With few exceptions, scholarship on creativity has focused on its positive aspects while largely ignoring its dark side. This includes not only creativity deliberately aimed at hurting others, such as crime or terrorism, or at gaining unfair advantages, but also the accidental negative side effects of well-intentioned acts. This book brings together essays written by experts from various fields (psychology, criminal justice, sociology, engineering, education, history, and design) and with different interests (personality development, mental health, deviant behavior, law enforcement, and counter-terrorism) to illustrate the nature of negative creativity, examine its variants, call attention to its dangers, and draw conclusions about how to prevent it or protect society from its effects.
"From fine art to nuclear weapons and nuclear power, from crime to careers of creative geniuses, this respectably academic yet immensely entertaining book suggests that the Devil does indeed have the best tunes. In today's world of ever-shrinking resources and ever-mounting constraints we need creativity more than ever before, but the editors and the contributors have done all of us great service by warning of the disruption, pain, and danger that it may leave in its wake, not least to the creative people themselves."
- Paul Ekblom, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design
"An intriguing intellectual journey into the mad genius and sometimes psychopathically deviant roots of creativity."
- J. Reid Meloy, University of California, San Diego
"The question of the role of creativity's `dark side' is one of the most important yet understudied phenomena in the social sciences. Indeed, in this age of corruption, financial meltdowns, and technological advances that outstrip our ability to understand them, are there more important topics in the study of creativity than ethics, unintended consequences, and potentially negative outcomes of creativity and innovation? I think not. This excellent volume provides a first-rate summary of the state of the art regarding these topics, and many of the chapters provide insightful analyses of where additional work is needed. The chapters are written by authors with wide-ranging backgrounds, who are among the leading thinkers on these topics from around the world. Speaking of diversity of perspective, kudos to the editors for including a chapter that questions whether there really is a dark side of creativity at all!"
- Jonathan Plucker, Indiana University
"This is one of the most important books on creativity to be published over the last twenty years; its list of editors and contributors stands for high-quality chapters. With the `dark side' illuminated from many different facets, a vastly neglected aspect of creativity has been opened for scholarly discussion. The volume offers an inspiring source and starting point for further research, bringing together a still much broader range of disciplines - since all realms and areas of human thinking and acting owe their benevolent, and malevolent, progress to creative persons, be it scientists, artists, politicians, or engineers, etc. Deep insights and knowledge about the `dark side of creativity' as provided here may help to generally develop more responsibility and more wisdom in dealing with creative motives, actions, processes, and products in the interest of a more humane human cultural evolution."
- Klaus K. Urban, Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany
"....highly recommend.... The title of the book is simple enough to understand, and gives a thorough treatment of the issues negative to creativity; the content deserves more respect and acknowledgment than is currently given. If you read a chapter every night before going to sleep, bedtime stories will never be the same again."
-Current Issues in Creativity Research, Kimberly T. Cardina, State University of New York/Buffalo State
"....The Dark Side of Creativity is a refreshing book with original insights.... easy to go beyond its boundaries and connect to other related ideas about creativity that have been circulating lately. I would recommend the book to anyone interested in creativity."
--Stephen J. Guastello, PsycCRITIQUES
"....provide interesting reading but also reveal the chaotic state of research on creativity.... these essays shed light on the many ways in which scholars in the field think about negative creativity--and their many areas of disagreement. A valuable contribution to the literature on creativity...."
- P. Flattau, Institute for Defense Analyses, CHOICE