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Shelley Carson

It was Shelley Carson’s fascination with the bold, colorful minds of her eccentric
relatives that fueled her passion to understand creative behavior and drew her
to her life’s work–creativity research. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from
Harvard University where she conducts research, teaches creativity and resilience,
and advises undergraduates. Her current research topics include: the interface
between creativity and psychopathology, potential genetic components
of creativity, and the importance of light to the creative mind.
Her research has been widely published in both national and international scientific
journals, and her findings have been featured on the Discovery Channel,
CNN, NPR, the BBC and Radio Free Europe. In addition, Dr. Carson’s work has
been noted in Newsweek, Scientific American, and Psychology Today. She
writes the popular Psychology Today blog “Life as Art” and is a featured blogger
for The Huffington Post with her blog, “Creativity in the 21st Century.”
While winning multiple teaching awards at Harvard for her popular course
Creativity: Madmen, Geniuses, and Harvard Students, Dr. Carson also maintains
an active speaking schedule outside of the classroom, talking to such groups as
the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus, the National Council on Disability,
the Massachusetts Manic Depressive and Depressive Association, and the
One Day University lecture series.
Since 2006, Dr. Carson has served as a senior consultant and subject matter
expert for the Department-of-Defense project afterdeployment.org, which provides
innovative online mental health assistance to service members returning
from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Setting the Creative Mood
• Increase your exposure to creative work
• Create an environment that values and expects creative behavior
• Avoid premature evaluation of ideas
• Provide time and opportunity for solitude
• Spend time in places of natural beauty
• Spend time with other creative individuals
Evaluating Your Work
• Get some distance
• Give your own work the same respect you’d give someone else’s
• Don’t throw your work out midway through the project
• Look at individual parts of your work
• Look at your work from the point of view of the client/consumer/audience
• Be flexible
• Decide whether to consult others
• Be hard on your work, NOT on yourself
• Keep an open mind; don’t be attached to a particular idea or elaboration

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