The Creativity Book Trifecta
If you want to learn more about what’s known about creativity, there are plenty of good sources (and, unfortunately, some that are of questionable worth). Here I highlight three excellent sources at different levels of analysis. Depending on your current knowledge and intensity of interest you may want to check out one or all of them. (Note: This page contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase through that link. I only recommend things I believe to be of value. Thank you for the support)
If you want a quick, accessible introduction to how experts on the topic have thought about and studied creativity, there is no better source than James Kaufman’s Creativity 101. He presents the topic in a delightfully readable way without sacrificing substance and breadth. A great source for starting your journey to understand the phenomenon of creativity.
A more intense read on the many ins and outs of the study of creativity is Mark Runco’s Creativity, Second Edition: Theories and Themes: Research, Development, and Practice. It is deeper, denser, and longer than Creativity 101. It is more in the form of a traditional textbook for an undergraduate class, and would be a good next step.
At the highest level of analysis, a truly comprehensive collection of the best scientific thinking on the topic is contained in James Kaufman (yes, the same one from Creativity 101) and Robert Sternberg’s edited volume, The Cambridge Handbook of Creativity . They are both prolific researchers in their own right, and acknowledged leaders in the field. The handbook pulls together state of the art scholarly analysis from experts on multiple aspects of creativity, and is a must read for serious students of the topic.
Aside from these highly recommended books, there is a multitude of others, some of which I have singled out in my astore listing of scholarly books about creativity.
Here’s a list of journals that specialize in publishing scholarly research on creativity and related topics.