Below are corrections to errors of various kinds – both big and small – that managed to intrude into some of my publications. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience or confusion they might have caused any reader.
If you find any other errors, please contact me at email@example.com.
p. 278, Table 2: The “Percent of variance” reported for each factor is for the unrotated rather than rotated factor matrix. Of course, the variances explained by the Varimax rotated factors are much more equally distributed, namely, 16.4, 15.4, and 14.8.
I call this a “pseudo erratum” because the article was falsely criticized for a methodological error simply because the author failed to read the method section, obliging a correction to be published. See
Simonsohn, U. (2019). “Two lines: A valid alternative to the invalid testing of U-shaped relationships with quadratic regressions”: Corrigendum. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science, 2(4), 410–411. https://doi.org/10.1177/2515245919894972
Reports an error in “Two lines: A valid alternative to the invalid testing of u-shaped relationships with quadratic regressions” by Uri Simonsohn (Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science, 2018[Dec], Vol 1, 538-555). Figure 1 in this article used results from Simonton (1976) to illustrate that a statistically significant quadratic term in a linear regression need not imply a U-shaped relationship, because the implied inflection point could be outside the set of possible values. However, Figure 1 did not take into account that Simonton mean-centered the predictors. The correctly computed inflection point, obtained by assuming a quadratic function, actually does fall within the set of possible values. The author thanks Dean Simonton for alerting him to this error, which is now being corrected. Figure 1 is being replaced with the new figure shown in this erratum, and the section titled “Level 1: Is the Quadratic Term Significant?” is being replaced with the new section also given in this erratum.
The title has been changed to be grammatically correct. The original read “Does Sorokin’s data support his theory.”
pp. 795-796: This investigation was conducted before the advent of modern methods of analyzing cross-sectional time-series data (e.g., hierarchical linear models). Consequently, the method chosen to control for historical time and individual differences had the inadvertent effect of negating the possibility of identifying linear functions of age. Even so, the curvilinear functions of age still hold, along with any effects of the other substantive independent variables.
An erratum was printed on page 1097 in the same volume of the journal, but the suggested statistical analyses have been superceded by more recent developments in the treatment of longitudinal data, rendering these corrections irrelevant.
p. 22, 4th line of text from the bottom: Carlyle’s theory explains 9% (= .302) of the variance, not 15% as stated.
p. 1: The reprints of this article and the first page of the published article incorrectly have it appearing in “3, 97-111 (1983).” The above citation is correct. At the last minute the article was moved from one volume to the next, shifting the year of publication.
p. 91, last word of first full paragraph: “collaborative” should be “corroborative.”
p. 64, beginning of last paragraph: “Catherine” should be “Catharine.”
p. 172, 1st sentence after Soroking quote: “prevalance” should be “prevalence.”
p. 174, last paragraph, 5th line: “discernable” should be “discernible.”
p. 211, last paragraph: “Figure A.2” should be “Figure A.3.”
p. 219, Simon (1955) reference: Biometrica should be Biometrika.
pp. 248-249: This investigation was conducted before the advent of modern methods of analyzing cross-sectional time-series data (e.g., hierarchical linear models). Therefore, the introduction of two sets of controls – date and the individual-difference dummies – had an unforeseen effect, namely that the linear age term was overcontrolled. It is not possible under this design to detect any linear longitudinal changes. However, the curvilinear effects still hold.
p. 502, paragraph enumerated (2) should begin “Dramatic popularity is positively related …” (omitting the “finally” and corresponding punctuation).
p. 505, paragraph enumerated (2) should have “Opposition 4e” rather than “Opposition 43.”
p. 154, Table 2: The score on Factor 10 for George Washington should be -0.4, not -.40.
p. 29, Table 1: For Geologists a = .024 and b = .036, and the peak age 33.8; for historians the career peak age should be 39.7 and the half life 38.5 (i.e., these have been inadvertently reversed).
p. 837, Table 2: The correlation between Age at Lessons and Lifetime output for Themes should be -.33 rather than .33, making all of the correlations in that row and the next negative (as hypothesized). Note that this was corrected in the reprinting of Simonton (1997g) and in my current pdf copy, which I can send on request.
p. 143, middle: Catharine Cox, not Catherine Cox. Similarly for bottom of p. 224 and bottom of p. 493.
p. 218, last line: 140 should be 180 (= 100 X 90/50)
p. 219, Table 9.1: Because this table merged results from several different publications that had different publication dates, some of the statements are inaccurate. The most striking example is the assertion that IQ 121 is “about the average for college graduates in the United States.” This statistic is no longer valid now that almost one third of the population goes to college, which must necessarily lower the average IQ for graduates.
p. 297, two thirds down: “heroine” should be “heroin”!
p. 298, Table 10.3, line before note: No comma before Hideki.
p. 378, “Person to Person,” third sentence: “the Bird” should be just “Bird.”
p. 474: The page numbers for Over (1990) should be “331-340.”
p. 112: The page numbers for Over (1990) should be “331-340.”
p. 373, Figure 1: The caption should end “various forms of the phenomenon, including genius, creativity, and leadership.” The last line of caption had been truncated by the printer.
p. 22: The page numbers for Over (1990) should be “331-340.”
174. Simonton, D. K. (1998a). Achieved eminence in minority and majority cultures: Convergence versus divergence in the assessments of 294 African Americans. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 804-817.
pp. 806ff: Because of a coding error, one case (jazz musician Don Redman) was included in the sample even though he failed to satisfy all sampling criteria. Nevertheless, his eminence scores are sufficiently mediocre that this inclusion has no effect on the results reported in the article.
p. 326: The page numbers for Over (1990) should be “331-340.”
p. 7, Exhibit 1.1: Clifford Thomas Morgan (1915-1976) should be Conwy Lloyd Morgan (1852-1936).p. 12: Dorothy Cantor was APA President in 1996, not 1966.
p. 87: p (t) = a2me – at should read p (t) = a2mte – at (i.e., there should be a t between the m and the e). See Simonton (1997c).
p. 195: Lyell was not a respondent. He was blind when he received the questionnaire and “died four months after Galton wrote his preface, understandably without having completed the questionnaire” (Hilts, 1975, p. 18).
p. 267: “James published a work devoted to the teaching of psychology (James, 1900).” should be written as “James published a work devoted to teaching psychology to teachers (James, 1900).”
p. 499: The page numbers for Over (1990) should be “331-340.”
p. 62, column 2: The scores used for “Age at Nobel Prize” were incorrect because the ages at time of doing prize-winning work were inadvertently inserted for the first three award categories. However, because the rank ordering of the four disciplines remains completely unchanged – first physics, then chemistry, followed by physiology or medicine, and lastly economics – the substantive conclusions still stand. Nobels for achievements in disciplines nearer the top of the hierarchy are bestowed at younger ages than are Nobels for achievements in disciplines nearer the bottom of the hierarchy. Although the correlation would be reduced in absolute magnitude, the correlation was not reported in the article anyway. The only change is that the slope of the appropriate line in Figure 1 is less steep than there depicted.
p. 9: Table 2 has a formatting error; the last two columns should be labeled “First weekend” and “Gross” instead of the unified and meaningless “First weekend Gross.”
pp. 13-15: Tables 2-4 all have the same formatting error: The screenplay characteristics of origins (true story, biopic), predecessors (sequel, remake), and genre (drama, comedy, romance, musical) should not be subordinate to writer-director (i.e., should not be indented relative to the latter). Instead, these three attributes are each equal in analytical status to adaptations, writer-director, runtime, and MPAA rating.
“Overview,” third paragraph, third sentence: should read “quadratic formula” rather than the obviously incorrect “binomial theorem.”
p. 163, first paragraph, 2nd column: “deceased” should be “deceased.”
p. 167, last paragraph, 4th sentence: “specifying” should be “specify.”
p. 137: Table 2: The career peak for Dickens is at age 41 (this number was in the manuscript sent to the printer, so how it got deleted escapes me, but it’s my error not to have caught the omission in the proofs).
p. 156: Table 4: The correlation between Nonfiction and Oscars should have three asterisks instead of two asterisks and an eight; and “MPPS” should be “MPAA.”
p. 38, Table 2, last line before Note: hc32/Rc2should be hc32/Rc2
347. Simonton, D. K. (2009a). Applying the psychology of science to the science of psychology: Can psychologists use psychological science to enhance psychology as a science? Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4, 2-4.
p. 2, 3rd sentence of introduction: More accurately, there are 54 divisions even though they are numbered to 56. Division 4 and 11 merged with other divisions, and the numbers have been retired (because lower numbers indicate higher status). Obama is not the 44th president but he is the 44th President.
p. 3, first sentence of first complete paragraph should end “a phenomenon worthy of psychological research” – how the last word got omitted and the omission survived unnoticed by anyone remains one of life’s little mysteries!
p. 131, column 2, line 4: “the Film’s …” should be “The film’s …”
365. Simonton, D. K. (2009t). The literary genius of William Shakespeare: Empirical lessons drawn from his dramatic and poetic creativity. In S. B. Kaufman & J. C. Kaufman (Eds), The psychology of creative writing (pp. 131-145). New York: Cambridge University Press
p. 141, 1st paragraph of “Not Shakespeare!” section: In the “List of doubters” Walt Whitman obviously should have been included among the creative writers, not the eminent actors.
p. 12, this article was originally titled “Exceptional creativity and psychopathology: Contemporary takes on the mad-genius controversy” which was edited to the current title without my consent. If a more catchy title was needed, at least it should be more grammatical, such as “Are madness and genius peas in the same pod?” or “Are the mad and geniuses peas in the same pod?”
390. Damian, R. I., & Simonton, D. K. (2011). From past to future art: The creative impact of Picasso’s 1935 Minotauromachy on his 1937 Guernica. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts,5, 360-369.
p. 361: The article misrepresents Robert W. Weisberg’s actual position on the place of blindness in Picasso’s creative process. For a more accurate representation, please see: Weisberg, R. W., & Hass, R. (2007). We are all partly right: Comment on Simonton. Creativity Research Journal, 19, 345-360.
394. Simonton, D. K. (2011c). Creativity and discovery as blind variation and selective retention: Multiple-variant definitions and blind-sighted integration. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 5, 222-228.
pp. 223-227: The coefficient of congruence (Tucker’s phi) is not the correct measure of the blind-sighted continuum. Among other reasons, it cannot handle such cases as when no variant has a positive utility or when the expectations regress to zero. A far superior index is reported in Simonton (2013i).
p. 169, 2nd column, 1st complete paragraph: the quote “idea of the “blindness” of trials in a trial-and-error movement as an important step beyond the mistaken idea of random trials” should be “idea of the ‘blindness’ of trials in a trial-and-error movement as an important step beyond the mistaken idea of random trials” (i.e. blindness should be in single quotes).
p. 34, 2nd complete paragraph, should read “Fortunately, the movie awards treated at length in the previous chapter give a clue” so that the verb agrees with the subject.
p. 110, 2nd paragraph: “Annie Hall (1974)” should be “Annie Hall (1977)” and placed after “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)”
p. 111, 2nd paragraph: The credits for Steven Pritzker were based on what was available on the IMDb.com at the time the book was written. These credits have been seriously understated, as can be seen by going to http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0696581/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1, which has the updated and more complete list of credits.
p. 143, last complete paragraph, last sentence: “Even when aging man” should be “Even when an aging man”
p. 160, last complete paragraph, last sentence: “Film Critics replaced by” should be “Film Critics was replaced by”
Unfortunately, I did not see the proofs before this article was published, so a number of errors crept into the final product.
p. 8, 2nd paragraph, sentence beginning “Combinations generated by step-by-step algorithmic methods have the value v = 1, whereas those generated by pure chance or yield v = 0″ must omit the “or” between “chance” and “yield” (albeit pure chance is not the only combinatorial procedure where v = 0).
p. 8, 3rd paragraph, 1st sentence should begin “It should be apparent that if (1 – p), u, or (1 – v) equal zero, then c must equal zero” (i.e., the first and third factors must be inverted by subtracting from unity).
p. 13, 2nd complete paragraph, the sentence beginning “Even if a creator happened to produce a highly useful combination, he or she would receive no credit if the combination’s utility was not already known in advance.” The missing “not” is critical here.
Finally, in retrospect, another constraint should have been imposed on p, namely, that p could not be smaller than uv, the product of the utility and the knowledge value (i.e., uv < p < 1). However, when the Monte Carlo simulations are rerun with that constraint in place, the outcomes are virtually unchanged.
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.
p. 245, Footnote 4: It should be noted that this sightedness metric provides a necessary but not sufficient measure. A necessary and sufficient measure requires the addition of a third parameter that gauges the extent to which the utility is already known (see Simonton, 2012b, 2012q, 2013h). As a result, the given metric overestimates set sightedness. One fascinating implication of this three-parameter measure is that a creative idea can indeed emerge in a set where S = 0, contrary to the “paradox” mentioned in the article. At the same time, a set where S = 1 cannot possibly contain a creative idea.
p. 248, 2nd full paragraph, 3rd sentence: “Lodovico” should be “Ludovico” as in Footnote 6.
pp. 249, 252: On January 12, 2013, Owen Gingerich informed me that the movement of Neptune relative to the fixed stars would have been virtually impossible to notice under the circumstances. Hence, the oversight may be in one of my sources, which claimed otherwise.
p. 99, column 2, 1st paragraph, line 10: “as surprise approaches zero” should read “surprise approaches zero” (i.e., delete “as”).
p. 103, Footnote 7: This should begin “I have not even mentioned a fifth potential implication” (rather than fourth).
This little comment was originally designed as a “thought piece” in which I merely raised the issue of whether scientific genius has become obsolete in the natural sciences. In the original draft, the speculative nature was obvious. Yet the journal editors wanted something stronger, more forthright, more controversial. After several revisions, the end result achieved their goal, but much of the writing is not my own. The title was changed along with the summary as well. Worse still, the editors added something to the title without asking my permission. This unauthorized addition led many readers to believe that I was claiming that Albert Einstein was the last genius. Curiously, even when the publisher sent me the “final” reprint for distribution (subject to a few days embargo), it did not contain that insertion, so the two words must have been added at the last minute without my consent.
Therefore, to set the record straight, the following opening in the printed copy
After Einstein: Scientific genius is extinct.
Dean Keith Simonton fears that surprising originality in the natural sciences is a thing of the past, as vast teams finesse knowledge rather than create disciplines.
should be replaced with what actually I wrote in the last revision before I saw the galley:
Is scientific genius obsolete?
Dean Keith Simonton proposes that the phenomenon of genius has become irrelevant in understanding outstanding creativity in the modern natural sciences.
I complained about the change in the galley, saying that I would not be willing to defend the revised statement – but to no avail. Although I was temporarily relieved to see that the press release used my version rather than the editor’s, the editor’s version is what actually appeared in print, again with the “After Einstein” gratuitously inserted as the main title! An author apparently has only so much control when it comes to Nature comments. The resulting hybrid has provoked more controversy than any other publication associated with my name. Obviously that was the editorial design. Would they have committed this editorial transgression against Einstein himself?
In any event, the first draft can be found here. Not surprisingly, it contains some minor errors. In particular, Einstein published four revolutionary papers rather than three and the Olympic slogan is most properly “faster, higher, stronger.” But the main points are closer to what I originally had in mind.
p. 2: “cardboard models of the nucleic acids” should be replaced by “cardboard models of the bases”
p. 3: “Given that there are four bases (nucleotides)” should just read “Given that there are four bases”
p. 3: “The two sets of paired bases had to have the same length and parallel configuration in order to fit on the inside of the DNA molecule (with its two outside sugar spines)” should be shortened to “The two sets of paired bases had to have the same length and parallel configuration in order to fit within the DNA molecule”
My apologies for forgetting basic high school biology and my gratitude to Bob Weisberg for pointing these errors out to me in a 9/23/2014 email message.
This erratum concerns an apparent error of omission rather than of commission: This brief one-page comment fails to cite Simonton (2014l) on which it was based. Indeed, the comment is nothing more than a short summary of the article in Perspectives of Psychological Science. The omission arose because at the time that 2014b was going to press, the subtitle had not yet been settled for in 2014l. Indeed, the disagreement was so pronounced that the copyright forms could not yet be signed. So at the last minute it was deemed better just to omit the citation altogether rather than have a permanently incorrect reference containing an utterly unacceptable subtitle. Fortunately, no other authors were involved besides me, so I am the only one missing the self-citation!
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
Another occasion where editors decided to change my title without asking my permission before publication (see also here). The original title was:
Creative Genius and Madness:
A shared vulnerability but not a shared identity
The reason why the editors decided to change the title without the author’s permission should be obvious even if unacceptable.
Here are listed the errors identified in contributions other than under my own authorship.
p. 630: The index entry beginning “Bakesi” should read “Bakcsi” instead.
Back cover: The Social Science of Cinema was published in 2014, not 2013.
p. 264, last paragraph: “cardboard models of the four nucleic acids” should be changed to “cardboard models of the four bases” – a repeat of the mistake made in Simonton (2013g)!
Throughout: Simonton (2014c) should be Simonton (2015). The paper was in press at the time that this article was in press.
p. 338, paragraph enumerated #6: “the central features such events can be predicted” should have an “of” inserted between “features” and “such”
p. 342, first paragraph: “The extensive use of mathematical models clearly
set it apart” should have the plural “sets”
p. 342, second column, last sentence in last complete paragraph: “differences that correspond the creative thinking” should have a “to” inserted between “correspond” and “the”
When this reply went through proofs, I had a major disagreement with the APA technical editors regarding whether the 2014 date of the target article in the online first version should be retained after the actual publication date had been moved to make it the lead article of 2015 (see Simonton, 2015n). They insisted that the online first date is retained no matter what! Hence, every citation to “Simonton (2014d)” actually refers to an article published in 2015. Even more absurdly, in the References this publication was nonetheless placed in Volume 9, pages 2-14, which is absolutely impossible because it was Volume 8 that came out in 2014. It gets worse, for even if the editors repeated the same error for the Gabora comment, a totally different error is inserted for Weisberg’s comment, namely a citation not to the target article but rather to my 2015 reply, which makes no sense whatsoever given that he did not respond to the reply but rather to the original article. The algorithms that work for Google Scholar, the Web of Science, and other indexing services will have a great time figuring what is what! Perhaps the human error will be compounded with computer error.
p. 4, column 2, 2nd paragraph: The double exponential function is missing t in both exponents. It should be “-at” and “-bt”
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.
p. 52, top, 2nd sentence: “evitable” should be “inevitable”
Please note the corrections published on p. 397 of the printed issue (but placed on the last page of the online version of the article). There it is observed:
In the article “Creative Genius as Causal Agent in History: William James’s 1880 Theory Revisited and Revitalized” by Dean Keith Simonton (Review of General Psychology. Advance online publication. October 25, 2018. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/gpr0000165), several errors occurred due to printer errors. In the first paragraph of the introduction, the fourth sentence should begin as follows: An early example is James’s 1879 article. In the last paragraph of the James’s Theory Today section, the third to last sentence should read as follows: Yet since that date some initial problems with his position have become ever more obvious. In the James’s social environment section, the last phrase of the second paragraph should read as follows: by the opening sentence of James’s 1880 essay. In the References list, the doi for Kaufman and Sternberg (in press) is not applicable and has been deleted. Also in the References list, for Merton (1961), the correct journal article title is as follows: Singletons and multiples in scientific discovery: A chapter in the sociology of science.
All versions of this article have been corrected, except for the first correction, which was identified too late.
This statement understates the severity of the “printer errors.” Not only were the errors egregious, but when most were corrected in proofs, those corrections were simply reversed without notifying the author. For example, the copy editor ignorantly changed “since” to “because” even when the word referred to a lapse in time (viz. “Since that date …”). When the author put the original word back in, and cited the exact page of the APA style manual to justify the proper usage, the author was simply overturned without notification. Apparently, copy editing is not only robotic, but also unresponsive to superior human intelligence.
542. Simonton, D. K. (2018n). Intellectual genius in the Islamic Golden Age: Cross-civilization replications, extensions, and modifications. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 12, 125-135.
p. 130, 131, and 133: For Figures 1, 2, and 3 the horizontal axis should be specified as “Generation (in A.H.)” where A.H. indicates the Anno Hegirae as defined earlier in the article. The unfortunate typo was carried across all three graphs, with an obvious confusion with C.E. (current era).
558. Simonton, D. K. (2019o). Talent development in the domain of academic psychology. In P. Olszewski-Kubilius, R. Subotnik, & F. Worrell (Eds.), The psychology of high performance: Developing human potential into domain-specific talent (pp. 201-218). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
p. 212: The heading “Nature versus Nurture” was supposed to be B-level, and was such in the original manuscript. The copy editor changed it to an A-level heading, a change that the author failed to catch.
588. Simonton, D. K. (2023a). The blind-variation and selective-retention theory of creativity: The development and current status of BVSR. Creativity Research Journal, 35, 304-323. https://doi.org/10.1080/10400419.2022.2059919 (online open access).
The printer changed “Weisberg, 2015a” to “Weisberg, 2015aa” when the former is obviously correct.
A more important error belongs to the author rather than the printer, and the error is conceptual. The Geneplore model of Finke, Ward, and Smith (1992) was placed in Table 3 as a creative process or procedure when it more properly belongs in Table 5 in a new row before Boden’s (2004). Then the portmanteau Geneplore would be resolved back into “generation and exploration,” where the first step entails the production of “preinventive structures” and the second step the evaluation of those structures to determine which ones are truly inventive (i.e., possess utility). In short, Geneplore logically constitutes a special case of BVSR. That also means that the experimental research that the authors conducted on their model can equally count as research on BVSR. It’s worth pointing out, apropos of Table 3, that the three authors favored three different cognitive mechanisms behind Geneplore: forgetting fixation (Smith), structured imagination (Ward), and visual synthesis (Finke)(Smith, personal communication, 2022). Hence, like BVSR generally, it’s not a homogeneous process or procedure.