Po Bronson

Forget Brainstorming

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.

The Creativity Crisis

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?"

Is the Brain Like a Muscle, Really?

Back in 2007, Ashley and I reported on the science of praise for New York magazine, highlighting in particular the body of work by Dr. Carol Dweck. Dweck had done studies for over a decade – and we covered them all – including a brand new semester-long intervention that had been conducted with Lisa Blackwell at Life Sciences Secondary School in East Harlem.

Do Disney Princesses Make Young Girls Obsessed With Thinness?

My 5-year-old daughter is excited to see The Princess and the Frog, Disney's new movie being released nationwide next weekend. Here's how I'd rank her reasons for being excited:    * There's popcorn at theaters, in huge quantities;    * The movie's about a princess;     * The princess is African-American; and    * The movie is set in New Orleans, where my wife's family is from.I know many parents won't overtly discuss  No. 3 with their daughters, figuring the movie's focus on an...

How Not to Helicopter

I've never bought macrobiotic cupcakes or hypoallergenic socks. Nor have I hired a tutor for pencil-holding deficiency, or put covers on the stove knobs, or used a leash on a toddler to be safe in a busy airport.

Baby Einstein is Dead! Long Live Baby Einstein!

There was a lot of hoopla about Baby Einstein over the weekend. To understand it, you need a brief backstory – and then some deeper backstory, too.A month and a half ago, Disney announced in a press release that it was going to begin issuing refunds for its Baby Einstein videos: buyers of the DVDs can return them to Disney for $15.99 or exchange them for other products.

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