Brainstorming in a group became popular in 1953 with the publication of a business book, "Applied Imagination." But it's been proven not to work since 1958, when Yale researchers found that the technique actually reduced a team's creative output: the same number of people generate more and better ideas separately than together.
Back in 1958, Ted Schwarzrock was an 8-year-old third grader when he became one of the "Torrance kids," a group of nearly 400 Minneapolis children who completed a series of creativity tasks newly designed by professor E. Paul Torrance. Schwarzrock still vividly remembers the moment when a psychologist handed him a fire truck and asked, "How could you improve this toy to make it better and more fun to play with?"
A couple years ago, I found out that I'm allergic to peaches. I've had a handful of food allergies for my entire life, but they have been mostly petty annoyances─stomachache after eating cherries, that sort of thing.
Every year for about the past 10 years, my friends and I have pooled together some money to get a bunch of Halloween costumes for the tutoring kids. (The kids can't just wear some of Mom's makeup or cut up a sheet for a ghost costume.
Today, I recommend checking out the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. BPS asked over 20 of the world's leading psychologists to confess (in 150 words or less) to one nagging thing they still don't understand about themselves.Witty, charming, and by definition insightful, the psychologists' answers are well-worth reading.
On Saturday, The New York Times ran a thoughtful piece by Jan Hoffman about whether kids can walk to school by themselves. In the US, just 13% of kids are walking or biking to school, down from 41% in 1969. (That drop, as steep as it is, is nothing compared to what's happened in the UK: Gill Valentine found that, in 1971, 80% of British children were responsible for getting themselves to school.
, I've been thinking about a study published in Psychological ScienceUniversity of Michigan researchers lead by Dr. Daphna Oyserman presented black high-school students in Detroit with a color strip of browns and blacks.
AM Note: While I began this post with a personal anecdote, the remainder of the piece is based on the work of scientists studying child development. Because a few people have asked about citations, I'm including a few sources at the end of the piece; it's not a complete list of my reading on the topic, but it does include some of the key work. Every Sunday, you can find me in church.