Abstracts 400-599

[Abstracts 1-199, 200-399]


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 Solving22(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).
The mad-genius controversy is not only very old—the issue dates back to the ancient Greeks—but also very divisive, especially among psychologists, whether researchers or practitioners. The advent of the Positive Psychology movement may have aggravated the nastiness of the debate insofar as its proponents have often emphatically advocated that all human “strengths” or “virtues” come packaged neatly together instead of ever being antagonistic (see Bacon, 2005, for a discussion). This book is essential reading for any scientist or practitioner with an unbiased interest in the relation between those two psychological phenomena. It would offer great companion reading with Kaufman’s (2014) edited volume with the same main title. Only people who have already made up their minds and thus consider the case closed can skip reading either book.


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 Psychology20, 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). Genius and creativity. In H. S. Friedman (Ed.), Encyclopedia of mental health (2nd ed., Vol. 2, pp. 269-276). Oxford: Elsevier.


506. Simonton, D. K. (2016i). 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.


507. Simonton, D. K. (2016j). 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.


508. Simonton, D. K. (2016k). 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.


509. Simonton, D. K. (2016l). 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.


510. Simonton, D. K. (2016m). 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.


511. Simonton, D. K. (2016n). Scientific genius in Islamic civilization: Quantified time series from qualitative historical narratives. Journal of Genius and Eminence1, 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.


512. Simonton, D. K. (2016o). 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.


513. Simonton, D. K. (2016p). 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.


514. 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 Psychology20, 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.


515. 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.


516. 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.


517. 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.


518. Simonton, D. K. (2017c). 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 science of interests (pp. 175-185). New York: Springer.


519. Simonton, D. K. (2017d). 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. (2017e). 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. (2017f). 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. (2017g). Eminent female psychologists in family context: Historical trends for 80 women born 1847-1950. Journal of Genius and Eminence, 1(2), 15-25.
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.


523. Simonton, D. K. (2017h). 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


524. Simonton, D. K. (2017i, 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.


525. Simonton, D. K. (2017j). Past performance is no guarantee of future results. [Review of the book Homo prospectus, M. E. P. Seligman, P. Railton, R. F. Baumeister, & C. Sripada]. PsycCRITIQUES, 62 (20).
As noted on the book’s dust jacket, “it is anticipating and evaluating future possibilities for the guidance of thought and action that is the cornerstone of human success.” Hence, the name of our species must be changed from Homo sapiens to Homo prospectus. The current book can be considered a “prospectus” for launching a whole new research area in positive psychology. As a whole, the chapters cover a tremendous wealth of issues—psychological, philosophical, and neuroscientific—all pertaining to prospection in varying degrees. Each chapter is chockfull of insightful observations that help build the case for prospection as a significant psychological phenomenon. As such, the volume represents a major contribution to psychological science.


526. Simonton, D. K. (2017k). Reverse engineering from eminent exemplars: How about a retrospective study too? Roeper Review: A Journal on Gifted Education, 39, 203-205.
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.


527. Simonton, D. K. (in press-a). Configurations of culture growth, Alfred L. Kroeber. In V. P. Glaveanu (Ed.), The creativity reader. New York: Oxford University Press.


528. 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.


529. 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.


530. 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.


531. 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.


532. 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.


533. Simonton, D. K. (in press-g). Creativity in sociocultural systems: Cultures, nations, and civilizations. In P. B. Paulus & B. A. Nijstad (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of group creativity. New York: Oxford University Press.
Although psychologists typically see creativity as an individual-level event, sociologists and cultural anthropologists are more likely to view it as a sociocultural phenomenon. This phenomenon takes place at the level of relatively large and enduring collectives, such as cultures, nations, and even whole civilizations. This chapter reviews the extensive research on such macro-level creativity. The review begins with an historical overview before turning to the cross-sectional research on the creative Ortgeist, a subject that encompasses the factors that influence the relative creativity of both preliterate cultures and entire modern nations. From there the chapter turns to role of the Zeitgeist in affecting the creativity of civilizations across time—the rise and fall of creative activity. This research examines both quantitative and qualitative causes that operate both short- and long-term. Because these various factors directly determine the number of domain-specific creators at a given place and time, the factors affect the availability of both collaborative groups and competitive relationships. Although the research might seem to downplay the place of the creative individual, the chapter closes by presenting five major reasons why the psychology of creativity remains heavily involved in societal-level effects.


534. Simonton, D. K. (in press-h). 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.


535. Simonton, D. K. (in press-i). 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.


536. Simonton, D. K. (in press-j). 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.


537. Simonton, D. K. (in press-k). 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.


538. Simonton, D. K. (in press-l). The genetic side of giftedness: A nature-nurture definition and fourfold talent typology. In J. A. Plucker, A. Rinn, & M. Makel (Eds.), Giftedness: Reflecting theory in practice. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.


539. Simonton, D. K. (in press-m). Genius and eminence, Catharine M. Cox. In V. P. Glaveanu (Ed.), The creativity reader. New York: Oxford University Press.


540. Simonton, D. K. (in press-n). Genius, creativity, and leadership: A 50-year journey through science, history, mathematics, and psychology. In R. J. Sternberg & J. C. Kaufman (Eds.), The nature of human creativity. New York: Cambridge University Press.
The author narrates a half-century journey to understand how certain individuals manage to exert such a profound and enduring impact on human history. The quest began in his first quarter of college when, as a chemistry major, he started a two-year course on the history of world civilization, and it intensified once he switched to a psychology major in his junior year. About halfway through graduate school the quest finally consolidated into a well-defined research program, a program that diversified during his career as a university professor. The culmination of this program is a completely distinctive body of research that largely (but not entirely) applies historiometric methods and mathematical models to our understanding of exceptional genius, creativity, and leadership.


541. Simonton, D. K. (in press-o). 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.


542. Simonton, D. K. (in press-p). Historiometric methods. In K. A. Ericsson et al. (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of expertise and expert performance (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.


543. Simonton, D. K. (in press-q). JCB to infinity and beyond: A personal recollection and recommendation. Journal of Creative Behavior.
The author starts by narrating his personal experiences with the Journal of Creative Behavior. Although the author began publishing his creativity research in 1975, he did not submit his first manuscript until 1981, 14 years after JCB’s founding—a manuscript that was finally published in 1983 without ever being formally accepted! The author then turns to the events leading up to his assumption of the journal’s editorship in 1993, describing the editorial endeavor that lasted until 1999. He concludes by discussing the aftermath, including the tremendous growth in publication opportunities for creativity research. That proliferation then inspires the recommendation that JCB continue to be considered a principal vehicle for all creativity researchers.


544. Simonton, D. K. (in press-r). The nature and nurture of creative genius, Francis Galton. In V. P. Glaveanu (Ed.), The creativity reader. New York: Oxford University Press.


545. Simonton, D. K. (in press-s). On great thoughts, William James. In V. P. Glaveanu (Ed.), The creativity reader. New York: Oxford University Press.


546. Simonton, D. K. (in press-t). 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.