the author’s previous article discussing creativity research. Simonton argues that he does not want to be interpreted as implying that creativity is completely different in anyone who is not a White male. Also, he does not believe than other aspects of the phenomenon may operate somewhat differently depending on gender and ethnicity. Simonton notes that he is currently studying 294 eminent African Americans.
244. Simonton, D. K. (2002k). Persistent myths, probabilities, and psychologists as human beings. Dialogue, 17, 24-25.
245. Simonton, D. K. (2002l). [Review of the book Genius explained, M. J. I. Howe]. Isis: Journal of the History of Science Society, 93, 475.
246. Simonton, D. K. (2002m). When does giftedness become genius? And when not? In N. Colangelo & G. A. Davis (Eds.), Handbook of gifted education (3rd ed., pp. 358-370). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
247. Simonton, D. K. (2003a). Creative cultures, nations, and civilizations: Strategies and results. In P. B. Paulus & B. A. Nijstad (Eds.), Group creativity: Innovation through collaboration (pp. 304-328). New York: Oxford University Press.
This chapter focuses on the creativity of nations, and offers an analysis of the factors that lead cultures, nations, and civilizations to be creative. The author argues that the coming and going of great creative genius in various times and places can be better attributed to changes in the cultural, social, political and economic circumstances that determine the extent to which the resulting milieu nurtures the development of creative potential and the expression of that developed potential. The chapter reviews previous research literature on the area of creativity, and suggest that a comprehensive psychology of creativity must view it as a complex phenomenon that occurs at multiple levels, from individuals, interpersonal interactions, and problem-solving groups to cultures, nations, and civilizations [from the chapter].
248. Simonton, D. K. (2003b). Creativity assessment. In R. Fernández-Ballesteros (Ed.), Encyclopedia of psychological assessment (Vol. 1, pp. 276-280). London: Sage Publications.
249. Simonton, D. K. (2003c). Creativity as variation and selection: Some critical constraints. In M. Runco (Ed.), Critical creative processes (pp. 3-18). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
Discusses evolutionary variation and selection aspects of creativity. Selection processes are discussed at the level of ideas, individual creators and groups or cultures. Factors discussed include cognitive selection, interpersonal selection and sociocultural selection. These factors represent restraints that operate at different levels to restrict the ideational variations in the world. Critical constraints that are imposed at the beginning of the processes are discussed in 2 broad classes: limitations on problem identification implemented by creative individuals, and constraints imposed on solution generation. The following themes are emphasized in conclusion: (1) creativity is a precarious activity, (2) creativity is at risk due to adjustment of tradeoffs, and (3) the necessity of finding an equilibrium between opposites often results in curvilinear relations between antecedent variables and creative behavior [from the chapter].
250. Simonton, D. K. (2003d). Exceptional creativity across the life span: The emergence and manifestation of creative genius. In L. V. Shavinina (Ed.), International handbook of innovation (pp. 293-308). Oxford, UK: Elsevier Science.
251. Simonton, D. K. (2003e). Expertise, competence, and creative ability: The perplexing complexities. In R. J. Sternberg & E. L. Grigorenko (Eds.), Perspectives on the psychology of abilities, competencies, and expertise (pp. 213-239). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Discusses expertise, competence, and creative ability. This chapter addresses questions about the status of creativity as a psychological capacity. The author believe that the phenomenon of creativity highlights some critical issues about the nature of abilities, expertise, and competencies. Whether other human capacities operate in a manner similar to creativity is also discussed [from the chapter].
252. Simonton, D. K. (2003f). The first six notes: Computer content analyses of classical themes. Bulletin of Psychology and the Arts, 4, 13-15.
253. Simonton, D. K. (2003g). Francis Galton’s Hereditary Genius: Its place in the history and psychology of science. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), The anatomy of impact: What has made the great works of psychology great (pp. 3-18). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
This chapter discusses the historical importance and impact of the work of F. Galton. Specifically, the author places the work Hereditary Genius into its historical context and analyzes the impact of this work on future theorists, such as C. Darwin. By comparing Hereditary Genius with what psychologists have learned about the nature of great scientists and their works, this chapter shows several attributes that can be considered fairly representative of what and how influential contributions have an impact on the world [from the chapter].
254. Simonton, D. K. (2003h). Genius and g. In H. Nyborg (Ed.), The scientific study of general intelligence: Tribute to Arthur R. Jensen (pp. 229-245). Oxford, England: Pergamon.
255. Simonton, D. K. (2003i). Human creativity: Two Darwinian analyses. In S. M. Reader & K. N. Laland (Eds.), Animal innovation (pp. 309-325). New York: Oxford University Press.
256. Simonton, D. K. (2003j). Journalists and geneticists – greatness and goodness [Review of the book Good work: When Excellence and Ethics Meet, H. Gardner, M. Csikszentmihalyi, & W. Damon]. Contemporary Psychology, 48, 188-190.
Provides a review of the book “Good Work: When Excellence and Ethics Meet” by Howard Gardner, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and William Damon (2001) which discusses the link between greatness and psychoticism or other “unattractive human vices”. This book has many attractive features that render it “highly recommended” for all readers who share the authors’ concerns. It is full of provocative and insightful observations by some of the leading geneticists and journalists in the world today. These virtues notwithstanding, it must be stressed that the focal audience for this book is clearly the general educated layperson rather than the research psychologist.
257. Simonton, D. K. (2003k). Kroeber’s cultural configurations, Sorokin’s culture mentalities, and generational time-series analysis: A quantitative paradigm for the comparative study of civilizations. Comparative Civilizations Review, 49, 96-108.
258. Simonton, D. K. (2003l). Qualitative and quantitative analyses of historical data. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 617-640.
Although the typical study in psychology involves the quantitative analysis of contemporary research participants, occasionally psychologists will study historical persons or events. Moreover, these historical data may be analyzed using either qualitative or quantitative techniques. After giving examples from the subdisciplines of cognitive, developmental, differential, abnormal, and social psychology, the distinctive methodological features of this approach are outlined. These include both data collection (sampling, unit definition, etc.) and data analysis (both qualitative and quantitative). The discussion then turns to the advantages and disadvantages of this research method. The article closes by presenting the reasons why (a) psychologists will probably continue to use historical data and (b) quantitative analyses may eventually replace qualitative analyses in such applications.
259. Simonton, D. K. (2003m). [Review of the book King of the mountain: The nature of political leadership, A. M. Ludwig]. JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, 289, 2431-2432.
260. Simonton, D. K. (2003n). [Review of the book The psychological assessment of political leaders: With profiles of Saddam Hussein and Bill Clinton, J. M. Post (Ed.)]. JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, 290, 1386-1387.
261. Simonton, D. K. (2003o). Scientific creativity as constrained stochastic behavior: The integration of product, process, and person perspectives. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 475-494.
Psychologists have primarily investigated scientific creativity from 2 contrasting in vitro perspectives: correlational studies of the creative person and experimental studies of the creative process. Here the same phenomenon is scrutinized using a 3rd, in vivo perspective, namely, the actual creative products that emerge from individual scientific careers and communities of creative scientists. This behavioral analysis supports the inference that scientific creativity constitutes a form of constrained stochastic behavior. That is, it can be accurately modeled as a quasi-random combinatorial process. Key findings from both correlational and experimental research traditions corroborate this conclusion. The author closes the article by arguing that all 3 perspectives – regarding the product, person, and process – must be integrated into a unified view of scientific creativity.
262. Simonton, D. K. (2003p). Thar’s gold in them thar hills! [Review of the book The eureka effect: The art and logic of breakthrough thinking, D. Perkins]. Contemporary Psychology, 48, 174-176.
Provides a review of the book “The Eureka Effect: The Art and Logic of Breakthrough Thinking” by David Perkins (2001). Although he does have criticisms, the reviewer concludes that the book is clearly, even elegantly written. It is full of provocative ideas. And it is rich in concrete examples. On some counts, “The Eureka Effect” might even be considered a superior product. It is more accessible and more concise, and yet somehow manages to cover considerable ground – a less is more tour de force. In my mind, at least, it represents Perkins’s own best work.
263. Simonton, D. K. (2004a). Adding developmental trajectories to the DMGT: Nonlinear and nonadditive genetic inheritance and expertise acquisition. High Ability Studies: A Journal on Gifted Education, 15, 155-156.
Comments on an article by Françoys Gagné on the Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT). Gagné has offered a most impressive synthesis of the developmental literature regarding the giftedness and talent. Given the comprehensiveness of the treatment, it would seem difficult that any commentator would be able to do anything more that tinker with some tangential feature of the model. Nonetheless, I would like to suggest that in future, elaborations of the model should be devoted to the specification of developmental trajectories-how participating factors, components and processes change over time. Especially crucial would be the explicit recognition that these trajectories may assume a far more complex form than specified in unidimensional and monotonic maturation models. Two examples are provided.
264. Simonton, D. K. (2004b). The “Best Actress” paradox: Outstanding feature films versus exceptional performances by women. Sex Roles, 50, 781-794.
On the basis of prior research on acting careers, it was hypothesized that exceptional women’s performances are less likely to be associated with outstanding feature films than is the case for men. This hypothesis was tested in 2 studies. In Study 1, 2,157 films that received Oscar nominations or awards between 1936 and 2000 were examined, whereas in Study 2, I scrutinized 1,367 films that received awards or award nominations from 7 major professional, journalistic, and critical associations from 1968 to 2000. In both studies, a significant gender discrepancy was found, a differential that persisted after the introduction of a large number of statistical controls and that showed no tendency to diminish over time. The results are discussed in terms of possible explanations and directions for future research.
265. Simonton, D. K. (2004c). Creative clusters, political fragmentation, and cultural heterogeneity: An investigative journey though civilizations East and West. In P. Bernholz & R. Vaubel (Eds.), Political competition, innovation and growth in the history of Asian civilizations (pp. 39-56). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
266. Simonton, D. K. (2004d). Creativity [Originality, Ingenuity]. In M. E. P. Seligman & C. Peterson (Eds.), Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification (pp. 109-123). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association; New York: Oxford University Press.
267. Simonton, D. K. (2004e). Creativity as a constrained stochastic process. In R. J. Sternberg, E. L. Grigorenko, & J. L. Singer (Eds.), Creativity: From potential to realization (pp. 83-101). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
In this chapter the author argues that creativity necessarily involves a heavy dose of chance. The probabilistic nature of creativity is first illustrated in the two phenomena of multiple discovery and creative productivity. He then explicates the stochastic feature of creativity in terms of the creative process, person, and product. Finally, he observes that constraints are usually imposed on this stochastic behavior, constraints that are largely defined by the creative domain. These contrasts in the relative importance of stochastic processes then determine the optimal personal characteristics and backgrounds of creators for various domains. The domain-specific nature of these profiles implies that the identification of creative individuals cannot operate on a “one size fits all” principle. Instead, identification must be carefully tailored to the particular needs of each domain – especially the extent to which creativity in a given domain is highly constrained. Yet in even the most constrained creative discipline the need for stochastic creativity is not totally obliterated. A domain in which achievement left nothing to chance would not be considered a creative domain.
268. Simonton, D. K. (2004f). Creativity in science: Chance, logic, genius, and zeitgeist. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
269. Simonton, D. K. (2004g). Does character count in the Oval Office? [Review of the book Personality, Character, & Leadership in the White House: Psychologists Assess the Presidents, S. J. Rubenzer & T. R. Faschingbauer]. PsycCRITIQUES, 49 (6).
In this text by Steven Rubenzer and Thomas Faschingbauer (2004), a modified survey-questionnaire technique was employed to determine traits of Presidents of the United States. In particular, the authors sent experts on U.S. presidents a copy of the NEO Personality Inventory. The respondents were asked to rate one or more presidents for whom they had special expertise on the items making up each of the five scales. The authors then incorporated data from other investigations. As a result, they came up with some fascinating empirical findings about how personality impacts on the presidency. The book itself consists of two major parts. Part 1 is called “Personality and the Personality” and contains chapters that outline the basic methodology and perhaps the most important empirical results. Chapter 2 has the descriptive title of “Who Are These Guys? Personality Traits of Presidents, Founding Fathers, Democrats, and Republicans.” After giving the typical profile of the U. S. presidents on the five factors and character, the authors present the actual scores that the presidents received on these assessments. The reviewer notes however, that although the volume is full of interesting results and intriguing facts, it is not without flaws, including presentation and missing information. It is also reported that the investigation itself raises some serious methodological issues. Overall however, the book still represents the most ambitious attempt to divulge the personality.
270. Simonton, D. K. (2004h). Exceptional creativity and chance: Creative thought as a stochastic combinatorial process. In L. V. Shavinina & M. Ferrari (Eds.), Beyond knowledge: Extracognitive facets in developing high ability (pp. 39-72). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
In this chapter I wish to explore the extent to which luck, both good and bad, participates in creative performance. Following definitions of these, I can show that the concepts of luck, chance, and randomness are highly descriptive of how discovery, invention, and creativity function in renowned geniuses. I begin by discussing a phenomenon that is largely confined to scientific and technological creativity – when two or more scientists or inventors independently make the same discovery or invention. I next turn to a more general phenomenon, that of creative productivity across and within careers. Models that affirm that creativity involves the ability to generate combinations of ideas through a quasi-random process will explicate both phenomena. I conclude by discussing some of the principal objectives that might be raised regarding what these models imply about the creative process and person.
271. Simonton, D. K. (2004i). Film awards as indicators of cinematic creativity and achievement: A quantitative comparison of the Oscars and six alternatives. Creativity Research Journal, 16, 163-172.
Unlike most forms of artistic expression, the feature film is the collaborative product of many individuals. The comparative impact of these separate contributions was assessed in 2,323 movies nominated for Academy Awards in the major categories. Two criteria of a film?s impact were defined (best picture honors and movie guide ratings) along with 16 potential predictor variables (direction, male and female leads, male and female supporting roles, screenplay, art direction, costume design, makeup, cinematography, film editing, score, song, visual effects, sound effects editing, and sound) and 5 control variables (release date and the genre of drama, comedy, romance, and musical). Multiple regression analyses indicated that between 30% and 75% of the variance in impact could be explained using a subset of these factors.
272. Simonton, D. K. (2004j). Group artistic creativity: Creative clusters and cinematic success in 1,327 feature films. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34, 1494-1520.
Filmmaking represents a distinctive form of group creativity in which many individuals contribute to a single creative product. This exploratory investigation examines these contributions in 1,327 English-language, narrative feature films. Besides control variables, the measures included two criteria of impact (best picture honors and movie guide ratings) and 16 assessments of outstanding cinematic contributions (direction, male and female lead, male and female supporting, screenplay, art direction, costume design, makeup, cinematography, film editing, score, song, visual effects, sound effects editing, and sound). A factor analysis showed that the contributions formed 4 creative clusters: dramatic, visual, technical, and musical. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that a film’s impact was a positive additive function of the dramatic and visual clusters, with the dramatic having the primary role.
273. Simonton, D. K. (2004k). High-impact research programs in psychology: Quantitative and qualitative aspects. In T. C. Dalton & R. B. Evans (Eds.), The life cycle of psychological ideas: Understanding prominence and the dynamics of intellectual change (pp. 83-103). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.
274. Simonton, D. K. (2004l). Of old-age styles, swan songs, and winter roses [Review of the book Aging, creativity, and art: A positive perspective on late-life development, M. S. Lindauer]. PsycCRITIQUES, 49 (14).
The book consists of five parts, or a total of 17 chapters. Part 1 contains two introductory chapters making the case on behalf of late-life creativity in general and the creativity of old artists in particular. The three chapters of Part 2 discuss the two supposedly rival views of late-life creativity, namely, the decline model versus the continuity model. Part 3 encompasses five chapters that deal with the level of late-life creativity in both contemporary and historical artists. In Part 4, rather than focus on the quantity of work produced in various periods of an artist’s career, the four chapters in this section treat the qualitative features of the work produced late in life. Part 5 consists of three chapters, and the author’s attention turns to the role that the arts play in the elderly. The reviewer notes that one distinctive feature of the volume is Lindauer’s attention to humanistic perspectives on late-life development, rather than confining the discussion to scientific data and theories. However, this does not detract from a number of criticisms the reviewer has concerning the text. It is noted that the text contains many factual errors, overlooks important research, and includes inappropriate or misinterpreted statistical analyses.
275. Simonton, D. K. (2004m). Psychology’s status as a scientific discipline: Its empirical placement within an implicit hierarchy of the sciences. Review of General Psychology, 8, 59-67.
Psychology’s standing within a hypothesized hierarchy of the sciences was assessed in a 2-part analysis. First, an internally consistent composite measure was constructed from 7 primary indicators of scientific status (theories-to-laws ratio, consultation rate, obsolescence rate, graph prominence, early impact rite, peer evaluation consensus, and citation concentration). Second, this composite measure was validated through 5 secondary indicators (lecture disfluency, citation immediacy, anticipation frequency, age at receipt of Nobel Prize, and rated disciplinary hardness). Analyses showed that the measures reflected a single dimension on which 5 disciplines could be reliably ranked in the following order: physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, and sociology. Significantly, psychology placed much closer to biology than to sociology, forming a pair of life sciences clearly separated from the other sciences.
276. Simonton, D. K. (2004n). Representations and combinations: A challenge to contemporary cognitive science [Review of the book Creativity, cognition, and knowledge: An interaction, T. Dartnall Ed.]. Contemporary Psychology, 49, 489-491.
The majority of the chapters in this book deal with the general cognitive processes that might account for human creativity, at least in its more everyday forms. The chapters vary greatly in their accessibility to those unfamiliar with the corresponding research areas and also differ appreciably in what they mean by creativity. Moreover, some chapters are highly philosophical and others are more empirical. This book can either be treated as another edited volume containing many fascinating essays on some important topics in cognitive psychology, or it can be treated more holistically, as the editor intended. This is a very provocative book, rich in ideas, and definitely worth a serious read. However, until its alternative epistemology can be more fully developed, it is doubtful that cognitive psychologists are going to give up representationism or that creativity researchers are going to turn away from combinationalism. In the final analysis, the core argument about human cognition must incorporate more knowledge and display more creativity.
277. Simonton, D. K. (2004o). [Review of the book Human accomplishment: The pursuit of excellence in the arts and sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950, C. Murray]. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 40, 435-438.
The author’s most recent work can be considered part of this Galtonian tradition. Earlier, he had coauthored the much-discussed book “The Bell Curve,” which dealt with the implications of intelligence – normally distributed and influenced by genetic inheritance – for socioeconomic success. The present book, in conrrast, is more interested in the uppermost tail of the distribution where we find the geniuses responsible for the main accomplishmenls that define civilization. At the same time, the author goes to considerable effort to show that alternative ratings display an exceptional degree of concordance, and, hence, these evaluations represent a secure consensus. The author has some fairly forthright views on several issues that are bound to stimulate debate. Three of these views are perhaps the most conspicuous. First, on the decline of Western civilization, he concludes that creative accomplishment in the Western world is already on the wane. This conclusion is based on both quantitative data and qualitative judgments. In addition, the book is crammed with fascinating information and provocative observations.
278. Simonton, D. K. (2004p). Thematic content and political context in Shakespeare’s dramatic output, with implications for authorship and chronology controversies. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 22, 201-213.
Empirical studies of Shakespeare’s plays have usually assumed that the traditional Stratfordian chronology is basically correct. This assumption is cast in doubt by Oxfordians who claim that the plays were authored by Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. However, prior investigations have shown that Stratfordian chronologies are more strongly supported by stylometric analyses than are Oxfordian chronologies. In this study the two authorship positions are evaluated by examining the correlation between the thematic content of the plays and the political context in which the plays would be written according to rival sets of dates. Stratfordian chronologies, when lagged just 2 years, yield substantively meaningful associations between thematic content and political context, whereas Oxfordian chronologies yield no relationships, however lagged. Hence, only the Stratfordian results are consistent with previous research indicating that artistic creativity is responsive to conspicuous political events.
279. Simonton, D. K. (2005a). Are developmental psychologists ready for this creative development? [Review of the book Creativity and development, R. K. Sawyer, V. J. Steiner, S. Moran, R. J. Sternberg, D. H. Feldman, J. Nakamura, & M. Csikszentmihalyi]. American Journal of Psychology, 118, 645-649.
280. Simonton, D. K. (2005b, June 1). Are genius and madness related? Contemporary answers to an ancient question. Psychiatric Times, 22 (7), 21-23.
Ever since antiquity, thinkers have associated creativity with psychopathology – the classic idea of the “mad genius.” By looking at historiometric, psychiatric and psychometric research one can conclude that exceptional creativity is often linked with certain symptoms of psychopathology. Nevertheless, this relationship is not equivalent to the claim that creative individuals necessarily suffer from psychopathology.
281. Simonton, D. K. (2005c). Cinematic creativity and production budgets: Does money make the movie? Journal of Creative Behavior, 39, 1-15.
Although filmmaking requires substantial capital investment, it is not known whether cinematic creativity is positively correlated with the size of the film’s budget. Therefore, budgetary impact was investigated in a sample of feature films released between 1997 and 2001. Although production costs were positively related to box office success (as measured by both first weekend and gross), such expenditures had no correlation with best picture awards and were negatively correlated with critical acclaim (as gauged by both film reviews and movie guide ratings). These divergent consequences could be partly interpreted in terms of how the budget and success criteria differentially correlated with what have been identified as the four creative clusters of filmmaking, namely, the dramatic, visual, technical, and musical.
282. Simonton, D. K. (2005d). Creativity (in the arts and sciences). In M. C. Horowitz (Ed.), New dictionary of the history of ideas (Vol. 2, pp. 493-497). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
283. Simonton, D. K. (2005e). Creativity in psychology: On becoming and being a great psychologist. In J. C. Kaufman & J. Baer (Eds.), Faces of the muse: How people think, work, and act creatively in diverse domains (pp. 139-151). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
In this chapter, the author discusses how creativity in psychology is both similar to and very unlike creativity in other domains, and suggests that even among creative psychologists there is great diversity. He shows that most great psychologists have personality traits that cluster at one of two very distinct poles, with experimental psychologists tending to be similar to creators in the natural sciences and correlational/humanistic psychologists tending to have personality profiles that are similar to creators in artistic fields.
284. Simonton, D. K. (2005f). Darwin as straw man: Dasgupta’s (2004) evaluation of creativity as a Darwinian process. Creativity Research Journal, 17, 299-208.
Dasgupta (2004) challenged Darwinian theories of creativity by scrutinizing three historic episodes drawn from the careers of James Watt, Jadadis Chandra Bose, and Pablo Picasso. However, in the current article I present counterarguments based on a critical consideration of scholarship, theory, logic, and data. By all four standards, the anti-Darwinian argument is considerably undermined. In particular, (a) Dasgupta’s presentation did not reflect the most recent Darwinian scholarship and therefore (b) the theory evaluated is one not advocated by any modern proponent. Moreover, the supposed test (c) requires the application of an inappropriate falsifiability criterion and (d) depends on a questionable interpretation of data – data that may not even be the most germane to the theory’s empirical evaluation. I end by discussing the broader problems faced by anyone advocating Darwinist theories of creativity.
285. Simonton, D. K. (2005g). Film as art versus film as business: Differential correlates of screenplay characteristics. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 23, 93-117.
This investigation determined whether certain screenplay features can differentiate films directed toward artistic expression from those aimed at financial gain. The sample consisted of 1436 English-language, narrative films released between 1968 and 2002. The variables included 4 economic indicators, 5 movie award assessments, 2 composite critical evaluations, and 24 screenplay characteristics. A subset of those characteristics distinguished film as art from film as business. In particular, the two types could be distinguished according to the impact of sequels, adaptations (e.g., from plays), writer-directors (or “Auteurs”), genre (viz. dramas), and MPAA ratings (especially Restricted). These contrasts help explain why budget and box office variables fail to correlate with the most important movie awards and are even negatively correlated with critical acclaim.
286. Simonton, D. K. (2005h). Genetics of giftedness: The implications of an emergenic-epigenetic model. In R. J. Sternberg & J. Davidson (Eds.), Conceptions of giftedness (2nd ed., pp. 312-326). New York: Cambridge University Press.
287. Simonton, D. K. (2005i). Giftedness and genetics: The emergenic-epigenetic model and its implications. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 28, 270-286.
The genetic endowment underlying giftedness may operate in a far more complex manner than often expressed in most theoretical accounts of the phenomenon. First, endowment may be emergenic. That is, a gift may consist of multiple traits (multidimensional) that are inherited in a multiplicative (configurational) rather than an additive (simple) fashion. Second, endowment may not appear all at once but rather will more likely unfold via an epigenetic process. These two complications have consequences regarding such aspects of giftedness as the likelihood of early signs, the appearance of early- versus late-bloomers, the distribution of giftedness in the general population, and the stability and continuity of gifts over the course of childhood and adolescence. These complexities lead to a fourfold typology of giftedness that has important practical implications.
288. Simonton, D. K. (2005j). The manifest destiny of the hypomanic immigrant [Review of the book The hypomanic edge: The link between (a little) craziness and (a lot of) success in America, J. D. Gartner]. PsycCRITIQUES, 50 (22).
One of the oldest issues in intellectual history is the relation between genius and madness. In Gartner’s book, high achievement is ascribed to an affective disorder. The author proposes a threefold thesis for this tendency. First, the key disorder is hypomania, a subclinical form of mania. Hypomania can be a tremendous asset insofar as it supports the ideational fluency, optimism, energy, and sometimes irrational determination necessary for extraordinary achievement. Second, this “hypomanic edge” is not the exclusive property of artistic creators but rather has also been a prominent attribute of the major leaders of history. Third, the United States of America has become a great power largely because it attracts hypomanic immigrants to its shores – newcomers who have what it takes to achieve supreme success. The reviewer offers, in an effort to make the reader able to appreciate Gartner’s contribution, an overview of the book’s contents and a critique of its thesis.
289. Simonton, D. K. (2005k). Putting the gift back into giftedness: The genetics of talent development. Gifted and Talented International, 21 (1), 15-18.
Although giftedness and talent are semantically linked to genetic endowment, some psychologists have questioned whether innate gifts really exist. Instead, these researchers argue that so-called giftedness or talent merely involves the acquisition of domain-specific expertise by means of deliberate practice. However, these arguments are deficient because they (a) exaggerate the empirical support for the extreme nurture position and (b) overlook the empirical evidence on behalf of a moderate nature position. Hence, a comprehensive understanding of giftedness and talent – upon which gifted education must be based – requires a more finely nuanced appreciation of the relative contributions of genes and the environment. This appreciation necessarily includes recognition that giftedness and talent do include genetic gifts.
290. Simonton, D. K. (2005l). Rejoinder to Response of Steven J. Rubenzer and Thomas R. Faschingbauer to “Does Character Count in the Oval Office”? PsycCRITIQUES, 50 (32).
Replies to the comments of S. J. Rubenzer and T. R. Faschingbauer on D. K. Simonton’s review of their book Personality, Character, and Leadership in the White House: Psychologists Assess the Presidents. Simonton asserts that while the NEO personality ratings were not the only data, that scores on the Big Five dominate the presentation and analysis and that Rubenzer and Faschingbauer did not respond to his concern about overlooked research. Simonton’s concern regarding different raters for different Presidents is more than possible ideological bias but whether the biographers gravitate to particular subjects for reasons other than political affiliation. Finally, from a scientific perspective, we should desire a more complete understanding of the causal processes involved, such as a careful distinction between direct and indirect effects.
291. Simonton, D. K. (2005m, October 1). Response to Dr. Krizek. Psychiatric Times, 22 (11), 9.
292. Simonton, D. K., & Baumeister, R. F. (2005). Positive psychology at the summit. Review of General Psychology, 9, 99-102.
Psychology has traditionally placed more emphasis on the negative than positive aspects of human behavior. The Positive Psychology movement, since its beginnings in 1999, has made major advances toward correcting this imbalance. Research inspired by the movement now spans an impressive range of topics, including many that are absolutely essential to a comprehensive psychological understanding of human nature. The present special issue provides a sampling of some of the best work in the area. All but the first and last articles come from presentations at the Second International Positive Psychology Summit held in 2003 in Washington DC. This sample can be supplemented by the chapters that have appeared in several recent anthologies of contemporary research.
293. Simonton, D. K. (2006a). Beauty and the beast [Review of the book Neuropsychology of art: Neurological, cognitive and evolutionary perspectives, D. W. Zaidel]. PsycCRITIQUES, 51 (10).
The book begins with a brief and perfunctory series preface, followed by a far more substantial preface by the author. It contains an overview of the topic and a specification of what she will and will not discuss in the book. On the neuropsychology side, she will pay special attention to the effects of brain damage on artistic creativity, with some subsidiary attention to autistic savants and dementia patients. Of particular interest is the localization of brain function, including hemispheric differentiation. On the art side, she makes it clear that the focus will be on the visual and musical arts, with an emphasis on the first. This book is crammed with useful facts and insightful speculations. The reviewer personally learned a lot about neuropsychology – especially about the adverse effects of particular brain injuries and dysfunctions. Moreover, the author has done a reasonable job of organizing the material and communicating that material in a fashion accessible to a broad audience. As a result, the reviewer can recommend this volume to anyone who is interested in the interface between neuropsychology and art.
294. Simonton, D. K. (2006b). Cinematic artifice sans psyche [Review of the motion picture The Da Vinci Code, R. Howard, Director.]. PsycCRITIQUES, 51 (34).
Because The Da Vinci Code is directly adapted from Dan Brown’s popular book by the same name, many readers of this review will already know that this film is not really about Leonardo da Vinci, the artistic genius of the Italian Renaissance. Instead, Leonardo posthumously provides a set of props for a murder mystery. The reviewer states he can much more easily review this film as a critic than as a psychologist. That is because anything of psychological interest is not very interesting psychologically. For instance, although Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is claustrophobic, the film does not examine this condition with any sophistication or insight. Rather, the origins and manifestations of claustrophobia are treated with just enough superficiality to justify certain lines of dialogue. Another example is the representation of problem-solving behavior. In two crucial spots in the plot, Langdon is called on to perform major acts of decipherment. The first time is with respect to the anagrams left by the curator, and the second is with respect to the cryptex. In both cases he supposedly takes advantage of his unusual eidetic memory. The main psychological experience in this film is déjà vu: These episodes are strikingly similar to the scenes in A Beautiful Mind (Howard, 2001) in which mathematician John Nash comes up with his creative (and crazy) ideas. This similarity is no accident. Not only did Ron Howard direct both movies, but Akiva Goldsman wrote both screenplays. Any psychologist would also experience disappointment regarding the motives of the main characters. They all seem to possess cardboard personalities designed to fill particular slots in the plot development. But an even more fundamental problem involves the premise behind the whole film – and here the reviewer may be guilty of inserting a spoiler. This is the supposed top secret that all members of the Priory of Sion must protect and that all members of Opus Dei must destroy forever. The secret is the “fact” that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and that they had a child together. Perhaps the book provides more justification for why this information would be so earthshaking, but the film certainly does not succeed. Biblical prophecies did not require that the Messiah be celibate (and can most likely be construed to foretell that he would found a new Davidian line of kings). Nor would the divinity of Jesus have been seriously compromised had he fathered a child, especially not in the context of Greco-Roman and Middle Eastern civilizations. Even the great Zeus impregnated more than his proper share of mortal women. More important, religion and procreation are not psychological misfits. Many faiths, such as certain sects in Hinduism and Buddhism, argue for an intimate relation between the two aspects of the human psyche. The Prophet Mohammed, the founder of the Islamic religion, had several wives and numerous children. Although Martin Luther was originally a monk, shortly after launching the Protestant movement, he married an ex-nun. Spirituality and sexuality are not inherently antithetical, psychologically or historically. Accordingly, the reviewer failed to understand why the postulated mystery should motivate murder. The reviewer concludes that in a nutshell, whatever its cinematic merits or demerits, The Da Vinci Code will never provide provocative film clips for use in psychology lectures or discussion sections. It is, quite literally, mindless entertainment.
295. Simonton, D. K. (2006c). Cinematic creativity and aesthetics: Empirical analyses of movie awards. In P. Locher, C. Martindale, & L. Dorfman (Eds.), New directions in aesthetics, creativity, and the arts (pp. 123-136). Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing.
In this chapter I plan to illustrate an analytical strategy that enables the investigator to examine hundreds, even thousands of films. Besides studying feature-length films in their entirety, the approach permits the simultaneous examination of all the major contributions to a film’s cinematic success. To be specific, the methodological approach takes advantage of the rich amount of raw data already available in archival sources, whether paper or electronic. The illustrations will entail four published investigations: (a) film awards and critical acclaim, (b) creative clusters in cinematic art, (c) budget, box office, and aesthetic success, and (d) gender differences in acting contributions. Because these four studies do not answer all of the questions that might be entertained regarding cinematic creativity and aesthetics, I end this chapter with a brief discussion of other questions that can be addressed using the suggested research strategy.
296. Simonton, D. K. (2006d). Creative genius, knowledge, and reason: The lives and works of eminent creators. In J. C. Kaufman & J. Baer (Eds), Creativity and reason in cognitive development (pp. 43-59). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
297. Simonton, D. K. (2006e). Creativity around the world in 80 ways … but with one destination. In J. C. Kaufman & R. J. Sternberg (Eds.), International handbook of creativity research (pp. 490-496). New York: Cambridge University Press.
298. Simonton, D. K. (2006f). Creativity in Creating Minds: A retrospective evaluation. In J. A. Schaler (Ed.), Howard Gardner under fire: A rebel psychologist faces his critics (pp. 143-168). Chicago: Open Court.
299. Simonton, D. K. (2006g). Creativity in the cortex [Review of the book The creating brain: The neuroscience of genius, N. C. Andreasen]. PsycCRITIQUES, 51 (38).
This book has many positive features. It is replete with clear black-and-white photographs of geniuses and their creations. It also is graced with many direct quotations from great poems-indeed, a poem opens every chapter. At the same time, the book contains numerous instructive figures, tables, and brain scans (albeit none of the geniuses). Hence, a reader casually flipping through the pages would certainly feel that the volume is about the neuroscience of genius. Better yet, the text is extremely well written. Andreasen probably writes better than most psychiatrists, and even better than most former professors of Renaissance literature. She seems to have a very sharp intellect and an attractive personality that makes her writing a pleasure to read from beginning to end. All that said, I felt somewhat disappointed after my reading was complete. And the more I reflected on what I read, the greater that disappointment became. Some of my discontentment came from what some might consider relatively trivial matters. For instance, the book does not use any of the expected paraphernalia of scholarship, whether citations, footnotes, or endnotes. As a consequence, the origins of many of her assertions cannot be determined. Accordingly, the reader has no way of going to the original articles or books to find additional information about the reported findings. My biggest disappointment, however, was where I least expected trouble: Andreasen’s treatment of neuroscience. For the most part, the book consists of two disconnected discussions: creativity on the one hand and the brain on the other. With the exception of the research on psychopathology, the two topics are seldom interlinked even when potential linkages are available in the literature. So my final assessment is this: Although the book is a delight to read, we still must wait for a comprehensive treatment of the neuroscience of creative genius. Perhaps Andreasen should consider writing a second edition.
300. Simonton, D. K. (2006h). Historiometric methods. In K. A. Ericsson, N. Charness, P. J. Feltovich, & R. R. Hoffman (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of expertise and expert performance (pp. 319-335). New York: Cambridge University Press.
301. Simonton, D. K. (2006i). Origins of genius [Review of the book From such simple a beginning: The four great books of Charles Darwin, E. O. Wilson Ed.]. PsycCRITIQUES, 51 (15).
This book should catch the eye of any scientific psychologist. The volume contains Darwin’s four most pathbreaking contributions: On the Origin of Species, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, and The Voyage of the Beagle. Besides Darwin’s own words, the volume contains the thoughts of Edward O. Wilson, certainly one of the greatest living evolutionary thinkers. Wilson begins with a general introduction, then adds a specific introduction at the beginning of each of the four books, and then concludes the whole anthology with an afterword that devotes some thought to the relation between evolution and religion. Wilson clearly aimed the introductions and afterword at a general audience. For those who are already familiar with Darwin and evolutionary theory, the editor offers no novel insights. However, the book is attractively produced and priced. Hence, I strongly recommend the volume for anyone who does not already have the four works on his or her bookshelf. Few volumes published today contain so many great ideas in so little space and with such minimal cost.
302. Simonton, D. K. (2006j). Nothing more than a university professor engaged in teaching, research, and service: Nor less. In J. G. Irons, B. C. Beins, C. Burke, B. Buskist, V. Hevern, & J. E. Williams (Eds.), The teaching of psychology in autobiography: Perspectives from psychology’s exemplary teachers (Vol. 2, pp. 85-91). Washington, DC: Society for the Teaching of Psychology, American Psychological Association.
303. Simonton, D. K. (2006k). Presidential IQ, Openness, Intellectual Brilliance, and leadership: Estimates and correlations for 42 US chief executives. Political Psychology, 27, 511-639.
Individual differences in intelligence are consistently associated with leader performance, including the assessed performance of presidents of the United States. Given this empirical significance, IQ scores were estimated for all 42 chief executives from Washington to G. W. Bush. The scores were obtained by applying missing-values estimation methods (expectation-maximization) to published assessments of (a) IQ (Cox, 1926; n = 8), (b) Intellectual Brilliance (Simonton, 1986c; n = 39), and (c) Openness to Experience (Rubenzer & Faschingbauer, 2004; n = 32). The resulting scores were then shown to correlate with evaluations of presidential leadership performance. The implications for George W. Bush and his presidency were then discussed.
304. Simonton, D. K. (2006l). [Review of the book Investigative pathways: Patterns and stages in the careers of experimental scientists, F. L. Holmes]. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 61, 109-111.
305. Simonton, D. K. (2006m). Scientific status of disciplines, individuals, and ideas: Empirical analyses of the potential impact of theory. Review of General Psychology, 10, 98-112.
The place of theory in scientific research can be subjected to empirical investigation. This possibility is illustrated by examining three issues. First, what determines a scientific discipline’s placement in a hypothesized hierarchy of the sciences? This was addressed in an analysis of the characteristics that distinguish various disciplines, including attributes bearing an explicit connection to the role of theory. Second, what individual research programs are most likely to have a long-term impact on a scientific discipline? This was examined by looking at how thematic organization and theoretical orientation influence a scientist’s disciplinary visibility. Third, what are the features of scientific publications that render some more successful in terms of long-term influence? This question was addressed by examining how theoretical content determines the impact of journal articles.
306. Simonton, D. K. (2006n). The Tower of Babel undone. [Review of the book Empires of the word: A language history of the world, N. Ostler]. PsycCRITIQUES, 51 (21).
This book is not a psycholinguistic analysis but rather a historical survey of the factors that are responsible for some languages becoming widely spoken. Part 1 consists of two chapters that discuss the nature of language history. Here the author introduces some of the processes – such as population growth, diffusion, conquest, and migration – that figure prominently throughout the remainder of the book. Part 2 then devotes six chapters to languages that had spread “by land.” This presentation is followed by Part 3, which discusses a more recent development – languages that spread “by sea” and thus formed noncontiguous communities. Part 4 has two chapters on the present and future of the world languages, with special attention to the “current top 20.” The text is also illustrated throughout with 66 maps, 2 tables, and 12 figures. In addition, the book features an index in which the world’s major languages are put in boldface to make it easier for the curious reader to seek them out. The reviewer notes that the maps are sometimes confusing, and the author sometimes overlooks empirical research that might have shed light on certain topics. Nonetheless, the reviewer states that the author does an excellent job of presenting various theories and disproving them one by one. He is also willing to put forth his own hypotheses about the factors that determine the differential success of languages on the world stage.
307. Simonton, D. K. (2007a). Achievement. In J. E. Birren (Ed.), Encyclopedia of gerontology (2nd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 20-29). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
308. Simonton, D. K. (2007b). But is truth beautiful, or beauty symmetric? [Review of the book Why beauty is truth: A history of symmetry, I. Stewart]. PsycCRITIQUES, 52 (52).
The book is organized as a series of historical narratives; each chapter is devoted to a particular big name in the history of symmetry. The book’s historical narrative spans a tremendous range of topics: quadratic, cubic, quartic, and quintic equations; regular polygons; Fermat’s Last Theorem; non-Euclidean geometry; imaginary and complex numbers; quaternions and octonions; transcendental numbers; group theory; the Fano plane; topology; Maxwell’s equations; quantum mechanics; antimatter; the special and general theories of relativity; cosmology; string theory and superstring theory, and loop quantum gravity. The reviewer greatly enjoyed the book but criticized the author’s attempt to combine the history of ideas with the intimate biographies of those who have contributed those ideas, believing that this was too much of a distraction. Another, more serious problem, was that the reviewer lost the overall thread in the author’s thesis, with large sections of the book lacking any explicit reference to the core theme. Finally, the reviewer laments that the author never truly grapples with the various forms that beauty may take, and that symmetry is only one form.
309. Simonton, D. K. (2007c). Chance. In N. J. Salkind (Ed.), Encyclopedia of measurement and statistics (Vol. 1, pp. 129-133). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
310. Simonton, D. K. (2007d). Cinema composers: Career trajectories for creative productivity in film music. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 1, 160-169.
It was hypothesized that film composers, like classical composers, have career trajectories that are endogenously rather than exogenously driven (i.e., contingent on internal processes rather than external influences). Study 1 examined 153 composers who composed original film music or music adapted later for film. The correlations among the number of total hits and the ages at first hit, best hit, and last hit followed the same pattern as found for classical composers. Study 2 concentrated on a subset of 78 composers who were nominees or awardees for best score or song from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The analyses indicated the same predicted configuration of correlations among the number of total nominations and the ages at first nomination, first award, last award, and last nomination. Furthermore, the longitudinal placement of the career landmarks corresponded closely across the two studies: first hit with first nomination, best hit with first award, and last hit with last award. The endogenous determination of the career course helps explain the poor association between exceptional film music and the corresponding film’s cinematic success.
311. Simonton, D. K. (2007e). The creative process in Picasso’s Guernica sketches: Monotonic improvements or nonmonotonic variants’ Creativity Research Journal, 19, 329-344.
A controversy has emerged over whether Picasso’s sketches for Guernica illustrate a Darwinian process of blind-variation and selective-retention (i.e., nonmonotonic variants) rather than a more systematic, expertise-driven process (i.e., monotonic improvements). This issue is objectively addressed by having judges (1 pro-Darwinian, 2 anti-Darwinian, and 2 neutral) rank the figural components according to their perceived progress toward the final version of the painting. Besides strongly agreeing on the perceived order (composite progress score alpha = .85), the independent judges concurred that this order was conspicuously nonmonotonic, with minimal tendency to converge on the end result. These conclusions held not only for the sketches as a whole, but also for the sequence of sketches for the separate figural elements of the painting. Hence, Picasso’s creative process is best described as producing blind nonmonotonic variants rather than expert monotonic improvements. The general method used in this study can be extended to other documentary evidence – such as musical sketches, literary drafts, and laboratory notebooks – to determine the extent to which creativity operates in a Darwinian manner.
312. Simonton, D. K. (2007f). Creative life cycles in literature: Poets versus novelists or conceptualists versus experimentalists’ Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 1, 133-139.
The economist Galenson (2005) proposed a theory of creative life cycles that distinguishes between early-peaking conceptual creators (finders) and late-peaking experimental creators (seekers). This contrast is claimed to invalidate previous research findings that poets tend to peak earlier than novelists. However, a multiple regression analysis of his published data on 23 creative writers shows that the poetry-novel genre contrast makes a contribution to the prediction of the career trajectory that is orthogonal to the conceptual-experimental contrast. The result is a fourfold typology of creative life cycles: conceptual poets, conceptual novelists, experimental poets, and experimental novelists who do their best work at ages 28, 34, 38, and 44, respectively. The article closes with a discussion of additional empirical and theoretical issues.
313. Simonton, D. K. (2007g). Creativity. In R. F. Baumeister & K. D. Vohs (Eds.), Encyclopedia of social psychology (pp. 200-202). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
314. Simonton, D. K. (2007h). Creativity. In J. E. Birren (Ed.), Encyclopedia of gerontology (2nd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 316-325). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
315. Simonton, D. K. (2007i). Creativity: Specialized expertise or general cognitive processes? In M. J. Roberts (Ed.), Integrating the mind: Domain general versus domain specific processes in higher cognition (pp. 351-367). Hove, UK: Psychology Press.
316. Simonton, D. K. (2007j). Don’t worry, be high in subjective well being! [Review of the documentary short How Happy Can You Be?, L. Hatland, Director.]. PsycCRITIQUES, 52 (18).
Researchers associated with the positive psychology movement study not just special virtues and talents but also the psychological quality of our everyday lives. Perhaps the most important of these qualities is happiness, or what researchers are more likely to refer to as subjective well-being, a more scientific-sounding term. Hence, many positive psychologists have tried to tease out the causes of human happiness. Why are some people seemingly happier than others? Why do some nations seem to be filled with happy people whereas other nations appear to be populated by far more discontented folk? Does money buy happiness? Is there anything we can do to enhance our own subjective well-being? Should we really want to do so? Does happiness live up to all the hype? Might not mere contentment have its advantages? Is there a downside to never being down? These are the kinds of questions addressed by Line Hatland in her fascinating documentary How happy can you be?. Given the nature of the topic, this product might be considered as falling under the genre of an educational video designed for classroom use. Yet this documentary also has the attributes of a standard film designed for broader distribution.
317. Simonton, D. K. (2007k). Film music: Are award-winning scores and songs heard in successful motion pictures? Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 1, 53-60.
Using a sample of 401 feature-length narrative films released between 1998 and 2003, the current study examines whether award-winning film music is more likely to appear in successful films. Film success was measured using two measures of critical evaluations, a composite measure of best picture awards and nominations, and box office gross, whereas the success of the film music was gauged by the number of awards and award nominations received. In addition, control variables were defined for production costs, release date, release season, runtime, MPAA rating, and genre (drama, comedy, romance, musical, animation, and foreign-language). Although music awards and nominations were positively correlated with film success, the score rather than song was primarily responsible for the relationship. Moreover, after introducing the control variables, song awards had no relation whatsoever, whereas score awards were still positively associated with the film success as measured by best-picture nominations and awards.
318. Simonton, D. K. (2007l). The forward march of psychological science and practice. [Review of the book Portraits of pioneers of psychology, D. A. Dewsbury, L. T. Benjamin, & M. Wertheimer (Eds.)]. PsycCRITIQUES, 52 (5).
This book is the sixth in a series that began in 1991. Wertheimer was involved in editing all six volumes, and Kimble, on the first five. As is noted in the book’s preface, the goal of the series is to “provide a set of chapters about both the scholarly and personal lives of psychologists who have made significant contributions to the development of the field” (p. ix). The earlier volumes contain chapters devoted to the lives and works of some of the greatest names in the history of psychology. As the editors note, “This volume is a bit of a departure from previous ones in that we have concentrated more on authors who have made substantial contributions to the field of the history of psychology” (p. x). Moreover, despite the greater historical expertise of the solicited writers, every chapter is extremely readable. All of the chapters – but especially those about the less well-known figures – should be of interest to historians of psychology, including those who teach the subject at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
319. Simonton, D. K. (2007m). Historiometrics. In N. J. Salkind (Ed.), Encyclopedia of measurement and statistics (Vol. 2, p. 441). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
320. Simonton, D. K. (2007n). Is bad art the opposite of good art? Positive versus negative cinematic assessments of 877 feature films. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 25, 121-143.
Although some research suggests that negative judgments might be more complex and more potent than positive judgments, cinematic assessments may offer an instance of a genuine bipolar evaluative dimension. This is shown in an analysis of 877 feature films that received positive (Oscars) or negative (Razzie) recognition in the categories of best/worst picture, director, male and female lead, male and female supporting actor, screenplay, and original song (whether nomination or actual award). These assessments were compared with film critic evaluations, financial and box office data, and several relevant cinematic attributes (e.g., literary adaptations, writer-directors, biopics, sequels, remakes, film genres, runtime, and MPAA ratings). Analyses indicated that negative assessments were largely the inverse of positive assessments, with similar weights being assigned to most cinematic attributes. However, the negative judgments were somewhat less consequential regarding those same attributes.
321. Simonton, D. K. (2007o). Picasso’s Guernica creativity as a Darwinian process: Definitions, clarifications, misconceptions, and applications. Creativity Research Journal, 19, 381-384.
The author responds to four commentaries on Simonton (2007e). The response deals with two sets of issues. First are criticisms of the Darwinian theory of creativity, especially as applied to Picasso’s sketches for the Guernica. These criticisms range from the presumed role of associative processes to the essential nature of any Darwinian model. The second set of issues pertains to diverse methodological objections with respect to measurement and data analysis. The author responds to each and every point. The author concludes not only that Picasso’s creative process is best described as Darwinian, but also that the Darwinian theory of creativity has been notably strengthened by the current exchange.
322. Simonton, D. K. (2007p). The psychology of creativity. In M. J. Epstein, T. Davila, & R. D. Shelton (Eds.), The creative enterprise: Vol. 2. Culture (pp. 85-97). Westport, CT: Praeger.
323. Simonton, D. K. (2007q). Psychology’s limits as a scientific discipline: A personal view. Applied & Preventive Psychology: Current Scientific Perspectives, 12, 35-36.
I provided a more personal view of Wachtel’s (1980) article. I began by discussing the extent to which my own research program complied with his distinctive recommendations. After offering a different take on the impact of high productivity, I focused on (a) the negative effects of the quest for extramural funding and (b) the positive effects of a better balance between theoretical and empirical contributions. I then turn to some of my own theoretical and empirical studies of the place that theory has in successful science. This research suggests that theory only has a beneficial effect when it is integrative in function and when it is closely constrained by available data. I end with a speculation regarding the value of having theories that are maximally formal, even mathematical.
324. Simonton, D. K. (2007r). [Review of the book Creativity: Theories and themes: Research, development, and practice, Mark A. Runco]. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 1, 251-252.
Reviews the book, Creativity: Theories and themes: Research, development, and practice by Mark A. Runco. This book consists of 11 chapters with the following titles: “Cognition and Creativity,” “Developmental Trends and Influences on Creativity,” “Biological Perspectives on Creativity,” “Health and Clinical Perspectives,” “Social, Attributional, and Organizational Perspectives,” “Educational Perspectives,” “History and Historiometry,” “Culture and Creativity,” “Personality and Motivation,” “Enhancement and the Fulfillment of Potential,” and “Conclusion: What Creativity Is and What It Is Not.” Beyond this all-encompassing content, the volume is crammed with illustrations and with all those “boxes” that are so characteristic of introductory textbooks in psychology. Each chapter also begins with appropriate quotations and a didactic “Advanced Organizer.” Finally, Runco closes with 63 pages of references and a 15-page subject index. The reviewer has one major complaint: Runco seems to have adopted an “open the floodgates” approach that sometimes results in the almost willy nilly insertion of ideas and material. One consequence of this tendency is that the illustrations and boxes are at times less useful than they ought to be. Another repercussion of Runco’s leave-nothing-out approach is that it occasionally leads to the presentation of ideas with minimal if any discussion or commentary. The reviewer does assert though, that for someone in the market for a text for use in an introductory creativity course, a book that is wide-ranging and most current, Runco’s Creativity is a good choice.
325. Simonton, D. K. (2007s). The social context of innovation. In M. J. Epstein, T. Davila, & R. D. Shelton (Eds.), The creative enterprise: Vol. 2. Culture (pp. 155-170). Westport, CT: Praeger.
326. Simonton, D. K. (2007t). Talent and expertise: The empirical evidence for genetic endowment. High Ability Studies, 18, 83-84.
327. Simonton, D. K. (2007u). Why get your undergraduate education at a major research university? Explorations: The UC Davis Undergraduate Research Journal, 10, iii-v.
328. Song, A. V., & Simonton, D. K. (2007). Personality assessment at a distance: Quantitative methods. In R. W. Robins, R. C. Fraley, & R. F. Krueger (Eds.), Handbook of research methods in personality psychology (pp. 308-321). New York: Guilford Press.
329. Nielsen, B. D., Pickett, C. L., & Simonton, D. K. (2008). Conceptual versus experimental creativity: Which works best on convergent and divergent thinking tasks? Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 2, 131-138.
Galenson’s research on creativity has identified two unique creative methods: conceptual and experimental. These methods have different processes, goals, purposes and strategies for innovation. In order to determine (a) if college students use one method more than the other, and (b) if one method is superior to the other, 115 college students were randomly assigned to utilize the conceptual creative method, the experimental creative method, or their own creative method (i.e., how they would solve a creative problem without instruction) while completing two types of convergent and divergent thinking tasks. Participants using the experimental creative method performed better on both types of convergent thinking tasks and most participants using the experimental creative method were unaware of this increase in performance.
330. Pardoe, I., & Simonton, D. K. (2008). Applying discrete choice models to predict Academy Award winners. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 171, 375-394.
Every year since 1928, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has recognized outstanding achievement in film with their prestigious Academy Award, or Oscar. Before the winners in various categories are announced, there is intense media and public interest in predicting who will come away from the awards ceremony with an Oscar statuette. There are no end of theories about which nominees are most likely to win, yet despite this, there continue to be major surprises when the winners are announced. This article frames the question of predicting the four major awards – picture, director, actor in a leading role, actress in a leading role – as a discrete choice problem. It is then possible to predict the winners in these four categories with a reasonable degree of success. The analysis also reveals which past results might be considered truly surprising – nominees with low estimated probability of winning who have overcome nominees who were strongly favored to win.
331. Simonton, D. K. (2008a). Bilingualism and creativity. In J. Altarriba & R. R. Heredia (Eds.), An introduction to bilingualism: Principles and practices (pp. 147-166). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
332. Simonton, D. K. (2008b). Childhood giftedness and adulthood genius: A historiometric analysis of 291 eminent African Americans. Gifted Child Quarterly, 52, 243-255.
Although the association between giftedness and genius has been the subject of several retrospective, longitudinal, and historiometric studies, this research concentrated on majority-culture samples. Hence, in the current study Cox’s (1926) findings regarding 301 geniuses were replicated on a sample of 291 eminent African Americans. Relative genius was measured by two archival eminence measures (majority White and minority Black culture) and by scores on the Creative Achievement Scale (Ludwig, 1992). Giftedness was assessed by raters who were blind to the identity of the individuals being evaluated. Control variables were defined for gender, year of birth, status as a living contemporary, and 18 domains of achievement. Multiple regression analyses indicated that adulthood eminence and creative achievement are positively correlated with early giftedness, with an effect size comparable to that found in the Cox study. Furthermore, this association was not moderated by gender, birth year, and most of the remaining variables.
333. Simonton, D. K. (2008c). Cliometrics. In W. A. Darity, Jr. (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social sciences (2nd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 581-583). Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.
334. Simonton, D. K. (2008d). Creative wisdom: Similarities, contrasts, integration, and application. In A. Craft, H. Gardner, & G. Claxton (Eds.), Creativity, wisdom, and trusteeship: Exploring the role of education (pp. 68-76). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
335. Simonton, D. K. (2008e). Distribution, normal. In W. A. Darity, Jr. (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social sciences (2nd ed., Vol. 2, 415-417). Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.
336. Simonton, D. K. (2008f). Gender differences in birth order and family size among 186 eminent psychologists. Journal of Psychology of Science and Technology, 1, 15-22.
Ever since Galton (1874) research has indicated that earlier born children are overrepresented among distinguished scientists, even after controlling for family size. Other studies imply that the developmental asset of an early ordinal position could be even stronger for eminent women. This hypothesis was tested using a sample of illustrious psychologists born between 1802 and 1952 (112 women and 74 men). Not only did women tend to have earlier birth orders, but also the relation between family size and birth order was far weaker for women than for men. In fact, where for men birth order was a positive monotonic function of family size, for women it was a nonmonotonic single-peaked function. These gender differences were stable across historical time and survived control for differences in eminence and year of birth.
337. Simonton, D. K. (2008g). Creativity and genius. In O. P. John, R. W. Robins, & L. A. Pervin (Eds.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (3rd ed., pp. 679-698). New York: Guilford Press.
338. Simonton, D. K. (2008h). Going on living when you’re buried alive. [Review of the motion picture The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Julian Schnabel, Director.]. PsycCRITIQUES, 53 (12).
Imagine you wake up and life is a blur. You realize that you’re almost totally paralyzed from head to foot and can see only the limited world around you from a single eye. People talk to you, but you cannot respond. Your ability to enter into the social exchanges that are part of everyday human life is cruelly truncated. You learn from the physician that you had a massive stroke and that you are now suffering from what is known as “locked-in syndrome.” Your intellectual and emotional capacities are untouched, but you have become pure mind sans body – with one crucial exception. You can move one eyelid. A therapist informs you that she has a system by which you can again communicate with the world. She’ll just read through a list of letters ordered according to frequency of use, and you blink when she gets to the right letter. Almost immediately you use this new-found power to tell the therapist, “I want to die.” Yet you’re encouraged to “hang on to the human who is inside you,” and you decide on a more creative and adaptive response. You’ll write a book about your new life. It is called The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. This is the life of Schnabel. His book was later turned into the film. As for the film, the reviewer will not say that the motion picture is perfect. he would give it only four stars out of five. One problem is that the filmmakers did not shy away from revealing the fact that the protagonist was not a particularly sympathetic human being prior to his stroke. At the same time, the filmmakers had no qualms about casting rather attractive women as his caretakers. So at times his empathetic feelings were attenuated by the fleeting thought that this guy was a womanizing jerk.
339. Simonton, D. K. (2008i). Napoleon complex. In W. A. Darity, Jr. (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social sciences (2nd ed., Vol. 5, pp. 366-367). Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.
340. Simonton, D. K. (2008j). Practicing essential cinematic sex. [Review of the motion picture Lust, Caution, A. Lee, Director.]. PsycCRITIQUES.
Practicing essential cinematic sex. PsycCRITIQUES, 53 (50).
Lee is willing to take advantage of his reputation to expand the boundaries of mainstream cinema. This willingness became strikingly apparent in Brokeback Mountain, a love story about two cowboys. Although the story Lust, Caution centers on a heterosexual love affair, Lee pushes the limit in a different direction: Where Brokeback stayed within the bounds of an R-rated film, Lee thrusts this film quite emphatically into NC-17 territory. The reviewer states we have to be grateful that the director had sufficient artistic freedom to have the final word on the film’s Motion Picture Association of America rating. In my opinion, Ang Lee practiced essential cinematic sex.
341. Simonton, D. K. (2008k). Presidential greatness and its socio-psychological significance: Individual or situation? Performance or attribution? In C. Hoyt, G. R. Goethals, & D. Forsyth (Eds.), Leadership at the crossroads: Vol. 1. Psychology and leadership (pp. 132-148). Westport, CT: Praeger.
342. Simonton, D. K. (2008l). Scientific talent, training, and performance: Intellect, personality, and genetic endowment. Review of General Psychology, 12, 28-46.
Despite over a century of research, psychologists have still not established scientific talent as an empirically demonstrable phenomenon. To help solve this problem, a talent definition was first proposed that provided the basis for three quantitative estimators of criterion heritability that can be applied to meta-analytic and behavior genetic research concerning the intellectual and personality predictors of scientific training and performance. After specifying the ideal data requirements for the application of the three estimators, the procedures were applied to previously published results. Personality traits were illustrated using the California Psychological Inventory and the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire with respect to two criteria (scientists versus nonscientists and creative scientists versus less creative scientists) and intellectual traits using the Miller Analogies Test with respect to seven criteria (graduate grade point average, faculty ratings, comprehensive examination scores, degree attainment, and research productivity, etc.). The outcome provides approximate, lower-bound estimates of the genetic contribution to scientific training and performance. Subsequent discussion concerns what future research is necessary for a more complete understanding of scientific talent as an empirical phenomenon.
343. Simonton, D. K. (2008m). Self-actualization. In W. A. Darity, Jr. (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social sciences (2nd ed., Vol. 7, pp. 394-396). Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.
344. Simonton, D. K. (2008n). Willing creation. In J. Baer, J. C. Kaufman, & R. F. Baumeister (Eds.), Are we free? Psychology and free will (pp. 296-303). New York: Oxford University Press.
The chapter discusses the place of volition in the act of creation. Discussion of this issue raises something of a paradox. The human will has both a major role in creativity and a very minor role in creativity. In a sense, creative thought is a function of both active and passive processes – of yang and yin. This conclusion is apparent from research on the creative process and its relation to incubation, serendipity, chance, regression behavior genetics, psychoticism, expertise development, and multiples. The safest conclusion is simply that creativity is a complex consequence of the interaction between willful independence and will-free contingency.
345. Simonton, D. K., Moore, T. L., & Shaughnessy, M. F. (2008). A reflective conversation with Dean Keith Simonton. North American Journal of Psychology, 10, 595-602.
Presents a reflective conversation with Dean Keith Simonton. Topics of discussion in the conversation include writing, researching, historiometric inquiry, socio-cultural context of the psychology of science, personality and individual differences, and motivation.
346. Cerridwen, A., & Simonton, D. K. (2009). Sex doesn’t sell – nor impress: Content, box office, critics, and awards in mainstream cinema. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 3, 200-210.
Although it is commonly assumed that “sex sells” in mainstream cinema, recent research indicates a far more ambiguous relation between strong sexual content and financial performance. Moreover, such content may not be justified by either critical evaluations or movie awards. The literature even suggests that cinematic sex may reflect long-term gender biases in the film industry. The current study investigates these issues by addressing two questions. First, what is the impact of sex and other graphic content on the central criteria of cinematic success? Second, to what extent is such content contingent on the proportion of women engaged in filmmaking, whether as producers, directors, writers, or actors? Analyses of 914 films released between 2001 and 2005 indicated that sex and nudity do not, on the average, boost box office, earn critical acclaim, or win major awards. Although female involvement does influence a film’s content, the only impact on the presence of sex and nudity is the proportion of women who make up the cast. Notwithstanding statistical complications, the best conclusion is that graphic sex neither sells nor impresses.
347. Simonton, D. K. (2009a). Applying the psychology of science to the science of psychology: Can psychologists use psychological science to enhance psychology as a science? Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4, 2-4.
Added to the already tremendous diversity of subdisciplines of psychological science is the psychology of science. Although research on the psychology of science began in 1874, the field has seen a substantial expansion of activity in recent years. One particular subset of this research literature has special importance, namely inquiries into the psychology of doing great science. These investigations may be assigned into four groups: cognitive, differential, developmental, and social. Each of these deal with critical questions that can, if answered, contribute directly to the improvement of psychology as a science. Potential applications include (a) the identification of scientific talent in psychology, (b) the education of future investigators in psychological science, and (c) the evaluation of psychology’s progress as a scientific endeavor.
348. Simonton, D. K. (2009b). Archival methods. In H. Reis & S. Sprecher (Eds.), Encyclopedia of human relationships (Vol. 1, pp. 104-105). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
349. Simonton, D. K. (2009c). Cinema talent: Individual and collective. In L. Shavinina (Ed.), International handbook of giftedness (Part One, pp. 699-712). New York: Springer.
Cinema is an unusual form of achievement in that it involves both (a) extensive collaborative effort and (b) considerable financial resources. A series of investigations examines the operation of both these characteristics in large samples of award-winning films. These empirical studies reveal the multidimensional complexity of cinematic products and indicate the dimensions that are most critical for understanding individual contributions to the collective products. Especially crucial are those who contribute to the dramatic qualities of film, especially the screenplay and direction. Hence, future research should focus on the factors that underlie giftedness and talent in screenwriters and directors.
350. Simonton, D. K. (2009d). Cinematic success, aesthetics, and economics: An exploratory recursive model. Psychology of Creativity, Aesthetics, and the Arts, 3, 128-138.
Although the reputation of creative artists is based largely on the merit of their work, the latter can sometimes be assessed in several different ways that may not necessarily agree. This lack of evaluative consensus is perhaps most apparent in cinematic success; this can be judged by film critics (initial and final), movie awards (picture, dramatic, visual, technical, and music), and box office performance (including both first weekend and later gross). Previous research not only shows that these success criteria may not always agree, but also that the criteria may have distinct aesthetic and economic antecedents. However, because the success criteria emerge at distinct points across time, a recursive model can be developed that describes the relationships among the criteria as well as their differential dependence on the predictive factors most frequently identified in the literature. The model was constructed using a sample of 1006 English-language, live-action, feature-length narrative films released between 2000 and 2006. The resulting equations indicate the complexity of cinematic success. Nonetheless, overriding this complexity is the fundamental contrast between film as art and film as entertainment.
351. Simonton, D. K. (2009e). Cinematic success criteria and their predictors: The art and business of the film industry. Psychology and Marketing, 26, 400-420.
The author reviewed the empirical research on the factors underlying the success of feature-length narrative films. After specifying some methodological caveats, the review examined the three main criteria by which a film’s success can be evaluated: critical evaluations (both early and post theatrical run), financial performance (including first weekend and gross), and movie awards (including dramatic, visual, technical, and music categories). To what extent do these criteria represent distinct aesthetic and economic assessments? The review then turned to the various predictors of these success criteria. How is success connected with the film’s production and distribution characteristics? To what extent do the predictors converge and diverge across alternative criteria? The article then closed with a discussion of some psychological issues raised by the reviewed findings.
352. Simonton, D. K. (2009f). Controversial and volatile flicks: Contemporary consensus and temporal stability in film critic assessments. Creativity Research Journal, 21, 311-318.
Prior research has shown that the aesthetic assessments by film critics display a high level of concurrent consensus and temporal stability. However, neither the consensus nor the stability is so great as to preclude evaluative disagreements and reassessments (e.g., sleepers and faders). The present investigation was designed to identify the predictors of these concurrent and temporal departures from critical congruence. The potential predictors were variables that emerged in previous research on the determinants of cinematic creativity: (a) financial data, such as production budget and box office performance; (b) movie awards and nominations in the major categories (viz. picture and the dramatic, visual, technical, and music clusters of honors); and (c) film attributes, such as the MPAA rating, running time, and screenplay characteristics like sequels, remakes, and adaptations (from plays, novels, nonfiction, etc.). Both simultaneous and stepwise regression analyses indicated that the cinematic exceptions to critical consensus and stability were predictable. However, because the predictors only accounted for between 10 and 15% of the variance and were not the same for dissent and instability, the departures cannot be said to contaminate the critics’ evaluations in any systematic manner.
353. Simonton, D. K. (2009g). Creative genius in classical music: Biographical influences on composition and eminence. The Psychologist, 22, 1076-1079.
354. Simonton, D. K. (2009h). Creativity. In S. J. Lopez & C. R. Snyder (Eds.), The handbook of positive psychology (2nd ed., pp. 261-269). New York: Oxford University Press.
Because creativity is often viewed as a highly positive human capacity both at the individual and societal levels, the chapter provides an overview of what psychologists have learned about this phenomenon. After beginning with the definition of creativity in terms of adaptive originality, the review turns to how measurement depends on whether creativity is to be treated as a process, a person, or a product. The next section of the review concentrates on the principal empirical results, with special focus on the two findings that would seem to be especially germane for positive psychology, namely (a) the impact of early trauma on creative development and (b) the relation between creativity and psychopathology. This section is followed by a discussion of the two key theoretical issues that pervade research on creativity: the nature-nurture question and the small-c versus big-C creativity question. Once these empirical and theoretical matters have been discussed, the article can progress to a treatment of some practical applications. These applications concern creativity-improving techniques that can be implemented during childhood, adolescence, or adulthood. The chapter closes with a brief discussion of the most fruitful directions for future research on creativity. Despite the tremendous accumulation of knowledge about the phenomenon, a lot of unanswered questions remain.
355. Simonton, D. K. (2009i). Creativity as a Darwinian phenomenon: The blind-variation and selective-retention model. In M. Krausz, D. Dutton, & K. Bardsley (Eds.), The idea of creativity (2nd ed., pp. 63-81). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill.
Charles Darwin’s theory of biological evolution has often served as a model for human creativity. The most influential application is Donald T. Campbell’s (1960) blind-variation and selective-retention model. The BVSR model has undergone recent development into a full-fledged theoretical framework. Moreover, substantial empirical research on the creative process, the creative personality, and creative development provide support for the theory’s key claims. One special feature of the theory is that it provides a basis for ordering domains according to the degree to which creativity in those domains is dependent on BVSR processes (e.g, science < art; paradigmatic science < nonparadigmatic science; formal/classical art < expressive/romantic art). Corresponding to this placement would be expected differences in the disposition and development of the domain’s creators.
356. Simonton, D. K. (2009j). The decline and fall of musical art: What happened to classical composers? Empirical Studies of the Arts, 27, 209-216.
Martindale (2009) asserted that a dialectic conflict between novelty and intelligibility causes serious art to go into a death spiral. This assertion is examined with respect to classical music. More specifically, three questions are addressed. First, did classical music truly decline and die? Second, why did it do so? Third, where did would-be classical composers end up in the absence of classical music? It seems that the decadence is real, and that Martindale’s explanation has some merit. Even so, classical composers still exist. We just call them cinema composers. And they jumped off a sinking ship to board a luxury liner.
357. Simonton, D. K. (2009k). Emotion and composition in classical music: Historiometric perspectives. In P. Juslin & J. Sloboda (Eds.), Handbook of music and emotion: Theory, research, applications (pp. 347-366). New York: Oxford University Press.
358. Simonton, D. K. (2009l). Genetic Studies of Genius. In B. Kerr (Ed.), Encyclopedia of giftedness, creativity, and talent (Vol. 1, pp. 373-375). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
359. Simonton, D. K. (2009m). Genius, creativity, and leadership. In T. Rickards, M. Runco, & S. Moger (Eds.), Routledge companion to creativity (pp. 26-31). London: Taylor & Francis.
360. Simonton, D. K. (2009n). Genius 101. New York: Springer Publishing.
361. Simonton, D. K. (2009o). Giftedness: The gift that keeps on giving. In T. Balchin, B. Hymer, & D. Matthews (Eds.), The Routledge international companion to gifted education (pp. 26-31). London: Routledge.
362. Simonton, D. K. (2009p). Gifts, talents, and their societal repercussions. In L. Shavinina (Ed.), International handbook of giftedness (Part Two, pp. 905-912). New York: Springer.
There are a number of ways of justifying special programs for the gifted and talented, but certainly among the most practically important concerns the societal benefits of adulthood achievements. This justification is elaborated by considering the cross-sectional distribution of impact in various domains of achievement. Because this distribution is highly skewed, with an extremely long upper tail, a large proportion of the contributions to any domain come from a small number of contributors. This means that any failure to promote the actualization of potential of this productive elite can have consequences out of proportion to the number of individuals involved.
363. Simonton, D. K. (2009q). Historiometry. In B. Kerr (Ed.), Encyclopedia of giftedness, creativity, and talent (Vol. 1, pp. 422-424). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
364. Simonton, D. K. (2009r). Historiometry in personality and social psychology. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 3, 49-63.
Historiometry is one of the oldest methods in personality and social psychology. In fact, the first professional publication in experimental social psychology also incorporated a historiometric study. The present review article begins by describing the nature of the technique with respect to unit definition and sampling, the several approaches to measuring variables, and the correlational nature of the statistical analyses. This description also pinpoints some of the unique characteristics of the approach. These attributes and other attributes are then illustrated using the historiometric research on assessed leadership of United States presidents. This research has converged on a single predictive equation that has been successfully replicated and extended over a quarter century of research. The article closes with a brief evaluation of historiometry’s future prospects in the field.
365. Simonton, D. K. (2009s). How thin is the partition? Where does it reside? [Review of the documentaries Hidden Gifts, directed by N. Higgins, and Between Madness and Art, directed by C. Beetz]. PsycCRITIQUES, 54 (26).
The first film, Between madness and art, is a 75-min documentary devoted to the Prinzhorn Collection of drawings, paintings, and sculptures by schizophrenic patients. Dr. Hans Prinzhorn had begun collecting these works in the 1920s while he was director of the Heidelberg Psychiatric Clinic. Besides ample images taken from the collection, the documentary includes interviews with psychotherapists, artists, the current collection director, and two contemporary outpatient artists. The second film, Hidden gifts, is a concise, 25-min documentary focused on a single Scotsman named Angus MacPhee. Having been diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1946, he was sent to a psychiatric hospital, where he stayed for a half century. As a kind of protest, he adopted elective mutism, refusing to speak to any of the staff. Yet MacPhee seemed to express himself in a strikingly different way: He would go out to the nearby fields and use grass to weave various articles of clothing, such as boots, coats, and gloves. These ephemeral products of his imagination were destroyed each year by the hospital staff without his registering any complaint. Taken together, the two films raise many fascinating issues.
366. Simonton, D. K. (2009t). The literary genius of William Shakespeare: Empirical lessons drawn from his dramatic and poetic creativity. In S. B. Kaufman & J. C. Kaufman (Eds), The psychology of creative writing (pp. 131-145). New York: Cambridge University Press.
367. Simonton, D. K. (2009u). The “other IQ”: Historiometric assessments of intelligence and related constructs. Review of General Psychology, 13, 315-326.
Running parallel to mainstream research on the psychometric assessment of intelligence is another tradition of research on the historiometric assessment of intelligence and closely affiliated variables. Historiometric assessment is based on four data sources: (a) personality sketches (e.g., Intellectual Brilliance), (b) developmental histories (e.g., IQ), (c) content analyses (e.g., integrative complexity), and (d) expert surveys (e.g., Openness to Experience). The first two represent major lines of intelligence research that involved key figures in the development of corresponding psychometric methods (e.g., Galton, Terman, and Thorndike), whereas the last two constitute independent research paradigms that later intersected with the first two. The literature on US presidents then provides an integrated illustration of the four historiometric approaches and how they converge on the same broad conclusions. Significantly, historiometric investigations on the relation between broadly-defined intelligence and adulthood achievement obtain about the same effect size as found in psychometric research (i.e., rs or betas = .25 ± .10). Because historiometric and psychometric studies have rather distinctive methodological advantages and disadvantages, this consistent outcome provides corroborative support for both sets of empirical findings.
368. Simonton, D. K. (2009v). Political leaders. In B. Kerr (Ed.), Encyclopedia of giftedness, creativity, and talent (Vol. 2, 683-684). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
369. Simonton, D. K. (2009w). Presidential leadership styles: How do they map onto charismatic, ideological, and pragmatic leadership? In F. J. Yammarino & F. Dansereau (Eds.), Research in Multi-Level Issues: Vol. 8. Multi-level issues in organizational behavior and leadership (pp. 123-133). Bingley, UK: Emerald.
Mumford, Hunter, Friedrich, and Caughron (2009) discuss at length three generic types of extraordinary leadership: charismatic, ideological, and pragmatic. I raise the question of whether this general framework applies to more focused domains of leadership. More specifically, I discuss my own research on leadership styles in the US presidency – interpersonal, charismatic, deliberative, creative, and neurotic – and then examine whether these five styles have some correspondence to the three broad types.
370. Simonton, D. K. (2009x). Scientific creativity as a combinatorial process: The chance baseline. In P. Meusburger, J. Funke, & E. Wunder (Eds.). Milieus of creativity (pp. 39-51). Dordrecht: Springer.
The chapter puts forward the thesis that the key features of scientific creativity can be explicated in terms of combinatorial models. Such models can explain the most aspects of the phenomenon with the fewest possible assumptions, and thus satisfies the law of parsimony or Ockham’s razor. At the very minimum the models provide a baseline for comparing explanations that try to explain the same phenomena using more assumptions. The argument begins with six core assumptions that specify how combinatorial creativity operates in the context of the individual scientist, the concepts and ideas that constitute the domain, and the colleagues and associates who define the field. These six assumptions then lead to several implications with respect to (a) scientific careers (individual variation and longitudinal change in output) and (b) scientific communities (namely the central attributes of multiple discovery and invention). The theory then undergoes elaboration in terms of a more complex mathematical model that makes highly precise and empirically distinctive predictions. The chapter ends with a discussion of how the combinatorial models connect with other empirical findings regarding scientific creativity.
371. Simonton, D. K. (2009y). Shakespeare’s “small Latin and less Greek”? Scientific perspectives on education, achieved eminence, and the authorship controversy. Mensa Research Journal, 40, 22-26.
Although William Shakespeare is widely seen as one of the greatest writers in world literature, a serious debate rages about the author’s true identity. On the one hand, the traditional Stratfordians maintain that a man baptized as Shakspere wrote the plays and poems. On the other hand, the anti-Stratfordians have advocated alternative candidates such as Oxford, Marlowe, Bacon, and Neville. One of the central issues in this debate concerns the relation between education and genius. Is genius ingrained or must it be trained? To address this issue, I present a review of the most germane scientific inquiries. Even though genius in literature does not have to be associated with high levels of formal education, such achievement is correlated with extensive self education, that is, extensive reading in childhood and adolescence. These empirical results are then used to discuss the plausibility of the Stratfordian candidate. This issue needs to be resolved if we ever wish to understand other features of the author, such as this genius’s most probable IQ.
372. Simonton, D. K. (2009z). Varieties of perspectives on creativity. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4, 466-467.
The author of the target article concentrates on two broad issues raised by the four commentaries: the hierarchical model of domains and individual differences in creativity. In the first case, additional research is cited to address (a) the contrast between “hard” and “soft” domains and (b) the application of this contrast to children, adolescents, and non-eminent adults. In the second case, two recent studies are shown to confirm the model’s predictions regarding personal creative achievement. It is hoped that the target article, the commentaries, and this reply will inspire future inquiries into creativity in all its disciplinary varieties.
373. Simonton, D. K. (2009aa). Varieties of (scientific) creativity: A hierarchical model of disposition, development, and achievement. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4, 441-452.
Prior research supports the inference that scientific disciplines can be ordered into a hierarchy from the “hard” natural sciences to the “soft” social sciences. This ordering corresponds with such objective criteria as disciplinary consensus, knowledge obsolescence rate, anticipation frequency, theories-to-laws ratio, lecture disfluency, and age at recognition. It is then argued that this hierarchy can be (a) extrapolated to encompass the humanities and arts and (b) interpolated within specific domains to accommodate contrasts in subdomains (e.g., revolutionary versus normal science). This expanded and more finely differentiated hierarchy is then shown to have a partial psychological basis in terms of dispositional traits (e.g., psychopathology) and developmental experiences (e.g., family background). This demonstration then leads to three hypotheses about how a creator’s domain-specific impact depends on his or her disposition and development: the domain-progressive, domain-typical, and domain-regressive creator hypotheses. Studies published thus far lend the most support to the domain-regressive creator hypothesis. In particular, major contributors to a domain are more likely to have dispositional traits and developmental experiences most similar to those that prevail in a domain lower in the disciplinary hierarchy. However, some complications to this generalization suggest the need for more research on the proposed hierarchical model.
374. Simonton, D. K., & Song, A. V. (2009). Eminence, IQ, physical and mental health, and achievement domain: Cox’s 282 geniuses revisited. Psychological Science, 20, 429-434.
Catharine Cox published two studies of highly eminent creators and leaders, the first in 1926 as volume two of Terman’s (1925-1959) landmark Genetic Studies of Genius and the second in 1936 as a co-authored article. The former publication concentrated on the relation between IQ and achieved eminence whereas the latter focused on early physical and mental health. Taking advantage of unpublished data from the second study, the present authors examine for the first time the relationships among achieved eminence, IQ, early physical and mental health, and achievement domain. The correlation and regression analyses showed that for these 282 individuals (a) eminence is a positive function of IQ and (b) IQ is a positive function of mental health and a negative function of physical health, implying an indirect effect of physical and mental health upon eminence. Furthermore, levels of early physical and mental health vary across 10 specific domains of achievement.
375. Cassandro, V. J., & Simonton, D. K. (2010). Versatility, openness to experience, and topical diversity in creative products: An exploratory historiometric analysis of scientists, philosophers, and writers. Journal of Creative Behavior, 44, 1-18.
Creative individuals are considered versatile when their achievements extend beyond their most commonly cited domain, thus indicating remarkable and varied interests and abilities. The present study examined the association between versatility and (a) the personalities of eminent creators and (b) the topical diversity of their creative products. The main sample consisted of 67 eminent scientists, creative writers, philosophers, and scholars drawn from the history of Western Civilization, with a subsample of 38 creators obtaining observer-based scores on openness to experience. Versatile creators were found to have produced works with greater topical diversity than did their non-versatile counterparts. In addition, topical diversity was positively associated with openness. These relationships varied according to the domain of creative achievement.
376. Simonton, D. K. (2010a, May/June). Are mad and genius peas in the same pod? The National Psychologist, 19 (3), 12.
377. Simonton, D. K. (2010b). Creativity as blind-variation and selective-retention: Combinatorial models of exceptional creativity. Physics of Life Reviews, 7, 156-179.
Campbell (1960) proposed that creative thought should be conceived as a blind-variation and selective-retention process (BVSR). This article reviews the developments that have taken place in the half century that has elapsed since his proposal, with special focus on the use of combinatorial models as formal representations of the general theory. After defining the key concepts of blind variants, creative thought, and disciplinary context, the combinatorial models are specified in terms of individual domain samples, variable field size, ideational combination, and disciplinary communication. Empirical implications are then derived with respect to individual, domain, and field systems. These abstract combinatorial models are next provided substantive reinforcement with respect to findings concerning the cognitive processes, personality traits, developmental factors, and social contexts that contribute to creativity. The review concludes with some suggestions regarding future efforts to explicate creativity according to BVSR theory.
378. Simonton, D. K. (2010c). Creativity in highly eminent individuals. In J. C. Kaufman & R. J. Sternberg (Eds.), Cambridge handbook of creativity (pp. 174-188). New York: Cambridge University Press.
379. Simonton, D. K. (2010d). The curious case of Catharine Cox: The 1926 dissertation and her Miles-Wolfe 1936 follow-up. History of Psychology, 13, 205-206.
380. Simonton, D. K. (2010e). Doctrine of Chances (de Moivre). In N. J. Salkind (Ed.), Encyclopedia of research design (Vol. 1, pp. 383-386). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
381. Simonton, D. K. (2010f). Heisenberg effect. In N. J. Salkind (Ed.), Encyclopedia of research design (Vol. 2, pp. 563-567). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
382. Simonton, D. K. (2010g, Fall). Introducing our president-elect for Division 1: Dean Keith Simonton. The General Psychologist, 45 (2), 49.
383. Simonton, D. K. (2010h). Little science to big science: Big scientists to little scientists. Gifted and Talented International, 25 (1), 27-28.
384. Simonton, D. K. (2010i). Personal tastes and stylistic change in music: How do they fit with an evolutionary interpretation? Physics of Life Reviews, 7, 33-34.
385. Simonton, D. K. (2010j). Personality and leadership. In R. A. Couto (Ed.), Political and civic leadership (Vol. 2, 631-639). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
386. Simonton, D. K. (2010k). Reply to comments. Physics of Life Reviews, 7, 190-194.
Both positive and negative comments are discussed with the aim of stimulating future theoretical and empirical research on BVSR models of creativity, including combinatorial models.
387. Simonton, D. K. (2010l). So you want to become a creative genius? You must be crazy! In D. Cropley, J. Kaufmann, A. Cropley, & M. Runco (Eds.), The dark side of creativity (pp. 218-234). New York: Cambridge University Press.
388. Simonton, D. K., & Damian, R. I. (2010). In the beginning was the word … [Review of the motion picture Police, Adjective, directed by C. Porumboiu]. PsycCRITIQUES, 55 (38).
This is a small-budget film, coming out of the Romanian New Wave, about an undercover police officer tailing a teenage boy who is suspected of dealing drugs. The audience is placed in the voyeuristic role of following him through the painstaking routine of his job. There is no proof to incriminate the 16-year-old, other than the fact that he has smoked a few joints with his friends, and the police officer would rather continue the investigation in order to find the real drug dealer. His boss, however, wants to close the case and arrest the boy for drug use, but the police officer is reluctant to condemn the boy to seven years in prison for a joint. For the viewer, the focus is not on the facts collected by the police officer but on his interactions with other people, which accentuate the absurdity of his position. Various scenes in the movie make a very artful use of humor, providing comic relief but also subtly reaffirming the ludicrousness of the police officer’s situation. The officer’s predicament is touching, as is the accurate portrayal of the psychological aftermath ensuing from the fall of the Iron Curtain. This film has captured the crux of the problem faced by transition countries: societies whose mind-set has not yet adapted to the newfound freedom and can evolve only with time and through generational change. From a historical perspective, this seems natural and easy, but the cost is paid with every individual’s psychological health. Fight the system or be the system. Many avoid this difficult choice by simply leaving the country – only to find out that this choice has to be made anywhere in the world. Although Western societies offer more individual freedom and more opportunities for self-actualization, the police officer’s conflict really is a universal one.
389. Simonton, D. K., & Ting, S.-S. (2010). Creativity in Eastern and Western civilizations: The lessons of historiometry. Management and Organization Review, 6, 329-350.
What are the fundamental factors that promote highly influential creativity? How do these factors differ in Western and Far Eastern civilizations? Many researchers have addressed these questions using historiometrics, a method that tests nomothetic hypotheses about human behavior by subjecting historical and biographical data to objective and quantitative analyses. These investigations may entail either aggregate-level analyses (e.g., generational time series of creative activity) or individual-level analyses (e.g., cross-sectional studies of creative achievement). Moreover, the empirical findings in each of these two approaches fall into two categories of East-West comparisons: (a) shared variables and convergent results versus (b) shared variables and divergent results. After reviewing representative findings in each of these categories, we discuss what the results imply about the nature of high-impact creativity in the East and West and also explore areas of potential future historiometric research.
390. Damian, R. I., & Simonton, D. K. (2011). From past to future art: The creative impact of Picasso’s 1935 Minotauromachy on his 1937 Guernica. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 5, 360-369.
This paper reports a quantitative analysis of how Picasso’s 1935 etching Minotauromachy influenced the creative process observed in the sketches for his 1937 painting Guernica. The experimental stimuli consisted of 39 images obtained from the original set of Guernica sketches. We included only the four figural elements that appear in both the etching and throughout the Guernica sketches (the bull/minotaur head, the horse, the woman holding a lamp, and the ladder climb). Seven independent raters judged the similarity of the sketches to the images extracted from the 1935 etching. The average similarity rating gave us the progress score for each sketch when compared to the etching. Using the data from Simonton (2007a), we also included in our discussion the sketch progress scores towardsGuernica. We found evidence for the nonmonotonicity of the creative process (characterized by numerous backtrackings), as opposed to monotonic improvement. This suggests that although Picasso used some of the figural elements found in his earlier work, he did not merely improve them through a monotonic “honing” process, but rather explored a variety of possibilities, as is characteristic of a blind-variation process.
391. Jennings, K. E., Simonton, D. K., & Palmer, S. E. (2011, November). Understanding exploratory creativity in a visual domain. Proceedings of the 8th ACM conference on Creativity, Atlanta.
This paper describes a computerized aesthetic composition task that is based on a “creativity as search” metaphor. The technique collects detailed, moment-to-moment data about people’s search behavior, which can help open the “black box” that separates independent variables that influence creativity from their outcomes. We first describe the technique and provide a detailed theoretical framework. Then, we discuss how the technique is typically applied, describe several in-progress studies, and present some preliminary results. Finally, we discuss relations to other work, limitations, and future directions. We argue that this technique and the research that it enables will facilitate a deeper understanding of the creative process, become a valued tool for creativity researchers, and contribute to methodological and theoretical advances in how creativity is studied and understood.
392. Simonton, D. K. (2011a). Awards. In M. A. Runco & S. Pritzker (Eds.), Encyclopedia of creativity (2nd ed., vol. 1, pp. 107-113). Oxford: Elsevier.
Awards, prizes, and honors are offered for a wide variety of creative achievements in the arts and sciences. Such honors also assume many different forms, such awards for single products versus entire careers. Because such recognition has face validity, they have been often used to solve the criterion problem in creativity research. Two illustrations are discussed at length: Nobel Prizes given to great scientists and Academy Awards (Oscars) bestowed on great cinematic accomplishments. Because use of awards has disadvantages as well as advantages, comparisons are made with alternative indicators of exceptional creativity, such as productivity and eminence. Finally, the Creative Achievement Questionnaire is used to show how awards might be integrated with lower levels of creativity to produce a scale that covers the full range of the phenomenon.
393. Simonton, D. K. (2011b). Big-C creativity in the Big City: Definitions, speculations, and complications. In D. E. Andersson, Å. E. Andersson, & C. Mellander (Eds.), Handbook of creative cities(pp. 72-84). Cheltenham Glos, UK: Edward Elgar.
394. Simonton, D. K. (2011c). Creativity and discovery as blind variation and selective retention: Multiple-variant definitions and blind-sighted integration. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 5, 222-228.
In 1960, Donald Campbell proposed that creativity and discovery involve blind variation and selective retention (BVSR). Over the past half century, his proposal has continued to provoke controversy. The principal focus of this debate has been on whether ideational variations are blind or sighted. Although some progress has been made in providing a more formal definition of what constitutes a blind variation, these recent developments have assumed just two variants. In this article, both blindness and sightedness are defined for any number of hypothetical variants. This definition provides the metric for a blind-sighted continuum applicable to any set of variants for a given problem. The definition also yields a six-fold typology of ideational variants that differ in blindness and vary in their likelihoods of being selected for retention. With only minor modification, this definition is demonstrated to apply to sequential as well as simultaneous variation-selection. These formal definitions provide the means to integrate both blindness and sightedness into a single conception, thereby undermining the present tendency toward an exclusive, either-or debate. Even so, if creativity and discovery are defined as the generation of ideas that are novel, useful, and surprising, then all three criteria are more likely to be met when the generated ideational variations fall toward the blind end of the blind-sighted spectrum.
395. Simonton, D. K. (2011d). Creativity and discovery as blind variation: Campbell’s (1960) BVSR model after the half-century mark. Review of General Psychology, 15, 158-174.
This article assesses and extends Campbell’s (1960) classic theory that creativity and discovery depend on blind variation and selective retention (BVSR), with special attention given to blind variations (BV). The treatment begins by defining creativity and discovery, variant blindness versus sightedness, variant utility and selection, and ideational variants versus creative products. These definitions lead to BV identification criteria: (a) intended BV, which entails both systematic and stochastic combinatorial procedures, and (b) implied BV, which involves both variations with properties of blindness (variation superfluity and backtracking) and processes that should yield variant blindness (associative richness, defocused attention, behavioral tinkering, and heuristic search). These conceptual definitions and identification criteria then have implications for four persistent issues, namely, domain expertise, ideational randomness, analogical equivalence, and personal volition. Once BV is suitably conceptualized, Campbell’s theory continues to provide a fruitful approach to the understanding of both creativity and discovery.
396. Simonton, D. K. (2011e). Debating the BVSR theory of creativity: Comments on Dasgupta (2011) and Gabora (2011). Creativity Research Journal, 23, 381-387.
Donald Campbell’s blind variation and selective retention (BVSR) theory of creativity is now more than a half-century old, but it continues to provoke debate, both in his original version and in the later versions of subsequent researchers, especially Simonton (e.g., 2010a). Gabora (2011) and Dasgupta (2011) have provided useful and detailed critiques. The present response begins with an overview of the debate’s history, and then turns to the two sets of criticisms. This reply then closes with a suggested integrative reconciliation in which variation-selection episodes can be evaluated along a blind-sighted continuum.
397. Simonton, D. K. (2011f). Do scientific geniuses also have blind spots? Clio’s Psyche, 18, 175-176.
398. Simonton, D. K. (2011g). Eminence. In M. A. Runco & S. Pritzker (Eds.), Encyclopedia of creativity (2nd ed., vol. 1, pp. 441-448). Oxford: Elsevier.
Creativity researchers sometimes use eminence as a manner of identifying highly creative individuals as well as an approach to assessing the magnitude of their creativity. After discussing various assessment techniques, the article treats the psychometric features of the resulting measures. The article next provides an overview of some of the central empirical findings regarding achieved eminence as a creator. The article then closes with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of using eminence measures to study creativity.
399. Simonton, D. K. (2011h). Exceptional talent and genius. In T. Chamorro-Premuzic, S. Stumm, & A. Furnham (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of individual differences (pp. 635-655). New York: Wiley-Blackwell.
400. Simonton, D. K. (2011i). Film. In M. A. Runco & S. Pritzker (Eds.), Encyclopedia of creativity (2nd ed., vol. 1, pp. 509-515). Oxford: Elsevier.
Although film first emerged as a form of entertainment, it later evolved into a major medium of artistic creativity. Even so, the entertainment aspect persisted so that the medium has largely bifurcated into film as artistic expression and film as entertainment business. This split is first illustrated by examining the three principal criteria of a film’s impact: critical evaluations, financial performance, and movie awards. The correlations among measures in each of these three categories indicate that financial performance is largely independent of critical evaluations and movie awards in the major categories. This segregated pattern is further demonstrated by the variables that predict the three criteria of cinematic impact. These predictors include production costs, screenplay characteristics, personnel, and distribution and exhibition. These findings then lead to a discussion of the methodological and substantive issues that must be resolved to obtain a better understanding of film as art and as business.
401. Simonton, D. K. (2011j, Fall). General psychology’s wonderful new benefactor. The General Psychologist, 46 (2), 17.
402. Simonton, D. K. (2011k). Genius and greatness. In M. A. Runco & S. Pritzker (Eds.), Encyclopedia of creativity (2nd ed., vol. 1, pp. 564-570). Oxford: Elsevier.
The terms genius and greatness are often used interchangeably in reference to historic achievers, but what is the actual correspondence between these two concepts? The answer begins by examining the two alternative definitions of genius, namely, historiometric genius and psychometric genius. Next, the analysis turns to greatness, focusing on its three main manifestations: exceptional creativity, outstanding leadership, and prodigious performance. Kant’s definition of genius is used to indicate the circumstances in which genius and greatness converge into a single phenomenon. However, it is also shown when both historiometric and psychometric genius diverge from true greatness.
403. Simonton, D. K. (2011l). Great flicks: Scientific studies of cinematic creativity and aesthetics. New York: Oxford University Press.
404. Simonton, D. K. (2011m). Historiometry. In M. A. Runco & S. Pritzker (Eds.), Encyclopedia of creativity (2nd ed., vol. 1, pp. 617-622). Oxford: Elsevier.
Historiometry is the application of quantitative methods to archival data about historic personalities and events to test nomothetic hypotheses about human thought, feeling, and action. It has a long history of successful application to the scientific study of both the creative individual and the creative product. After reviewing some the central findings, the article closes with an evaluation the method’s advantages and disadvantages.
405. Simonton, D. K. (2011n). Positive psychology in historical and philosophical perspective: Predicting its future from the discipline’s past. In K. Sheldon, T. Kashdan, & M. Steger (Eds.), Designing the future of positive psychology: Taking stock and moving forward (pp. 447-454). New York: Oxford University Press.
406. Simonton, D. K. (2011o). War. In M. A. Runco & S. Pritzker (Eds.), Encyclopedia of creativity (2nd ed., vol. 2, pp. 509-514). Oxford: Elsevier.
The relation between war and creativity has been the subject of a large number of historiometric investigations. These inquiries adopt several distinct forms. First, where some concentrate on creativity in entire nations or civilizations, others focus on individual creators. Second, where some studies look at quantitative effects (e.g., number of products generated), others examine war’s qualitative effects (e.g., the types of products generated). Third, although a majority of researchers investigate how war affects creativity, a small number of studies indicate how creativity may influence war.
407. Simonton, D. K. (2011p). When the high-wire act takes place on the piano’s keyboard. [Review of the book The improvising mind: Cognition and creativity in the musical moment, A. L. Berkowitz]. PsycCRITIQUES, 56 (5).
Aaron Berkowitz’s The improvising mind starts with an introductory chapter that defines improvisation and outlines its connections with basic cognitive processes. The next several chapters are then grouped into two parts. Part I concerns “Cognition in the Pedagogy and Learning of Improvisation.” It consists of four chapters. Part II turns to “Cognition in Improvised Performance.” It also consists of four chapters. The reviewer provides a short bio of the author, including his qualifications in music, which he uses as examples of improvisation throughout the book. The reviewer liked that the book has a wealth and diversity of information on the topic: classic pedagogical treatises; cognitive research on learning, memory, and language; brain-imaging studies; recordings; lectures and master classes; and interviews with performers. Because the emphasis is on music production, the author ignores some areas of research that might bear some connection with improvisation. Examples include music perception, aesthetics, and emotion. This book is recommended for those interested in music and musical improvisation, especially using the piano.
408. Simonton, D. K. (2011q). Zeitgeist. In M. A. Runco & S. Pritzker (Eds.), Encyclopedia of creativity (2nd ed., vol. 2, pp. 533-538). Oxford: Elsevier.
The Zeitgeist represents the political, cultural, economic, social, and disciplinary circumstances that affect the quantity and quality of creativity in a particular time and place. In its extreme form, Zeitgeist theory becomes sociocultural determinism in which psychological variables become irrelevant in explaining creativity. The Zeitgeist can assume two forms: internal and external. The internal Zeitgeist concerns the conditions that hold within a given domain of creative achievement. Examples include the influence of disciplinary role models, the impact of scientific paradigms, and the repercussions of stylistic conventions in the arts. The external Zeitgeist regards the circumstances outside a particular domain. These circumstances include political events and economic conditions that can influence both the quantity and quality of creativity displayed in a particular time and place. Most if not all forms of creativity are the partial function of both internal and external
409. Simonton, D. K., & Damian, R. I. (2011a). Picasso. In M. A. Runco & S. Pritzker (Eds.), Encyclopedia of creativity (2nd ed., vol. 2, pp. 231-238). Oxford: Elsevier.
Pablo Picasso is well known as one of the most eminent artists in the history of Western civilization, and certainly the most famous artistic creator of the 20th century. This entry begins by narrating his life and works in order to give an overview of his personal and artistic development. The article then turns to empirical studies, which may be divided into those that deal with his life and those that deal with his work. In the former case, Picasso has been a subject of psychobiographical, comparative, and historiometric research, albeit in the latter case this usage is more covert. In the case of works, a number of researchers have examined specific paintings, with the vast bulk of the studies concentrated on the extensive sketches that Picasso drew for his 1937 Guernica. These studies provide insight into Picasso’s creative process.
410. Simonton, D. K., & Damian, R. I. (2011b). Sometimes old wine in new bottles can taste better – and more bitter. [Review of the motion picture Tuesday, After Christmas, directed by R. Muntean]. PsycCRITIQUES, 56 (21).
Reviews the film, Tuesday, after Christmas directed by Radu Muntean (2010) This film is yet another one coming out of the Romanian New Wave. The story line concerns a man’s extramarital affair and how the man must choose between his mistress and his wife and mother of his young daughter. For one and a half hours, we follow closely the unfaithful husband, the banker Paul Hanganu (Mimi Branescu), and we are given the (shocking) role of filling his shoes. We see through his eyes, hear through his ears, feel his emotions, and feel the emotions of others in reaction to him. Throughout the movie, we are placed in a voyeuristic position, feeling like we are watching Paul’s life through a peephole. The print is a reproduction of Matisse’s Fall of Icarus. Like Paul, Icarus wanted too much and so ended up with much less.
411. Simonton, D. K., & Flora, C. (2011, Winter). Spark of genius [Introduction, Genius Special Issue]. Discover Magazine, 2-3.
412. Overskeid, G., Grønnerød, C., & Simonton, D. K. (2012). The personality of a nonperson: Gauging the inner Skinner. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7, 187-197.
B. F. Skinner is consistently rated as one of the most important figures in the history of psychology. Much has been said about his character, some of it strongly negative. Yet little is known about what kind of man he really was. Based on information from published sources, archival material, and people who knew him, we used “blind” raters to assess Skinner’s score on the Big Five personality factors. We found that Skinner was a highly conscientious man, and highly open to experience. He was also somewhat neurotic and somewhat extraverted, but neither agreeable nor disagreeable. The resulting personality profile was directly compared to meta-analytic results concerning scientists versus nonscientists, creative scientists versus non-creative scientists, and artists versus non-artists. In general, Skinner’s personality was consistent with findings regarding other notable scientists.
413. Ritter, S. M., Damian, R. I., Simonton, D. K., van Baaren, R. B., Strick, M., Derks, J. & Dijksterhuis, A. (2012). Diversifying experiences enhance cognitive flexibility. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 961-964.
Past research has linked creativity to unusual and unexpected experiences, such as early parental loss or living abroad. However, few studies have investigated the underlying cognitive processes. We propose that some experiences have in common a “diversifying” aspect and an active involvement, which together enhance cognitive flexibility (i.e., creative cognitive processing). In the first experiment, participants experienced complex unusual and unexpected events happening in a virtual reality. In the second experiment, participants were confronted with schema-violations. In both experiments, comparisons with various control groups showed that a diversifying experience – defined as the active (but not vicarious) involvement in an unusual event – increased cognitive flexibility more than active (or vicarious) involvement in normal experiences. Our findings bridge several lines of research and shed light on a basic cognitive mechanism responsible for creativity.
414. Russo, N. F., & Simonton, D. K. (2012). Looking back and looking forward: The Society for General Psychology highlights from 2011. The General Psychologist, 47 (1), 4-9.
415. Simonton, D. K. (2012a). Citation measures as criterion variables in predicting scientific eminence. Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, 10, 170-171.
416. Simonton, D. K. (2012b). Combinatorial creativity and sightedness: Monte Carlo simulations using three-criterion definitions. International Journal of Creativity & Problem Solving, 22(2), 5-17.
Monte Carlo simulations are used to examine the relation between creativity and sightedness in combinatorial models. After defining combination creativity as the joint product of originality, utility, and surprise, random numbers were generated that represented the three defining attributes. When the three attributes were subjected to multiplicative integration, creativity was shown to have an extremely skewed distribution, making creative combinations very rare. Then sightedness was defined as the multiplicative function of probability, utility, and prior knowledge. Consistent with expectation, the joint distribution of creativity as a function of sightedness was found to be triangular: When sightedness is high, creativity must be low, but when sightedness is low, creativity can vary continuously between high and low. The increased variance in creativity under low sightedness thus requires the application of blind-variation and selective-retention to identify the most creative combinations. These conclusions hold under both uniform and skewed distributions for the three combination attributes. Moreover, the inferences are only slightly modified if creativity and sightedness definitions are truncated to include only their first two factors.
417. Simonton, D. K. (2012c). “Combinatorial creativity and sightedness: Monte Carlo simulations using three-criterion definitions”: Errata. International Journal of Creativity & Problem Solving, 22(1).
418. Simonton, D. K. (2012d). Creative genius as a personality phenomenon: Definitions, methods, findings, and issues. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 6, 691-706.
Genius first became the subject of scientific inquiry in the early 19th century, and it has continued to attract research interest to the present day. Although genius can be defined as either superlative intelligence or achieved eminence, this review is restricted to the latter definition, and is further confined to creative achievement. The article then describes the main methods for studying creative genius as a personality phenomenon. These methods entail three central dichotomous methodological decisions: single-case versus multiple-case samples, qualitative versus quantitative analyses, and direct versus indirect assessments. Next, the main empirical findings are presented with respect to both generic traits and domain-contingent traits. There follows a brief discussion of three major issues: genetic and environmental influences, additive and multiplicative effects, and individual and situational factors. Given the intrinsic importance of the phenomenon and the many questions still unanswered, creative genius certainly deserves future treatment in personality psychology.
419. Simonton, D. K. (2012e). Creative productivity and aging: An age decrement – or not? In S. K. Whitbourne & M. Sliwinski (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of adult development and aging (pp. 477-496). New York: Wiley-Blackwell.
420. Simonton, D. K. (2012f). Creativity, problem solving, and solution set sightedness: Radically reformulating BVSR. Journal of Creative Behavior, 46, 48-65.
Too often psychological debates become polarized into dichotomous positions. Such polarization may have occurred with respect to Campbell’s (1960) BVSR theory of creativity. To resolve this unnecessary controversy, BVSR was radically reformulated with respect to creative problem solving. The reformulation began by defining (a) potential solution sets consisting of k possible solutions each described by their respective probability and utility values; (b) a set sightedness metric that gauges the extent to which the probabilities correspond to the utilities; and (c) a solution creativity index based on the joint improbability and utility of each solution. These definitions are then applied to representative cases in which simultaneous or sequential generate-and-test procedures scrutinize solution sets of variable size and with representative patterns of probabilities and utilities. The principal features of BVSR theory were then derived, including the implications of superfluity and backtracking. Critically, it was formally demonstrated that the most creative solutions must emerge from solution sets that score extremely low in sightedness. Although this preliminary revision has ample room for further development, the demonstration proves that BVSR’s explanatory value does not depend on any specious association with Darwin’s theory of evolution.
421. Simonton, D. K. (2012g, Fall/Winter). Fabrication, plagiarism, embellishment, and/or dumb mistakes in science journalism: Observations from my 2010 interview with Jonah Lehrer. The Amplifier, 8-9.
422. Simonton, D. K. (2012h). Fields, domains, and individuals. In M. D. Mumford (Ed.), Handbook of organizational creativity (pp. 67-86). Oxford, UK: Elsevier Science.
Although creativity is often viewed in an individualistic manner, most creativity takes place in a disciplinary context. The systems perspective is used to relate the individual creator with two major features of that context: the domain and the field. This basic three-system perspective is then illustrated by its application to two separate topics, namely, combinatorial models and disciplinary hierarchies. The first illustration uses the systems perspective as the explicit foundation for combinatorial models that explicate phenomena that cannot be understood from the standpoint of the individual alone. Perhaps the most notable explication concerns the occurrence of multiple discoveries in science. The second illustration concerns disciplinary hierarchies, an idea that originated with speculations about whether the sciences can be ordered into a hierarchy. Not only is this ordinal placement justified according to characteristics of the scientific domain and field, but also many of the same criteria can be applied to (a) extrapolate beyond the sciences (e.g., the humanities and arts) and (b) interpolate within single disciplines (e.g., normal versus revolutionary science). Corresponding to this extended and elaborated disciplinary hierarchy is a set of dispositional traits and developmental experiences most descriptive of the individual creators working within the same domain and field. This correspondence then has consequences for the magnitude of creativity an individual displays. In particular, the more eminent creators tend to have traits and experiences proximate to those creators in disciplines lower in the hierarchy. Given these two illustrations, it should be apparent that individual creativity cannot be understood without reference to the domain and field in which that creativity takes place. This conclusion has implications well beyond the two examples discussed in this chapter.
423. Simonton, D. K. (2012i). Foresight, insight, oversight, and hindsight in scientific discovery: How sighted were Galileo’s telescopic sightings? Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 6, 243-254.
Galileo Galilei’s celebrated contributions to astronomy are used as case studies in the psychology of scientific discovery. Particular attention was devoted to the involvement of foresight, insight, oversight, and hindsight. These four mental acts concern, in divergent ways, the relative degree of “sightedness” in Galileo’s discovery process and accordingly have implications for evaluating the blind-variation and selective-retention (BVSR) theory of creativity and discovery. Scrutiny of the biographical and historical details indicates that Galileo’s mental processes were far less sighted than often depicted in retrospective accounts. Clearly, hindsight biases tend to underline his insights and foresights while ignoring his very frequent and substantial oversights. Of special importance was how Galileo was able to create a domain-specific expertise where no such expertise previously existed – in part by exploiting his extensive knowledge and skill in the visual arts. Galileo’s success as an astronomer was founded partly and “blindly” on his artistic avocations. The investigation closes by briefly discussing Antonie van Leeuwenhoek’s similar creation of microscopic biology. This parallel case indicates that Galileo’s telescopic astronomy was probably not unique as an illustration of how scientific discovery works in practice.
424. Simonton, D. K. (2012j). Genius. In K. J. Holyoak & R. G. Morrison (Eds.), Oxford handbook of thinking and reasoning (pp. 492-509. New York: Oxford University Press.
Scientific research on genius began in the early 19th century, and increased in popularity throughout the end of the century and the beginning of the 20th century. Although the first investigations used mainly historiometric methods, later psychologists introduced psychometric and experimental techniques. Definitions of genius fall into two categories: superlative intellect and phenomenal achievement, where the latter can be subdivided into extraordinary creativity, exceptional leadership, and prodigious performance. However defined, genius has been studied from four main psychological perspectives: general intelligence, domain expertise, heuristic search, and blind variation. Each of these perspectives has distinct advantages and disadvantages as explanatory accounts. As a consequence, a comprehensive understanding of how geniuses think and reason will require an integration of all four perspectives. The chapter closes with a discussion of future directions for research.
425. Simonton, D. K. (2012k). One creator’s meat is another creator’s poison: Field and domain restrictions on individual creativity. In D. Ambrose & R. J. Sternberg (Eds.), How dogmatic beliefs harm creativity and higher-level thinking (pp. 125-134). New York: Routledge.
426. Simonton, D. K. (2012l). The Orlando program: The psychology of science and psychology as science. The General Psychologist, 47 (1), 2-3.
427. Simonton, D. K. (2012m). Presidential leadership: Performance criteria and their predictors. In M. G. Rumsey (Ed.), Oxford handbook of leadership (pp. 327-342). New York: Oxford University Press.
A considerable empirical literature has accumulated on the leadership displayed by the person occupying the office of the President of the United States. This research has attempted to identify the predictors of presidential leadership as assessed by both subjective expert evaluations of presidential performance and objective researcher measurements of specific leader behaviors. Moreover, investigators have tested hundreds of potential predictors drawn from (a) the administration’s political and economic milieu, (b) the president’s political, occupational, and educational résumé, and (c) the incumbent’s personal traits and family experiences. Although many early researchers merely scrutinized bivariate associations between criteria and predictors, a growing number of investigators have used analytical strategies that allow the discrimination of mediated, spurious, suppression, and moderated effects. Although progress has been made in identifying the predictors of various performance criteria, the chapter closes by discussing six key questions that should guide future research on presidential leadership.
428. Simonton, D. K. (2012n). Quantifying creativity: Can measures span the spectrum? Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 14 (1), 100-104.
Because the cognitive neuroscientists have become increasingly interested in the phenomenon of creativity, the issue arises about how creativity is to be optimally measured. Unlike intelligence, which can be assessed across the full range of intellectual ability, creativity measures tend to concentrate on different sections of the overall spectrum. After first defining creativity in terms of the three criteria of novelty, usefulness, and surprise, the article provides an overview of the available measures. Not only do these instruments vary according to whether they focus on the creative process, person, or product, but differ regarding whether they tap into “little-c” versus “Big-C” creativity, only productivity and eminence measures reaching into genius-level manifestations of the phenomenon. The article closes by discussing whether various alternative assessment techniques can be integrated into a single measure that quantifies creativity across spans the full spectrum.
429. Simonton, D. K. (2012o). Reconnecting with Fechner? [Review of the book Aesthetic science: Connecting minds, brains, and experience, A. P Shimamura & S. E. Palmer (Eds.)]. PsycCRITIQUES, 57 (32).
Reviews the book, Aesthetic Science: Connecting Minds, Brains, and Experience edited by Arthur P. Shimamura and Stephen E. Palmer. Fechner’s law must count as one of the most important eponyms in the annals of psychology’s history, yet his pioneering work on experimental aesthetics is too often forgotten. Fechner would also have been very happy to see the edited volume under review. As its subtitle hints, Aesthetic Science is actually three books in one. Part I, Philosophical Perspectives, corresponds to minds; this section contains chapters treating various issues connecting experimental aesthetics with the much older and comprehensive field of philosophical aesthetics. Part II deals with experience; titled Psychological Perspectives, it features chapters by psychologists actively engaged in research on aesthetics and the arts. Part III, which concerns brains, is titled Neuroscience Perspectives; here the full panoply of neuroscientific techniques is brought to bear on aesthetic questions – yielding the new discipline of neuroaesthetics.
430. Simonton, D. K. (2012p). Ringing a bell. [Review of the book The idea factory: Bell Labs and the great age of American innovation, J. Gertner]. PsycCRITIQUES, 57 (48).
Reviews the book, The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner. This book presents a lively and informative account of the origins, development, and accomplishments of Bell Labs. Bell Labs sometimes just developed an idea that originated elsewhere and other times collaborated with other industrial and governmental institutions in the origination itself; yet it can still take primary credit for the overwhelming majority of technological achievements. The book is organized into two parts. Part One contains 11 chapters that narrate the rise of Bell Labs from its modest beginnings. Part Two contains nine chapters that largely narrate the empire’s fall. Jon Gertner, is an excellent writer and a conscientious journalist, but he is not a psychologist. So it should not amaze anyone that he completely ignores the relevant research on individual and group creativity. It also comes as no surprise that he misses how his extended narrative dovetails with the history of psychology.
431. Simonton, D. K. (2012q, November/December). The science of genius. Scientific American Mind, 23 (5), 34-41.
432. Simonton, D. K. (2012r). Scientific creativity as blind variation: Explicit and implicit procedures, mechanisms, and processes. In R. Proctor & E. J. Capaldi (Eds.), Psychology of science: Implicit and explicit processes (pp. 363-388). New York: Oxford University Press.
433. Simonton, D. K. (2012s). Taking the US Patent Office creativity criteria seriously: A quantitative three-criterion definition and its implications. Creativity Research Journal, 24, 97-106.
Although creativity has recently attracted considerable theoretical and empirical research, researchers have yet to reach a consensus on how best to define the phenomenon. To help establish a consensus, a definition is proposed that is based on the three criteria used by the United States Patent Office to evaluate applications for patent protection. The modified version uses the criteria of novelty, utility, and surprise. Moreover, creativity assessments based on these three criteria are quantitative and multiplicative rather than qualitative or additive. This three-criterion definition then leads to four implications regarding (a) the limitations to domain-specific expertise, (b) the varieties of comparable creativities, (c) the contrast between subjective and objective evaluations, and (d) the place of blind variation and selective retention in the creative process. These implications prove that adding the third criterion has critical consequences for understanding the phenomenon. Creativity is not only treated with superior sophistication, but also paradoxes that appear using the most common two-criterion definition readily disappear when the third criterion is included in the analysis. Hence, the conceptual differences between two- and three-criterion definitions are not trivial.
434. Simonton, D. K. (2012t). Teaching creativity: Current findings, trends, and controversies in the psychology of creativity. Teaching of Psychology, 39, 203-208.
In the past decade, the psychological study of creativity has accelerated greatly. To facilitate the teaching of creativity, I provide an overview of the recent literature. The overview begins by discussing recent empirical results and research trends. This discussion specifically treats creativity’s cognitive, differential, developmental, and social aspects. Then I outline the central controversies. These debates concern the nature of creative thought (domain-specific versus generic processes), creative development (nature versus nurture), and creative persons (psychopathology versus mental health). The article closes by asking not just how to teach creativity, but also how to teach creativity creatively.
435. Simonton, D. K., Graham, J., & Kaufman, J. C. (2012). Consensus and contrasts in consumers’ cinematic assessments: Gender, age, and nationality in rating the top-250 films. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 1, 87-96.
Motion pictures provide among the most conspicuous manifestations of worldwide popular culture. One specific manifestation of this universal presence appears in the cinematic assessments compiled and updated on internet websites. This empirical inquiry investigated the consumer ratings that the Internet Movie Database used to determine the “Top-250” all-time great movies. Of particular interest was how these ratings were contingent on the gender (male versus female), age (under 18, 18-29, 30-44, and 45 or over), and nationality (US vs. non-US voters). In addition, the investigation explored how any evaluation discrepancies in these three demographic categories might be attributed to year of release (e.g., classic versus contemporary films), movie honors (viz. Oscar versus non-Oscar nominations and awards), and the MPAA rating (R, PG-13, PG, and G). Correlational, principal components, and multiple regression analyses indicate the following core conclusions. First, a very broad and impressive consensus permeates all evaluations no matter what the gender, age, or nationality contrasts. Second, although gender and nationality both exhibit contrasting assessments, age provides the main contrast that supports departures from the consensus: Those under 30 have strikingly different assessments than those 30 and over. Third and last, although movie awards and MPAA ratings clearly have a role to play in these differences, the year of release was by far the most critical predicator. Older consumers prefer older movies while younger consumers prefer movies that are more recent. After some conjectures regarding the reasons for this pronounced contrast, the discussion closes by mentioning the dynamic nature of these popular ratings.
436. Simonton, D. K., Skidmore, L. E. & Kaufman, J. C. (2012). Mature cinematic content for immature minds: “Pushing the envelope” versus “toning it down” in family films. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 30, 143-166.
How does a film’s content influence its reception by moviegoers and critics? What movie qualities result in better reviews, a higher box office, and more awards? This study investigates these questions in the specific genre of family films. One strategy is to “push the envelope” by intensifying adult themes and hints of sex and violence. An alternative strategy is to “tone it down,” and keep any adult content to a minimum. The sample of 220 family films was assessed on (a) 15 measures of mature content, (b) multiple measures of film evaluations (3), box office performance (4), and movie honors (3, including children and teenager awards), and (c) 5 control variables. Broadly, this study supports the “pushing the envelope” strategy, especially regarding violence, topics to talk about, jump scenes, blood/gore, and inappropriate music. The optimal mature content for a family film differs markedly from that needed for films in general.
437. Simonton, D. K. (2013a, January 31). After Einstein: Scientific genius is extinct. Nature, 493, 602.
438. Simonton, D. K. (2013b). Age and creative productivity. In E. G. Carayannis (Editor-in-chief), Encyclopedia of creativity, invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship (pp. 40-44). New York: Springer.
439. Simonton, D. K. (2013c). Blind-variation and selective-retention theory of creativity. Physics of Life Reviews, 10, 158-159.
440. Simonton, D. K. (2013d). BVSR theory of human creativity. In E. H. Kessler (Ed.), Encyclopedia of management theory (Vol. 1, pp. 102-103). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
441. Simonton, D. K. (2013e). Creative genius in literature, music, and the visual arts. In V. Ginsburgh & D. Throsby (Eds.), Handbook of the economics of art and culture (Vol. 2, pp. 15-48). Amsterdam: Elsevier/North Holland.
This chapter examines creative genius in the three most prominent domains of artistic achievement, namely literature, music, and the visual arts. Treatment begins with the definition of artistic genius in terms of achieved eminence, with special attention to the measurement issues (viz. magnitude of consensus and degree of temporal stability). From there discussion turns to the personal attributes of eminent artistic creators in the three domains, with an emphasis on how writers, composers, and artists differ from each other as well as from eminent scientific creators. The next issue concerns the developmental factors involved in the emergence and manifestation of artistic genius. These factors include both early developmental antecedents and adulthood career trajectories (especially the location of career peaks). The final topic pertains to the sociocultural contexts underlying outstanding artistic achievement. These contexts include both internal factors, such as artistic styles, as well as external factors, such as the political and economic milieu.
442. Simonton, D. K. (2013f). Creative genius in science. In G. J. Feist & M. E. Gorman (Eds.), Handbook of the psychology of science (pp. 251-272). New York: Springer Publishing.
This chapter concerns the conjunction of three concepts that overlap only partially: creativity, genius, and science. Not all creativity requires genius, as is evident in everyday forms of creativity. Nor does all genius require creativity. Finally, it is obvious that creativity and genius, both separately and together, can and do appear in domains that cannot be considered scientific by any stretch of the imagination. I start with a discussion of how to assess creative genius in science. I then turn to a treatment of two sets of factors associated with this phenomenon: individual differences and personal development. I then turn to a more brief discussion of some additional topics relevant to the subject. Where appropriate, I will mention when creative genius in science differs from that in other domains, especially the arts.
443. Simonton, D. K. (2013g). Creative problem solving as sequential BVSR: Exploration (total ignorance) versus elimination (informed guess). Thinking Skills and Creativity, 8, 1-10.
Although the theory that creativity requires blind variation and selective retention (BVSR) is now more than a half-century old, only recently has BVSR theory undergone appreciable conceptual development, including formal three-parameter definitions of both creativity and sightedness. In this article, these new developments are for the first time extended to encompass sequential BVSR, that is, when ideas are generated and tested consecutively rather than simultaneously. Formulated in terms of creative problem solving, sequential BVSR is shown to have two forms: (a) exploratory in which the person decreases total ignorance and (b) eliminatory in which the person vets informed guesses. Only in the latter case does sightedness for both single potential solutions and the set of potential solutions necessarily increase with each generation-and-test trial. Exploratory BVSR is illustrated by Edison’s search for a practical incandescent filament, whereas eliminatory BVSR is exemplified by Watson’s discovery of the DNA base code. Hence, although epistemologically and psychologically distinct, both represent important forms of creative problem solving.
444. Simonton, D. K. (2013h). Creative teaching of creativity: A potential user’s personal perspective. In M. Gregerson, J. C. Kaufman, & H. Snyder (Eds.), Teaching creatively and teaching creativity (pp. 185-191). New York: Springer.
Having published on both the teaching of creativity and creative teaching, the author had special interest in the chapters that make up this volume. This concluding chapter begins with what he learned about teaching creatively, providing his own examples of certain useful techniques. He next turns to the chapters concerning teaching for creativity, again providing some new illustrations of approaches. Along the way, he also addresses the important problem of whether creativity is domain-specific, a question that has obvious consequences for any attempt to teach creativity. The author concludes his conclusion with a brief treatment of the far more difficult question of how to teach creatively for creativity.
445. Simonton, D. K. (2013i). Creative thought as blind variation and selective retention: Why sightedness is inversely related to creativity. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 33, 253-266.
Campbell (1960) proposed the theory that creativity required blind variation and selective retention (BVSR). More than a half century has transpired without any resolution of the controversy over the theory’s validity. This inability to reach consensus may reflect a fundamental failure on both sides to define the critical terms of the debate, namely, creativity and blindness. Hence, to help resolve the issue, the ideas making up a variant set are first described via three parameters: (a) the idea’s initial probability of generation, (b) its final utility, and (c) any prior knowledge of its utility value. These three subjective parameters are then used to derive a creativity index applicable to each idea in the set. The same parameters are also deployed to produce a sightedness metric that describes the sightedness of the variant set as well as each idea in that set. It is then logically demonstrated, first, that an idea’s creativity is inversely related to its sightedness, and, second, that an idea’s creativity is inversely related to the sightedness of the variant set that contains that idea. Furthermore, the same general conclusions hold when the third parameter is omitted from the two definitions or when the two definitions are not functions of identical parameters (e.g., novelty in one but originality in the other). Because blindness is just the inverse of sightedness, it automatically follows that creativity has an essential positive connection with blind variation. The article closes with a discussion of BVSR implications regarding the joint distribution of creativity and sightedness.
446. Simonton, D. K. (2013j). Creative thoughts as acts of free will: A two-stage formal integration. Review of General Psychology, 17, 374-383.
This article integrates two topics usually considered disciplines apart, namely, creativity and free will. In particular, creative thoughts are conceived as acts of free will. This integration begins by reviewing recent advances in a specific two-stage theory of creative problem solving, namely blind variation and selective retention (BVSR). After discussing the parallel two-stage theory of free will (chance then choice), both two-stage theories are then integrated into a single formal representation entailing choice initial probabilities, final utilities, and prior knowledge values. These three parameters are used to define the creativity of any given solution and the “sightedness” of any generated thought or choice. Both creativity and free will vanish as sightedness increases, but their relation to blindness is more complex, yielding a triangular joint distribution that mandates a second-stage selection or decision process. In addition, to accommodate the need to create choices actively rather than just decide among given choices, the treatment expands to encompass both thoughts and choices as combinatorial products. This extension connects the discussion of free will with both combinatorial models of creativity and the research on the factors that enable a person to engage in free combinatorial processes. The article closes with suggestions of future empirical and theoretical research with respect to psychology, philosophy, and potential future exchanges between the two disciplines.
447. Simonton, D. K. (2013k). Creativity. In E. Diener & R. Biswas-Diener (Eds), Noba textbook series: Psychology. Champaign, IL: DEF Publishers. doi: www.nobaproject.com
448. Simonton, D. K. (2013l). The evolution of the music-emotion relation. Physics of Life Reviews, 10, 277-278.
449. Simonton, D. K. (2013m). The genetics of giftedness: What does it mean to have creative talent? In K. H. Kim, J. C. Kaufman, J. Baer, & B. Sriramen (Eds.), Creatively gifted students are not like other gifted students: Research, theory, and practice (pp. 167-179). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
450. Simonton, D. K. (2013n). If innate talent doesn’t exist, where do the data disappear? In S. B. Kaufman (Ed.), The complexity of greatness: Beyond talent or practice (pp. 17-26). New York: Oxford University Press.
Is greatness born or made? In this chapter, I outline an answer consisting of three parts. First, I treat why greatness must be nurtured by environmental factors, including deliberate practice. Second, I discuss why greatness must depend on nature, that is, on genetic endowment. Third, I examine the intricate interplay of nature and nurture in the emergence of greatness. Certainly many so-called “environmental effects” are partially the outward manifestation of underlying genetic effects. This conflation is apparent in the development of greatness, where talent must be defined in terms of expertise acquisition, yielding the “better faster” and “more bang for the buck” effects. This nature-nurture integration helps us incorporate empirical findings that would otherwise make no sense – such as the fact that most individual-differences variables that predict greatness also feature substantial heritability coefficients. These data will not just go away simply because they are inconvenient for an extreme-nurture purist.
451. Simonton, D. K. (2013o, Fall/Winter). Research on cinema as artistic creativity: A permanent scientific renaissance? The Amplifier, http://div46amplifier.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/research-on-cinema-as-artistic-creativity-a-permanent-scientific-renaissance/
452. Simonton, D. K. (2013p). Scientific creativity as combinatorial process. In E. G. Carayannis (Editor-in-chief), Encyclopedia of creativity, invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship (pp. 1592-1595). New York: Springer.
453. Simonton, D. K (2013q). What is a creative idea? Little-c versus Big-C creativity. In K. Thomas & J. Chan (Eds.), Handbook of research on creativity (pp. 69-83). Cheltenham, UK, and Northampton, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing.
454. Simonton, D. K. (2013r). Wheeling around the world in 102 minutes. [Review of the documentary Samsara, directed by R. Fricke]. PsycCRITIQUES, 58(18).
Reviews the film, Samsara directed by Ron Fricke (2011). Even though this film is billed as a “nonnarrative documentary,” it cannot be considered a documentary in the technical sense. In some respects, it seems more like a cinematic travelogue using pictures rather than words. After all, the movie camera wanders all over the world, visiting almost 100 locations in 25 countries on the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, and both North and South America. Although the film contains no narration, the title can be taken as a single-word description of the whole. Samsara comes from a Sanskrit word that literally means “continuous flow.” It describes the continuing cycle of existence – birth, life, death, and rebirth or reincarnation.
455. Simonton, D. K. (2013s). You, too, can become a genius! IF you just … [Review of the book Genius Unmasked, R. B. Ness]. PsycCRITIQUES, 58 (45).
Reviews the book, Genius Unmasked by Roberta B. Ness (2013). By “unmasking” genius, the author appears to show how everybody can become a genius: Just do as geniuses do. For the most part, this book consists of a series of case studies devoted to a diverse set of 16 geniuses: Charles Darwin, Maria Montessori, Albert Einstein, Stanley Milgram, Thomas Edison, Jerry Morris, Ancel Keys, Marie Curie, Ernest Rutherford, Paul Ehrlich, Elie Metchinkoff, Paul Baran, Norman Borlaug, Russell Marker, Arthur Hertig, and John Rock. Clearly, some of these figures are better known than others are, and a few might even seem obscure. Nonetheless, all reputed geniuses provide illustrations of basic tools of innovation. By using these tools, they were able to conceive ideas and solve problems that earned them a lasting place in the history of science and technology.
456. Simonton, D. K., & Damian, R. I. (2013). Creativity. In D. Reisberg (Ed.), Oxford handbook of cognitive psychology (pp. 795-807). New York: Oxford University Press.
An idea’s creativity is most often defined as the joint function of its originality or novelty and its adaptiveness or utility. Creativity is a quantitative property that can range from “little-c” to “Big-C” creativity. Given this definition, creativity can be studied from three different perspectives: the product, the person, and the process. Research adopting the product perspective may examine either the final product or the notebooks or sketchbooks that led to that product. Inquiries into the creative person have tended to pursue two alternative viewpoints, one concentrating on domain-specific expertise and the other on a generic cognitive style. Naturally, cognitive psychologists tend to favor the third perspective, namely that concentrating on the creative process. After discussing the three main theoretical views of this process, the discussion turns to the three principal empirical approaches. The chapter closes with four sets of questions that should guide future research on creativity.
457. Damian, R. I., & Simonton, D. K. (2014). Diversifying experiences in the development of genius and their impact on creative cognition. In D. K. Simonton (Ed.), The Wiley handbook of genius (pp. 375-393). Oxford, UK: Wiley.
“Diversifying experiences” (i.e., experiences that disrupt conventional and/or fixed patterns of thinking, thus enabling a person to view the world in multiple ways) are linked to more creativity. The impact of diversifying experiences was first indicated by historiometric research on “Big-C Creativity,” which identified effects operating at both societal and individual levels. The former level includes political fragmentation and cultural heterogeneity whereas the latter includes traumatic experiences, minority status, and psychopathology. Furthermore, psychometric research on “little-c creativity” isolated such diversifying factors as cognitive disinhibition, bilingualism, and multiculturalism. Finally, recent laboratory experiments have lent additional support to the positive impact of diversifying experiences on creativity at both group and individual levels. Because excessive diversifying experiences probably inhibit creativity, and because the various experiences are to a certain extent interchangeable, different creative individuals may have been exposed to a different but still optimal mix.
458. Kaufman, J. C., & Simonton, D. K. (Eds.). (2014a). The social science of cinema. New York: Oxford University Press.
459. Kaufman, J. C., & Simonton, D. K. (2014b). The social science of cinema: Fade in. In J. C. Kaufman & D. K. Simonton (Eds.), The social science of cinema (p. x). New York: Oxford University Press.
460. Pardoe, I., & Simonton, D. K. (2014). Analyzing the Academy Awards: Factors associated with winning and when surprises occur. In J. C. Kaufman & D. K. Simonton (Eds.), The social science of cinema (pp. 233-253). New York: Oxford University Press.
Ever since 1928, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have bestowed its “Oscars” for major cinematic achievements. Well before the awards are announced at a gala ceremony now broadcast worldwide, the public and the media begin to speculate about which nominees will take home a golden statuette. Although there is no shortage of speculative theories about who is most likely to win, the announcements often include some major surprises. In this chapter, the prediction is framed as a discrete choice problem. Not only do these predictions enable us to calculate the probabilities of winning for each nominee, but they also provide a direct measure of surprise when an apparent frontrunner is eclipsed by a dark horse. These predictions are calculated up to the 2010 award season.
461. Robinson, A., & Simonton, D. K. (2014). Catharine Morris Cox Miles and the lives of others (1890-1984). In A. Robinson & J. L. Jolly (Eds.), A century of contributions to gifted education: Illuminating lives (pp. 101-114). London: Routledge.
462. Simonton, D. K. (2014a). Addressing the recommended research agenda instead of repeating prior arguments. Intelligence, 45, 120-121.
Perhaps because of the long history of the debate, Ericsson (this issue) largely failed to address the main arguments in my proposed research agenda (Simonton, this issue). Instead, he focused on responding to earlier questions in that controversy. Consequently, the agenda was here translated into a series of specific empirical questions that capture the key features of the hypothesized structural model. Although this model is recursive, it is possible to test for non-recursive specifications if future research shows that it is necessary. Yet at present, it seems most reasonable to assume that both cognitive abilities and dispositional traits are antecedents to creative performance. Because the variables in both of these sets have substantial heredities, the causal basis remains for a genetic contribution to creative achievement.
463. Simonton, D. K. (2014b, May 20). Can creative productivity be both positively and negatively correlated with psychopathology? Yes! Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 455. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00455
464. Simonton, D. K. (2014c, April). The course of cultural genius. Mosaic: Advancing Jewish Thought, http://mosaicmagazine.com/supplemental/2014/04/the-course-of-cultural-genius/
465. Simonton, D. K. (2014d). Creative performance, expertise acquisition, individual-differences, and developmental antecedents: An integrative research agenda. Intelligence, 45, 66-73.
This article sketches an integrative research agenda for creative achievement that combines the expertise-acquisition framework with individual differences in cognitive abilities and dispositional traits as well as the genetic and environmental factors underlying the development of those same individual-differences variables. The treatment begins with a discussion of domain-specific creative expertise and performance, a discussion that indicates the added complexities in assessing both variables. The analysis then shifts to substantial individual variation in both expertise acquisition and creative performance, variation that does not sit easily with a simple single-cause conception, particularly when performance appears inversely related to the amount of time taken to attain the requisite expertise. This leads to the question of whether individual-difference variables can account for otherwise inexplicable “faster better” and “more bang for the buck” effects. If so, then the obvious last inquiry concerns the developmental antecedents of those variables, where these antecedents can be both genetic and environmental. The upshot of the suggested analysis should be complex structural equation models that fully accommodate both nature and nurture in explaining exceptional creative performance.
466. Simonton, D. K. (2014e). Does genius science have a future history? In D. K. Simonton (Ed.), The Wiley handbook of genius (pp. 611-617). Oxford: Wiley.
The final chapter asks whether the scientific genius has a long-term future. This question actually involves three subsidiary questions. First, will empirical and theoretical research continue to advance? Second, will the phenomenon of genius continue to exist? Third, can theory and data help ensure that the phenomenon continues well into the future? Although all three questions have complex and speculative answers, the overall conclusion is optimistic.
467. Simonton, D. K. (2014f). A 45-year perspective on creativity research: Comments on Glăveanu’s critique. Creativity: Theories-Research-Applications, 1, 190-194.
In response to Gl?veanu?s critique of creativity research, this commentator argues that the highly productive research program that he has carried out over the past 45 years exemplifies almost all of the recommendations put forward in the critique. In particular, this extensive program has (a) asked bold, new, and surprising questions, (b) reflected on definitions rather than simply taking them for granted, (c) challenged traditional units of analysis, (d) looked for unique, interesting samples and developed new methods, and (e) built new theory rather than just cite it. The program?s researcher might only be accused of failing to think practically about his conclusions. The comment closes by discussing the difficulties involved in pursuing such a rich research program as well as speculating on whether the field of creativity really should have numerous researchers engaged in such programs.
468. Simonton, D. K. (2014g). Genius. In B. Thompson & J. G. Golson (Eds.), Music in the social and behavioral sciences: An encyclopedia (Vol. 1, pp. 506-509. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
469. Simonton, D. K. (2014h). Hierarchies of creative domains: Disciplinary constraints on blind-variation and selective-retention. In E. S. Paul & S. B. Kaufman (Eds.), The philosophy of creativity: New essays (pp. 247-261). New York: Oxford University Press.
470. Simonton, D. K. (2014i). Historiometric studies of genius. In D. K. Simonton (Ed.), The Wiley handbook of genius (pp. 87-106). Oxford: Wiley.
Historiometry applies quantitative measurement and statistical analysis to historical and biographical data regarding historic creators and leaders. The method is illustrated using representative studies concerning life-span development (early origins and adult trajectories), individual differences (intelligence, personality, motivation, and psychopathology), cognitive processes, and sociocultural context (interpersonal relations, disciplinary context, and cultural systems). Although historiometry is the oldest scientific approach to the study of genius, it remains underutilized in the field.
471. Simonton, D. K. (2014j, October 30). If you think you’re a genius, you?re crazy. Nautilus, Issue 018, http://nautil.us/issue/18/genius/if-you-think-youre-a-genius-youre-crazy
472. Simonton, D. K. (2014k). The [insert publisher] handbook of [insert topic] ? then repeat with tweaks. [Review of the book The Oxford handbook of leadership and organizations, David V. Day, Editor]. PsycCRITIQUES, 59 (43).
Reviews the book, The Oxford Handbook of Leadership and Organizations edited by David V. Day. The current handbook is part of a series named the ?Oxford Library of Psychology? under the editor-in-chief Peter E. Nathan. The 38 chapters themselves are collected into several parts covering history and background, research issues, leader-centric theories and approaches, follower-centric theories and approaches, dyadic and team-centric theories and approaches, emerging issues in organizational leadership, emerging contextual issues in leadership, special concerns in leadership, and the future of leadership. Given the professional status of the authors and the seemingly comprehensive coverage of subjects, one might infer that this handbook would provide the go-to compendium for years to come.
473. Simonton, D. K. (2014l). The mad (creative) genius: What do we know after a century of historiometric research? In J. C. Kaufman (Ed.), Creativity and mental illness (pp. 25-41). New York: Cambridge University Press.
474. Simonton, D. K. (2014m). The mad-genius paradox: Can creative people be more mentally healthy but highly creative people more mentally ill? Perspectives on Psychological Science, 9, 470-480.
The persistent mad-genius controversy concerns whether creativity and psychopathology are positively or negatively correlated. Remarkably, the answer can be “both”! The debate has unfortunately overlooked the fact that the creativity-psychopathology correlation can be expressed as two independent propositions: (a) among all creative individuals, the most creative are at higher risk for mental illness than are the less creative and (b) among all people, creative individuals exhibit better mental health than do non-creative individuals. In both propositions, creativity is defined by the production of one or more creative products that contribute to an established domain of achievement. Yet when the typical cross-sectional distribution of creative productivity is taken into account, these two statements can both be true. This potential compatibility is here christened the mad-genius paradox. This paradox can follow logically from the assumption that the distribution of creative productivity is approximated by an inverse power function called Lotka’s Law. Even if psychopathology is specified to correlate positively with creative productivity, creators as a whole can still display appreciably less psychopathology than in the general population because the more at risk creative geniuses represent an extremely tiny proportion of those contributing to the domain. The hypothesized paradox has important scientific ramifications.
475 Simonton, D. K. (2014n). More method in the mad-genius controversy: A historiometric study of 204 historic creators. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 8, 53-61.
The so-called mad-genius controversy cannot be resolved without applying more sophisticated historiometric methods to the issue. It is especially important to recognize that (a) both eminence and psychopathology are quantitative rather than qualitative variables, (b) the two variables must be independently quantified, and (c) the relation between these two variables may assume either linear or curvilinear forms depending on the domain of creative achievement. These three points are then illustrated in a study of 204 eminent scientists, thinkers, writers, artists, and composers. Independent quantitative measures of psychopathology (Post, 1994) and eminence (Murray, 2003) were combined in a complex design that tested for multiplicative and nonlinear effects. Positive monotonic functions were found for writers and artists, whereas nonmonotonic single-peaked functions were found for scientists, composers, and thinkers. Moreover, the specific peaks for the latter three fields differed from each other, indicating that scientists exhibit the least psychopathology and the thinkers the most, with the composers falling approximately in the middle. Although this historiometric study makes a clear contribution to the debate, the article closes by recommending additional improvements in both measurement and analysis.
476. Simonton, D. K. (2014o). The personal characteristics of political leaders: Quantitative multiple-case assessments. In G. Goethals, S. Allison, R. Kramer, & D. Messick (Eds.), Conceptions of leadership: Enduring ideas and emerging insights (pp. 53-69). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
477. Simonton, D. K. (2014p). Preface. In D. K. Simonton (Ed.), The Wiley handbook of genius (pp. xvii-xxi). Oxford: Wiley.
478. Simonton, D. K. (2014q). Significant samples – not significance tests! The often overlooked solution to the replication problem. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 8, 11-12.
The commentary discusses a frequently ignored route around the replication problem: The use of significant samples that consist of absolutely identifiable exemplars of the phenomenon of interest, such as Nobel laureates in the sciences and literature, Oscar-nominated films, Shakespeare sonnets, or Beethoven compositions. Because identical samples can be studied by different researchers, research results can be replicated exactly, an outcome most often impossible in conventional research. Moreover, whenever findings are not duplicated, it becomes feasible to isolate the precise cause of the replication failure (e.g., new or modified variables, added or subtracted cases, more advanced statistics). Finally, because significant samples represent the population, significance tests and other aspects of inferential statistics prove useless. Sample and population parameters become identical whenever sampling error reduces to zero. In this situation, effect sizes assume far greater importance. Significant samples of creative geniuses and artistic masterworks should accordingly acquire a more prominent place in the psychology of aesthetics, creativity, and the arts.
479. Simonton, D. K. (Ed.). (2014r). The Wiley handbook of genius. Oxford, UK: Wiley.
480. Simonton, D. K. (2014s). Writing for success: Screenplays and cinematic impact. In J. C. Kaufman & D. K. Simonton (Eds.), The social science of cinema (pp. 3-23). New York: Oxford University Press.
Although screenwriters are often far less conspicuous than the actors and directors, the screenplay has a critical role in the success of any film. This chapter reviews the empirical research on the most obvious distinguishing characteristics of the script: (a) the running time, (b) the genre or broad story type, (c) the rating received from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), (d) the type and intensity of “mature content” shown, (e) whether the movie is a sequel to or remake of a prior movie, (f) whether the movie is based on a true story about a person or event, and (g) whether the movie is based on an original script or an adaptation, and in the latter case the source of the adaptation. Where appropriate, these attributes are defined with respect to the final theatrical release rather than either the pre-production script or the later video/DVD version. Each of these script attributes are examined with respect to three criteria of cinematic success: box office impact, movie awards, and critical acclaim. When appropriate, production costs or budget is introduced to put the main criteria in perspective.
481. Damian, R. I., & Simonton, D. K. (2015a). Four perspectives on creativity. In R. A. Scott & S. M. Kosslyn (Eds.), Emerging trends in the social and behavioral sciences (pp. 1-15). Oxford, UK: Wiley.
Creativity is a unique feature of human thinking and behavior that is essential to our species survival, future progress, and even the rise and fall of civilizations. To understand this highly complex phenomenon, we need to adopt an interdisciplinary and multi-method approach. Because creativity happens at many different levels both intra- and inter-individual, the psychological science of creativity currently lacks a strong paradigmatic coherence. In this paper, we review creativity research from four different scientific perspectives: cognitive, differential, developmental, and social, and attempt to provide a unified overarching picture. We present foundational and cutting-edge research addressing the following questions: (a) What cognitive processes are involved in creative thinking; (b) What personality traits are characteristic of the creative person; (c) What developmental factors lead to creative achievement; and (d) What social factors foster creativity? We identify current debate issues and propose ways to promote unity and coherence in creativity research across psychological sub-fields. We offer a clear definition of creativity and identify promising theoretical models that could help integrate and direct future research.
482. Damian, R. I., & Simonton, D. K. (2015b). Psychopathology, adversity, and creativity: Diversifying experiences in the development of eminent African Americans. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 108, 623-636.
Symptoms associated with mental illness have been hypothesized to relate to creative achievement because they act as diversifying experiences. However, this theory has only been tested on predominantly majority-culture samples. Do tendencies toward mental illness still predict eminent creativity when they co-exist with other diversifying experiences, such as early parental death, minority-status, or poverty? These alternative diversifying experiences can be collectively referred to as examples of developmental adversity. This conjecture was tested on a significant sample of 291 eminent African-Americans who, by the nature of their status as long-term minorities, would experience more developmental adversity. Replicating majority-culture patterns, African-American artists showed higher mental illness rates than African-American scientists. Yet, the absolute percentages were significantly lower for the African-Americans, regardless of profession. Furthermore, mental illness predicted higher eminence levels only for the African-American artists, an effect that diminished when controlling for developmental adversity. Because the latter predicted eminence for both artists and scientists, the “madness-to-genius” link probably represents just one of several routes by which diversifying experiences can influence eminence. The same developmental ends can be attained by different means. This inference warrants further research using other eminent creators emerging from minority culture populations.
483. Simonton, D. K. (2015a). Achievement. In S. K. Whitbourne (Ed.), Wiley-Blackwell encyclopedia of adulthood and aging. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9781118528921.wbeaa029
484. Simonton, D. K. (2015b). Collaborating creators still have personal psychologies! [Review of the book The innovators: How a group of hackers, geniuses, and geeks created the digital revolution, W. Isaacson]. American Journal of Psychology, 128, 403-417.
485. Simonton, D. K. (2015c). Defining animal creativity: Little-c, often; Big-C, sometimes. In A. B. Kaufman & J. C. Kaufman (Eds.). Animal creativity and innovation (pp. 390-393). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
486. Simonton, D. K. (2015d). Evolution as phenomenon and evolution as process. In N. N. Korytin, V. M. Petrov, & S. Mastandrea (Eds.), Investigations of cultural life: Quantitative aspects (pp. 21-23). Ekaterinburg, Russia: Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts.
487. Simonton, D. K. (2015e). A film of a life for film. [Review of the documentary Life Itself, directed by S. James]. PsycCRITIQUES, 60 (23).
The film can be considered both a cinematic adaptation of the autobiography Life Itself by film critic Rogert Ebert (2011) and a continuation and conclusion to the latter work. That point is evident from just the dates alone, the film appearing posthumously. Although the film is biographical, it avoids adopting a linear format. Instead, earlier scenes from Ebert’s earlier life are repeatedly juxtaposed with his current, deteriorating condition. One of the major themes in the film is Ebert’s relation with Gene Siskel, his long-time partner on their TV show variably titled “Sneak Previews,” “At the Movies,” or “Siskel & Ebert.” The relationship was far worse than one might infer just from watching the televised episodes of them going back and forth. The amazing aspect of this relationship is that the two eventually became close friends. The film has received more than its share of cinematic recognition. The reviewer’s only real question mark involves this documentary’s appeal to age cohorts much younger than his own—the X, Y, and Z generations.
488. Simonton, D. K. (2015f). Historiometry. In J. Martin, J. Sugarman, & K. Slaney (Eds.), Wiley handbook of theoretical and philosophical psychology (pp. 183-199). Oxford, UK: Wiley.
Historiometrics (or historiometry) is a method used to test nomothetic hypotheses about historic thought, emotion, and behavior by applying quantitative and objective techniques to biographical and historical data. It originated in a theoretical question concerning genius, creativity, leadership, and talent, namely, whether such exceptional ability is born rather than made – the nature-nurture issue. Later the method became applied to a large number of other theoretical questions, such as the classic genius-versus-zeitgeist and mad-genius debates. Is great achievement a matter of being the “right person” or simply of being at the “right place at the right time”? Are eminent achievers inclined to mental illness? The historiometric research on these two controversies is then used to provide more detailed illustrations of the method’s application. These illustrations lead to a general evaluation of how well historiometric research deals with the questions for which it was designed. The chapter then closes with some recommendations about how historiometrics might best undergo additional growth and more extended application. Because there are certain theoretical questions that can only be addressed using this technique, and because the requisite historical record is becoming even more complete and precise, the prospects for future applications remain very good.
489. Simonton, D. K. (2015g). Lehman, Harvey C. In S. K. Whitbourne (Ed.), Wiley-Blackwell encyclopedia of adulthood and aging. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9781118528921.wbeaa030
490. Simonton, D. K. (2015h). A much-needed contribution to a maddening controversy. [Review of the book Creativity and mental illness: The mad genius in question, S. Kyaga]. PsycCRITIQUES, 60 (29).
491. Simonton, D. K. (2015i). Numerical odds and evens in Beethoven’s nine symphonies: Can a computer really tell the difference? Empirical Studies of the Arts, 33, 18-35.
The odd-numbered symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven have long been said to differ qualitatively from his even-numbered symphonies. Yet no quantitative study has determined whether this common assertion has any empirical justification. In the current investigation, his 9 symphonies were assessed on 10 potential correlates: prominence, popularity, aesthetics, accessibility, length, the number of themes, and four computer content analytical measures associated with melodic originality (mean, standard deviation, maximum, and minimum). The odd-numbered symphonies were distinguishable from the even-numbered symphonies in prominence as well as three out of the four content analytical measures. Moreover, the prominence of his symphonies was strongly correlated with the three melodic originality indicators. Given that the computer analyses cannot have been contaminated by subjective biases, the odd versus even distinction has been empirically confirmed. The article closes with a discussion of what the empirical results may imply about Beethoven’s creative process.
492. Simonton, D. K. (2015j). On praising convergent thinking: Creativity as blind variation and selective retention. Creativity Research Journal, 27, 262-270.
Arthur Cropley (2006) emphasized the critical place that convergent thinking has in creativity. Although he briefly refers to the blind variation and selective retention (BVSR) theory of creativity, his discussion could not reflect the most recent theoretical and empirical developments in BVSR, especially the resulting combinatorial models. Therefore, in this article I first provide an overview of contemporary BVSR theory, including both a general combinatorial model and its specific manifestations (internal versus external selection, simultaneous versus sequential selection, exploration versus elimination, and open versus closed pre-selection). This overview then permits theoretical treatment of the connections between convergent thinking and BVSR. These connections entail the direct involvement of convergent thinking in BVSR as well as the occasions in which sequential BVSR operates in a manner resembling convergent thinking. The article closes with a discussion of some misunderstandings regarding the function of domain-specific knowledge in BVSR creativity. This discussion includes the argument that hindsight bias often makes creativity appear far more knowledge based than it was at the time the creative ideas first emerged. This bias can make researchers overlook how BVSR mediates between expertise and creativity. Hence, care must be taken not to bypass BVSR in granting all due credit to convergent thinking.
493. Simonton, D. K. (2015k). Psychology as a science within Comte’s hypothesized hierarchy: Empirical investigations and conceptual implications. Review of General Psychology, 19, 334-344.
Auguste Comte suggested that the main sciences could be grouped into a hierarchical ordering that reflected their objective characteristics (viz. generality, dependence, and complexity). In particular, the empirical sciences could be placed in the following order: astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, and sociology. Although his idea was initially discredited in the sociology of science, subsequent research indicates that the conjecture has considerable empirical merit. Significantly, that research inserts psychology between biology and sociology, with significantly more proximity with biology. After replicating the earlier findings using new measures, the meta-theoretical basis for the hierarchical arrangement is then examined. The article closes with suggestions for further empirical and theoretical research on psychology?s placement in the hierarchical arrangement.
494. Simonton, D. K. (2015l). Quetelet, Adolphe. In S. K. Whitbourne (Ed.), Wiley-Blackwell encyclopedia of adulthood and aging. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9781118528921.wbeaa031
495. Simonton, D. K. (2015m). “So we meet again!” – Replies to Gabora and Weisberg. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 9, 25-34.
This reply responds to comments and criticisms of Liane Gabora and Robert Weisberg (this issue) concerning my empirical study of Thomas Edison?s creative career. With respect to Gabora, I discuss backtracking and superfluity, the evaluation of ideas as good or bad, the quantification of responses, the network of enterprises, and other minor issues. Regarding Weisberg, I focus on domain-specific expertise, ordinary thought processes, and personality differences. I then close my response with a brief discussion of why a BVSR theory of creativity is urgently needed in this research area.
496. Simonton, D. K. (2015n). Thomas Alva Edison’s creative career: The multilayered trajectory of trials, errors, failures, and triumphs. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 9, 2-14.
Thomas Edison is widely considered to be one of the greatest inventive geniuses who ever lived. Therefore, his total output of 1093 patents was used to study the trajectory of his creative career, including both failures and triumphs. The study specifically examined two hypotheses about how the creative process operates across the career course. First, creativity will incorporate some form of blind-variation and selective-retention. Second, creative productivity will be enhanced by engagement in a “network of enterprises.” To test these two hypotheses, the 1093 patents were first assigned to 8 separate subject areas: (a) miscellany, (b) telegraphy and telephony, (c) phonographs and sound recording, (d) electric light and power, (e) mining and ore milling, (f) batteries, (g) motion pictures, and (h) cement. The patents were then tabulated into both 1- and 5-year age periods according to Edison’s chronological age at the time each was executed. Quantitative analyses were then applied to determine the agewise trends and clustering of the patents across the course of his 64-year career. In addition, direct comparisons were made to a nomothetic baseline predicted by a mathematical model of creative productivity. The quantitative analyses were complemented by qualitative treatments of Edison’s creative career. All told, the two hypotheses received considerable empirical support. Tellingly, the inventor’s phenomenal triumphs notwithstanding, he could not avoid even catastrophic failures.
497. Simonton, D. K. (2015o, April). Unifying psychology as a physical science. Observer, 28 (4), 8-9.
498. Simonton, D. K. (2016a). Are pure mathematicians the lyric poets of the sciences? In P. Casazza, S. G. Krantz, & R. D. Ruden (Eds.), I, mathematician II: Further introspections on the mathematical life (pp. 165-174). Bedford, MA: The Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications.
499. Simonton, D. K. (2016b). Creative genius, knowledge, and reason: The lives and works of eminent creators. In J. C. Kaufman & J. Baer (Eds.), Cambridge companion to creativity and reason in cognitive development (2nd ed., pp. 226-245). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Creative genius is not equivalent to exceptional domain-specific expertise or logic. On the contrary, the most notable scientific and artistic achievements emerge out of a far more complex process. I make the case for this increased complexity two ways. First, I examine the role that expertise plays in the development of eminent creators. Second, I scrutinize the place that logic has in the creation of notable works in the arts and sciences. Both of these analyses will be based on historiometrics, that is, the application of objective and quantitative methods to biographical information about creative geniuses of historic importance.
500. Simonton, D. K. (2016c). Creativity, automaticity, irrationality, fortuity, fantasy, and other contingencies: An eightfold response typology. Review of General Psychology, 20, 194-204.
A four-decade long research program that had started out focusing on creative genius unexpectedly produced a general response typology potentially applicable to the average person on the street. In particular, attempts to define both creativity and non-creativity resulted in an eightfold typology of everyday human thought and behavior. Given any situation that may evoke a response, the alternative outcomes can be distinguished according to their initial probability, actual utility, and the person’s prior knowledge of that utility. These three parameters then yield eight major types of outcomes: (a) routine, reproductive, or habitual responses (based on acquired life and work expertise); (b) fortuitous responses (such as uninformed response biases); (c) irrational perseveration (or failing to learn from past mistakes); (d) problem finding (such as violations of expert expectations); (e) irrational suppression (refusing to do what’s good for you); (f) creative or productive thoughts and behaviors (original, useful, and surprising responses); (g) rational suppression (such as those due to previous response extinction); and (h) mind wandering and behavioral exploration (such as fantasy, tinkering, and play). These distinct responses exhibit important interrelationships. For example, although habitual responses are antithetical to creative thought and behavior, creativity is fostered by problem finding, rational suppression, and mind wandering or behavioral exploration. Moreover, because the three parameters can assume continuous values between zero and one inclusively, the typology allows for more finely differentiated thoughts and behaviors, including “satisficing” decisions that fall short of utility optimization as well as tentative hunches residing between absolute ignorance and certain knowledge.
501. Simonton, D. K. (2016d). The decline of the West? A comparative civilizations perspective. In D. Ambrose & R. J. Sternberg (Eds.), Creative intelligence in the 21st century: Grappling with enormous problems and huge opportunities (pp. 51-64). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers.
502. Simonton, D. K. (2016e). Defining creativity: Don’t we also need to define what is not creative? Journal of Creative Behavior. Early view. doi: 10.1002/jocb.137
I argue that any attempt to define creative ideas cannot fully succeed without also defining uncreative ideas. This argument begins by defining three parameters that characterize a potentially creative thought: the idea’s initial probability (p), the final utility (u), and the creator’s prior knowledge of that utility (v). The three parameters then lead to a three-criterion multiplicative definition of personal creativity, namely, c = (1 – p)u(1 – v), where the first factor indicates originality and the third factor surprise. Although creativity can only maximize as originality, utility, and surprise all approach unity, the same definition indicates that there are seven different ways that creativity can minimize. These alternatives were identified as (a) routine, reproductive, or habitual ideas, (b) fortuitous response bias, (c) irrational perseveration, (d) problem finding, (e) rational suppression, (f) irrational suppression, and (g) blissful ignorance. If the third parameter v is omitted, then the number of creative and noncreative outcomes reduces to just four, making creativity indistinguishable from irrational suppression. The alternative outcomes are then illustrated using the classic two-string problem. Besides providing a more finely differentiated conception of creativity failures, the definition has critical implications regarding the processes and procedures required to generate highly creative ideas.
503. Simonton, D. K. (2016f, March/April). Does creativity decline with age? Scientific American Mind, 27 (2), 70.
504. Simonton, D. K. (2016g). Early and late bloomers among classical composers: Were the greatest geniuses also prodigies? In G. McPherson (Ed.), Musical prodigies: Interpretations from psychology, music education, musicology and ethnomusicology (pp. 185-197). New York: Oxford University Press.
Although the history of classical music is replete with examples of phenomenal prodigies – Mozart marking the best-known case – empirical studies have been relatively rare. Of special interest is the question whether former child prodigies are more likely to exhibit more creative genius relative to composers far less precocious, if precocious at all. After reviewing the relevant historiometric findings, the answer is affirmative. Among composers who contributed at least one work to the classical repertoire, precocity is associated with both productivity and eminence. However, one fundamental limitation on this conclusion must be acknowledged: The samples under investigation do not include any former musical prodigies who never made a name for themselves in classical music – not even as “one-hit wonders.” Yet the number of “mute, inglorious” Mozarts may be indefinitely large.
505. Simonton, D. K. (2016h). Eminent female psychologists in family context: Historical trends for 80 women born 1847-1950. Journal of Genius and Eminence, 1(2), 6-16.
The representation of women among eminent psychologists has expanded over the past century. The potential correlates of this upward trajectory were investigated in this empirical study of 80 eminent female psychologists born between 1847 and 1950. Based on the past research literature on the role of family and marriage in the emergence of eminent scientists, three sets of variables were defined: (a) sibling relationships (sibling size, birth order, and the configuration of sisters and brothers); (b) parental occupations (mother and father occupational status plus a separate indicator of homemaker mothers; and (c) marriage and children (dummy variables registering the occurrence of these events as well as quantitative measures of the woman?s age at which these life events took place). Data analyses focused on both the statistics across all women and the trends in those statistics across historical time. Besides substantial contrasts with eminent male psychologists, the eminent women displayed several historical changes in variables closely connected with traditional gender roles. Evidence was also found for an increase in a more favorable environment for the development of female scientific talent. The possible causal factors remain to be deciphered, a task that will require finding parallel data for a male comparison group.
506. Simonton, D. K. (2016i). Genius and creativity. In H. S. Friedman (Ed.), Encyclopedia of mental health (2nd ed., Vol. 2, pp. 269-276). Oxford: Elsevier.
507. Simonton, D. K. (2016j). Giving credit where credit’s due: Why it’s so hard to do in psychological science. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11, 888-892.
More than a century of scientific research has shed considerable light on how a scientist’s contributions to psychological science might be best assessed and duly recognized. This brief overview of that empirical evidence concentrates on recognition for lifetime career achievements in psychological science. After discussing both productivity and citation indicators, the treatment turns to critical precautions in the application of these indicators to psychologists. These issues concern both predictive validity and interjudge reliability. In the former case, not only are the predictive validities for standard indicators relatively small, but the indicators can exhibit important non-merit based biases that undermine validity. In the latter case, peer consensus in the evaluation of scientific contributions is appreciably lower in psychology than in the natural sciences, a fact that has consequences for citation measures as well. Psychologists must therefore exercise considerable care in judging achievements in psychological science—both their own and those of others.
508. Simonton, D. K. (2016k). Intelligence, inheritance, motivation, and expertise. [Review of the books Grit: The power of passion and perseverance, A. Duckworth, and Peak: Secrets from the new science of expertise, A. Ericsson & R. Pool]. Intelligence, 58, 80-81.
509. Simonton, D. K. (2016l). More than enough food for thought. [Review of the book Rethinking thought: Inside the minds of creative scientists and artists, L. Otis]. PsycCRITIQUES, 61 (13).
Reviews the book, Rethinking Thought: Inside the Minds of Creative Scientists and Artists by Laura Otis. In 1883, Francis Galton published a collection of miscellaneous studies under the inclusive title Inquiries Into Human Faculty and Its Development. The sheer range of topics is impressive: twin studies, composite portraiture, statistical methods, criminals and the insane, color associations, psychometric experiments, domestication of animals, early and late marriages, and so on. A few of the topics studied seem silly by contemporary standards—such as the “objective efficacy of prayer”—whereas others remain seminal and highly relevant today. In the latter category is Galton’s pioneering empirical study of mental imagery. After devising a questionnaire to assess a person’s visual imagery, he applied the instrument to a wide range of participants. He was thus able to draw some fascinating conclusions about individual differences in the capacity for visualization. Rethinking Thought: Inside the Minds of Creative Scientists and Artists can be said to continue Galton’s investigation. Like Galton, Otis began by devising a questionnaire that captured what she wanted to know about the way people think. This book makes a substantial contribution to the cognitive psychology of thought. The narratives indicate the incredible richness of human mental imagery in real-world contexts. Even the age-old distinction between visual and verbal thinking fails to capture the full complexity of what can go on inside the mind.
510. Simonton, D. K. (2016m). The paleolithic rather than Aristotelian evolution of political behavior. [Review of the book Political animals: How our stone-age brain gets in the way of smart politics, R. Shenkman]. PsycCRITIQUES, 61 (23).
Reviews the book, Political Animals: How Our Stone-Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics by Rick Shenkman. This book is firmly based on standard evolutionary psychology (see, e.g., Buss, 2005; Dunbar & Barrett, 2007). In particular, the author begins by assuming that the current human brain is largely the adaptive product of selection pressures that operated in Paleolithic (“old stone age”) times. In the long view of evolutionary time, a mind best adapted for an interpersonal world in which everybody knows everybody else (and many if not most are kin besides) had to suddenly cope with a contrasting political world in which almost everyone is anonymous and where the group leaders are never known personally and perhaps not ever seen in person. Of course, modern media technology just adds another glitch to this alien scene, especially in election years. The bewildered Paleolithic brain is now bombarded with news headlines, viral video clips, campaign fliers, sound bites, Facebook postings, tweets, and other random tidbits of data from which the person is expected to make an informed decision in the ballot box. Shenkman devotes the bulk of the book to documenting how this mismatch makes intelligent political decision making virtually impossible. Political Animals is extremely well written—quite engaging in fact. Although trained as a historian, Shenkman exhibits a reasonably good grasp of the psychological research he reviews. In addition, given his training, the author fills the volume with ample historical examples.
511. Simonton, D. K. (2016n). Reverse engineering genius: Historiometric studies of exceptional talent. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1377, 3-9.
Although genius has been defined in the dictionary as requiring an IQ exceeding 140, this definition depended on an arbitrary methodological decision made by Lewis Terman for his longitudinal study of more than 1500 intellectually gifted children. This study occupies four out the five volumes of his Genetic Studies of Genius. Yet only the second volume by Catharine Cox studied bona fide geniuses by applying historiometric methods to 301 highly eminent creators and leaders. After defining historiometric research, the difference between historical genius and intellectual giftedness is examined with respect to heterogeneous intellects, personality differences, and early development. This examination shows that the actual relation between IQ and genius is small and heavily contingent on domain-specific assessment, the operation of traits like persistence and openness to experience, and the impact of diversifying experiences, including both developmental adversity and subclinical psychopathology. Hence, the dictionary definition has minimal justification, if any. If we worked backwards from recognized geniuses, such as those studied by Cox, we might not obtain the kind of sample that Terman obtained for his longitudinal study. They represent distinct subgroups of the larger population.
512. Simonton, D. K. (2016o). Scientific genius in Islamic civilization: Quantified time series from qualitative historical narratives. Journal of Genius and Eminence, 1, 4-13.
It has long been known that genius is not randomly distributed across the history of any given civilization. Instead, genius clusters in Golden and perhaps Silver Ages, separated by apparent Dark Ages in which the highest order geniuses vanish altogether. The methodological question then arises regarding how to quantify the time-wise distribution of genius using historical data that are explicitly qualitative in nature. The potential of narrative-to-number translations was first demonstrated by Sorokin and Merton’s (1935) conversion of Sarton’s (1927-1931) pioneering history of Islamic science into numerical and graphic representations. These qualitative-to-quantitative translations were here subjected to new statistical analyses that address both the internal consistency of the measures and their external relation to comparable but independent assessments based on Kroeber’s (1944) treatment of the same source. Although certain methodological precautions became evident, it also became apparent that the conversion of qualitative narrative to quantitative measures enjoys appreciable justification. This finding is important in those areas where quantitative researchers lack appropriate biographical dictionaries, encyclopedias, chronologies, or award compilations. Then the resulting quantified time series can still be used to study the sociocultural factors underlying rise and fall of genius in world civilizations.
513. Simonton, D. K. (2016p). Snapshots of the personality, not just the person. [Review of the book The psychological portrait: Marcel Sternberger’s revelations in photography, J. Loewentheil]. PsycCRITIQUES, 61 (43).
Reviews the book, The Psychological Portrait: Marcel Sternberger’s Revelations in Photography by Jacob Loewentheil. This book is a biographical profile of Marcel Sternberger. Marcel was born in Hungary in 1899, but owing to the unrest in Europe caused by World Wars I and II, as well as growing anti-Semitism, he led a transitory existence that passed through Budapest, Prague, Berlin, Paris, London, and finally New York City. An automobile crash in 1956 ended his 22-year career as a distinguished portrait photographer. Some of his photographs have become iconic representations of highly eminent figures of the time. Sternberger was deeply committed to psychological portraiture. The reason why so many of his photos enjoy great appeal—to both their subjects and to others—is because they seem revelatory in terms of inner psychology.
514. Simonton, D. K. (2016q). When Hardy met Ramanujan. [Review of the motion picture The man who knew infinity, directed by M. Brown]. PsycCRITIQUES, 61 (42).
Reviews the film, The Man Who Knew Infinity directed by Matthew Brown (2015). This film is much more than a biopic. It is billed as a biopic about a mathematician, G. H. Hardy, who clearly manifests the longitudinal trajectory of the lyric poet, namely the Indian Srinivasa Ramanujan. It is equally a story of a relationship, almost a bromance, between two men who shared a deep love for mathematics. Indeed, Hardy, Ramanujan’s senior by about a decade (and who never married), says at the film’s onset that their mathematical collaboration marked “the one truly romantic incident of my life.” The reviewer thinks this an emotionally engaging and intellectually informative film about perhaps the greatest mathematical genius of the early 20th century. It introduces non-mathematicians to actual mathematical creativity rather than dwell on the rote learning of mathematical formulas and algorithms that they might have suffered in school.
515. Worrell, F. C. Knotek, S. E., Plucker, J. A., Portenga, S., Simonton, D. K., Olszewski-Kubilius, P. Schultz, S. R., & Subotnik, R. F. (2016). Competition’s role in developing psychological strength and outstanding performance. Review of General Psychology, 20, 259-271.
Competition, a topic closely associated with outstanding performance, continues to be a contentious topic (Bonta, 1997; Murayama & Elliot, 2012a, 2012b), particularly in the realm of education and schooling (D. W. Johnson & Johnson, 1987, 2009). Is competition a useful or detrimental strategy for promoting outstanding performance? Does competition contribute positively to performance or should it be avoided? In this article, we took on the challenge of exploring the relationship between competition and high performance and making recommendations about how competition can be used in promoting adaptive youth development. We begin by defining competition and outstanding performance. We then discuss competition in the context of the positive psychology movement, followed by brief reviews of literature showcasing how competition is related to enhanced performance in sport, organizational settings, and academic domains. Next, we discuss competition’s relationship to creativity. The article closes with a discussion of the implications of this work for practice and research. It is our hope that this work will result in increased attention to high performance psychology as an important focus for scholarship and application in a wide range of arenas, from schools and the workplace to athletic and artistic venues.
516. Antonakis, J., House, R. J., & Simonton, D. K. (2017, March 30). Can super smart leaders suffer too much from a good thing? The curvilinear effect of intelligence on perceived leadership behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/apl0000221
Although researchers predominately test for linear relationships between variables, at times there may be theoretical and even empirical reasons for expecting nonlinear functions. We examined if the relation between intelligence (IQ) and perceived leadership might be more accurately described by a curvilinear single-peaked function. Following Simonton’s (1985) theory, we tested a specific model, indicating that the optimal IQ for perceived leadership will appear at about 1.2 standard deviations above the mean IQ of the group membership. The sample consisted of mid-level leaders from multinational private-sector companies. We used the leaders’ scores on the Wonderlic Personnel Test—a measure of IQ—to predict how they would be perceived on prototypically effective leadership (i.e., transformational and instrumental leadership). Accounting for the effects of leader personality, gender, age, as well as company, country, and time fixed effects, analyses indicated that perceptions of leadership followed a curvilinear inverted-U function of intelligence. The peak of this function was at an IQ score of about 120, which did not depart significantly from the value predicted by the theory. As the first direct empirical test of a precise curvilinear model of the intelligence-leadership relation, the results have important implications for future research on how leaders are perceived in the workplace.
517. Simonton, D. K. (2017a). Big-C versus little-c creativity: Definitions, implications, and inherent educational contradictions. In R. Beghetto & B. Sriraman (Eds.), Creative contradictions in education (pp. 3-19). New York: Springer.
518. Simonton, D. K. (2017b). Creative genius and psychopathology: Creativity as positive and negative personality. In G. J. Feist, R. Reiter-Palmon, & J. C. Kaufman (Eds.), Cambridge handbook of creativity and personality research (pp. 235-250). New York: Cambridge University Press.
519. Simonton, D. K. (2017c). Creative productivity across the lifespan. In J. A. Plucker (Ed.), Creativity & innovation: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 119-132). Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.
520. Simonton, D. K. (2017d). Creativity and free will: Creative thought enhances personal agency? In M. Karwowski & J. C. Kaufman (Eds.), The creative self: Effect of beliefs, self-efficacy, mindset, and identity (pp. 65-84). New York: Academic Press.
521. Simonton, D. K. (2017e). Does talent exist? Yes! In J. Baker, S. Cobley, J. Schorer & N. Wattie (Eds.), Routledge handbook of talent identification and development in sport (pp. 11-18). London: Routledge.
522. Simonton, D. K. (2017f). Galton, Francis. In V. Zeigler-Hill & T. Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of personality and individual differences. New York: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_2166-1
523. Simonton, D. K. (2017g, April 6). Intellectual genius in the Islamic Golden Age: Cross-civilization replications, extensions, and modifications. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/aca0000110
This investigation continues a series of inquiries into why creative geniuses in world civilizations tend to cluster into Golden Ages separated by periods of relative creative inactivity. The specific focus is the hypothesis that the development of eminent creators depends on the intergenerational availability of domain-specific role-models, and thus generational time series representing weighted counts of creative activity should exhibit positive autocorrelations. Where previous studies tested this hypothesis on Western, Chinese, and Japanese civilizations, the current study examines Islamic intellectual history. The inquiry began with a significant sample of 1283 eminent thinkers who were active between AH 60 and 1119 (CE 679-1707) and who made major contributions to 17 achievement domains (mathematics-astronomy, physics, chemistry, natural history, medicine, geography, philosophy, mysticism, theology, jurisprudence, traditions, linguistics, scholarship, commentary, translation, history, and biography). These historic figures were aggregated into 53 consecutive 20-year periods and then subjected to generational time-series analysis, including trend, autocorrelational, and factor analyses. Using stationary series, some domains displayed the expected autocorrelations, but many other domains did not. In particular, where the expected clustering appeared for important mystics and for major contributors to the rational sciences, significant contributors to the religious sciences were randomly distributed across time. The latter result led to a discussion of what happens when certain key thinkers are considered foundational, thus serving as influential role-models across extended periods of time rather than having their principal effect on the immediately succeeding generation. Illustrious theologians and jurisprudents apparently occupied this central role in Islamic intellectual history.
524. Simonton, D. K. (in press-a). Creative geniuses, polymaths, child prodigies, and autistic savants: The ambivalent function of interests and obsessions. In P. A. O’Keefe & J. M. Harackiewicz (Eds.), The psychological science of interests. New York: Springer.
525. Simonton, D. K. (in press-b). Creative ideas and the creative process: Good news and bad news for the neuroscience of creativity. In R. E. Jung & O. Vartanian (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of the neuroscience of creativity. New York: Cambridge University Press.
526. Simonton, D. K. (in press-c). Creativity. In C. R. Snyder, S. J. Lopez, L M. Edwards, & S. C. Marques (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of positive psychology (3rd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.
527. Simonton, D. K. (in press-d). Creativity and expertise: Creators are not equivalent to domain-specific experts. In D. Z. Hambrick, G. Campitelli & B. Macnamara (Eds.), The science of expertise: Behavioral, neural, and genetic approaches to complex skill. New York: Routledge.
528. Simonton, D. K. (in press-e). Creativity and genius. In O. P. John & R. W. Robins (Eds.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (4th ed.). New York: Guilford Press.
529. Simonton, D. K. (in press-f). Creativity in psychology: Finding its niche in the sciences. In J. C. Kaufman, J. Baer, & V. P. Glăveanu (Eds.), Cambridge handbook of creativity across different domains. New York: Cambridge University Press.
530. Simonton, D. K. (in press-g). Cultural-historiometric studies of creativity. In A. K.-y. Leung, L. Y-Y. Kwan, & S. Liou (Eds.), Handbook of culture and creativity: Basic processes and applied innovations. New York: Oxford University Press.
531. Simonton, D. K. (in press-h). Domain-general creativity: On producing original, useful, and surprising combinations. In J. C. Kaufman, J. Baer, & V. P. Glăveanu (Eds.), Cambridge handbook of creativity across different domains. New York: Cambridge University Press.
532. Simonton, D. K. (in press-i). From everyday creativity to eminent cases of creative achievement in professional domains. In T. Lubart, M. Botella, X. Caroff, C. Mouchiroud, J. Nelson & F. Zenasni (Eds.), Homo creativus: The 7 C’s of human creativity. New York: Springer.
533. Simonton, D. K. (in press-j). From giftedness to eminence: Developmental landmarks across the life span. In S. Pfeiffer, E. Shaunessy-Dedrick, & M. Foley-Nicpon (Eds.), APA handbook of giftedness and talent. Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
534. Simonton, D. K. (in press-k). Hard science, soft science, and pseudoscience: Implications of research on the hierarchy of the sciences. In A. B. Kaufman & J. C. Kaufman (Eds.), Pseudoscience: The conspiracy against science. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
535. Simonton, D. K. (in press-l). Historiometric methods. In K. A. Ericsson et al. (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of expertise and expert performance (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.
536. Simonton, D. K. (in press-m). Past performance is no guarantee of future results. [Review of the book Homo perspectus, M. E. P. Seligman, P. Railton, R. F. Baumeister, & C. Sripada]. PsycCRITIQUES.
537. Simonton, D. K. (in press-n). Reverse engineering from eminent exemplars: How about a retrospective study too? Roeper Review: A Journal on Gifted Education.
In his target article, Sternberg (this issue) quite rightly criticizes the approach to identifying giftedness that was initiated by Terman’s (1925-1959) classic prospective study of high-IQ children. Sternberg then recommends a number of novel approaches to both identification and education. Nonetheless, this commentator suggests that future researchers follow Terman’s example in conducting not just a long-term prospective investigation into these approaches, but also conduct a retrospective inquiry such as that conducted by Cox (1926), which constituted the second volume of Genetic Studies of Genius. A retrospective study can determine whether eminent exemplars of Sternberg’s desired adults displayed the expected characteristics and experiences much earlier in childhood and adolescence. Prospective and retrospective approaches should converge, but they may not.
538. Simonton, D. K. (in press-o). Spontaneity in evolution, learning, creativity, and free will: Spontaneous variation in four selectionist phenomena. In K. Fox & K. Christoff (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of spontaneous thought: Mind-wandering, creativity, dreaming, and clinical conditions. New York: Oxford University Press.