The Psychology of Creativity: Faculty Insight with Shelley Carson

The Psychology of Creativity: Faculty Insight with Shelley Carson

Are madness and creativity linked? Dr. Shelley Carson, a Harvard Extension School psychology instructor, discusses the history of creativity and depression with Jenny Attiyeh of ThoughtCast.

Read more about Carson’s online and on-campus course, “Creativity: Geniuses, Madmen, and Harvard Students,”

Carson also teaches “Abnormal Psychology,” (online option) and “Psychological Resilience,” Her book, “Your Creative Brain,” is available on Amazon,

Faculty Insights are produced in partnership with ThoughtCast,


February 16, 2011 / 8 Comments / by / in
  • Very clarifying, thank you!

  • "We're all creative, but artists are crazy" — someone sounds jealous!

  • yeah good point, but I dont agree with the neurotic part as neurotic & depressed ppl dont want to express themselves & are withdrawn. Artists want to get their emotions out of themselves as Art is nothing but Feeling (wether or not they are psychotic,) Btw you cant judge art for its beauty, art is not beautiful, its the ability to translate feelings into any form of art, it could be perfect even if it were ugly as our feelings are sometimes 'ugly'..Schysophrenic ppl are very good at Art.

  • i disagree that neurotic and depressed people would not be creative. from experience in art schools (and myself) they maybe withdrawn but they still express themselves. most the time they just don't want to express themselves to other people. creativity simply means the use imagination or original ideas. which doesn't solely link to art. it could be in order to come up with a new scientific equation etc. creativity is a fancy word for thinking. this woman doesn't know what she is talking about..

  • it depens on the girl/man…I said "generally" people who are withdrawn don't want to express themselves…I never said they are not creative…I said they dont want to …BUT if you make them draw or paint…etc…you'll see what's inside of their minds and youll be able to know what they think about…hey thats the job of a psychologist, isnt it?its psychology then…and art is psychology…it's feeling..You didnt need to state the obvious man..

  • Interesting comparison of creativity and depression.

  • "name one genius that ain't crazy"-KW

  • Jenny appears to have eaten green candy prior to the interview.

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