Dan Gilbert
Professor of Psychology, Harvard University

Do you have a creative process?

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Dan Gilbert's creative process involves a lot of puzzling and puzzling and puzzling.

Dan Gilbert

Daniel Gilbert is the Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. His research with Tim Wilson on "affective forecasting" investigates how and how well people can make predictions about the emotional impact of future events.

Dan has won numerous awards for his teaching and research—from the Guggenheim Fellowship to the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology. However, he says that his greatest accomplishment is that he appears just before Dizzy Gillespie on the list of Most Famous High School Dropouts.

Dan's research has been covered by The New York Times Magazine, Forbes, Money, CNN, U.S. News & World Report, The New Yorker, Scientific American, Oprah Magazine, Psychology Today, and many others.


Topic: Dan Gilbert's creative process involves a lot of puzzling and puzzling and puzzling.

Transcript: I think my creative process is probably as mundane as most of them are. You know, we … we … I think we glamorize creativity. We imagine that somebody is sleeping and wakes up and says, “Eureka!” Most of the time, creative solutions are a product of time untasked. It’s a lot of people spending a lot of time puzzling and puzzling and puzzling together. I think the best ideas I’ve ever had are a result of banging my head together with my collaborator, Tim Wilson, or my graduate students for months on end, and finally arriving at a … what looks like a creative solution from the outside, but for us seems like a pretty hard one and natural progression from ignorance and knowledge.

Recorded on: 6/12/2007