Ruth Richards

Ruth Richards
Saybrook University · School of Psychology and Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Ph.D., M.D.

About

76
Publications
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1,957
Citations

Publications

Publications (76)
Article
Five frames for experience are explored: dynamic, balanced, sudden, interdependent, emergent, moving beyond a reductionist view to consider examples honoring a nonlinear chaos and complexity context. This interfaces with aware, present, healthy, open and creative ways of being in the world, separately and together. Discussion looks at a potential s...
Chapter
Here are twelve summary points, which the author finds moving and which were at one time initially surprising. They include grounds for some big potential shifts. What could life be like? The final example, “Smile Cards,” may sound small. Yet these have spread around the world. The reader can try this too. (Plus it is healthy to do so.) Furthermore...
Chapter
Who are “we,” then, as creative product? Hard to put boundaries around it/us, or to distinguish “who we are” as creative product, from creative process. Our dynamic of self and world makes more sense when we see self in touch with, and even intimately connected and intertwined with, our larger surrounds. We are also organically in a nonlinear dance...
Chapter
Beginning with moving recollections of Dear Evan Hansen (Tony Award Winning Best Musical 2017) we plumb subconscious and unconscious minds while reflecting on the risks as well as challenges. and rich wonders, for creativity. Often the best part is thus revealed, along with strands of universal wisdom. Yet delicate and nonlinear balances are on the...
Chapter
Turning to so-called “inner” experience (albeit inner and outer intertwine), one examines self, life, and inner worlds, which sometimes can seem foreign lands. Creative contents can at times be unconscious, symbolic, metaphoric, developmentally primitive, and defended against. When experience/imaginative life is truly available (and not controlling...
Chapter
Beginning with a sudden awareness that startled the author (see vignette, over 188,000 views on www.awakin.org??tid=778 in March, 2018), one finds ways we humans have “blinders” on, and miss worlds of experience “out there” including the brilliance of the present moment. Also considered are states of consciousness, conceptual frames, attentional is...
Chapter
We are dependent upon environment, much more than many think, directly and epigenetically. Here are several examples and, in particular, the blossoming of youth at risk in the unique culture of a high mountain wilderness setting. Sharing of poetry and creative expression is included, even about one’s darkest moments, not about a creative product, b...
Chapter
Some speak of “higher consciousness.” Or higher human possibility. Here are three areas and information from professionals who explored them. It is up to us to decide about validity. Interesting that qualities of everyday creative living may assist on such paths. Evolution has manifested a series of major emergences over time. Might there be other...
Chapter
Alterations of consciousness appear valuable for creativity—meditation, dreams, hypnagogic imagery and more, e.g., in reverie with “our muse” in a chair by the fire. Wallas’s stages of creative process are helpful: preparation—incubation—intimation—illumination—verification. Not all of this happens consciously. Research tasks evoking insight have r...
Chapter
No, life is not always steady and predictable. We can become increasingly sensitive to a world of creative tipping points. Included are, from Chaos Theory, the “Butterfly Effects” of our lives. Creative insight itself is likely one of these. With some of the background flickers of our days, we may not even notice. Others can be larger, a rare one m...
Chapter
What are we like? What habitual tendencies might help keep our creativity going? Here is our style, our way of approaching life, work, play, our handling of challenges. After studying eminent creative persons across fields, Frank Barron found “originality almost habitual.” This means habitual in general, not just in one’s chosen areas of endeavor....
Chapter
Who says the “norms” in culture are healthy, just that they are common. How hard to be different, yet the creator can often challenge—whether large or small—some status quo. Plus they can be aware and conscious voices in a sometimes mindless rat race. Significantly, negative stereotypes of creative people exist, even showing hair askew and bumping...
Chapter
Wu Chen’s paintings of bamboo almost seem to move. There is a magic here. Can there be a special empathy in the creating, that somehow evokes the life force? A catalog proclaims, “Twenty portraits of the artist as a bamboo.” Is there a deep beauty, not only in nature, or in its underlying truth, but anywhere, that can call us more deeply, bridging...
Chapter
The dynamic of popcorn popping is used as a model for seeking ongoing patterns of creative inspiration. In creating we work with a series of sudden insights, yet each instant is unpredictable. As with popcorn we can raise the odds of an event—of a sudden Aha!—by turning the heat up. Metaphorically, or more literally, we may be seeking a mental edge...
Chapter
How did one Nobel Prize winning scientist, Barbara McClintock, intuit—working as much artistically as scientifically—truths about genetic processes, studying corn? Why are so many outstanding scientists also artists? What is the “intimation” in Wallas’s stages of creativity that draws one in? Are there links to the “nuance” that has engaged many cr...
Chapter
Surprising to some, this exploration is about health—an everyday creative (compensatory) advantage found with a family/personal history of certain major psychological disorders. The advantage goes to “better functioning” persons. This can be about a “state” or an ongoing “trait.” Here is a delicate nonlinear balance once again, here resulting in an...
Chapter
Empathy, popularly described as “standing in another’s shoes,” is central to survival, society, interrelationship, and more, and not only for human beings. At one level, our “mirror neurons” build in this capacity. Darwin too, in his later evolutionary writings, unknown to some, spoke strongly of empathy (called sensitivity) along with group bondin...
Book
“Our health and wellbeing depend on the kind of innovative thinking found in abundance in this book.” - Judith V Jordan, Director, Jean Baker Miller Institute, Wellesley College, USA “At times confessional, intimate, joyous, funny, playful, challenging, direct, provocative, deep, and wide-ranging, this book is always engaging, run-through with er...
Chapter
Why a mystery? The sudden surprises of creative novelty can change lives and alter whole areas of existence. The authors combine expertise in business, coaching, and expressive arts with educational psychology, clinical psychiatry, and everyday creativity, plus arts-based and qualitative research methods to explore the mysteries of creative process...
Chapter
Bipolar mood disorders are characterized by an episode of unusually elevated mood, which vary in severity. The disorders' high heritability is an evolutionary puzzle, because the disorders are rather common and have such serious consequences including increased mortality, particularly in the most severe form, bipolar I. Several complementary resear...
Chapter
Humanistic psychology in recent years too often has focus on the same themes without bringing forth enough new perspectives, applications, and voices. Creativity has two important roles in addressing this issue and advancing humanistic psychology. First, creativity is an important emergent theme in humanistic writing with relevancy for theory, rese...
Book
SEE VIGNETTE FROM FIRST CHAPTER: www.awakin.org/?tid=778 (175,000+ views) COMMENT: This new contracted book is in preparation. It is a follow-up in many ways to Dr. Ruth Richards' edited EVERYDAY CREATIVITY AND NEW VIEWS OF HUMAN NATURE: Psychological, Social, and Spiritual Implications (American Psychological Association, 2007), and the 12 integr...
Article
The “real scientist” brings not only investigative ingenuity but also courage and integrity that permit a challenging of the status quo. Here, three issues and their relationship are considered: (a) Taboo Topics as per Norman Farberow’s 1963 book, where conscious/unconscious fears and prohibitions can hinder scientific progress, (b) creative qualit...
Chapter
The idea that creativity is somehow associated with major mental illness is an ancient one that goes back at least as far as Aristotle, who wrote that all of the creative geniuses of his time were “inclined toward insanity” (see Becker, this volume). The notion that creative genius and “madness” are linked is still a popular one, stoked in part by...
Chapter
Can creativity change us for the better? Let us hope so, for then our job is not simply to keep some unprincipled creators in rein (these malevolent creators do indeed exist; Cropley et al., 2010), while convincing others to put more effort toward a greater good. The task instead may be to help us all unfold our deepest and most positive potential.
Article
Full-text available
How do we make creativity a bigger part of our lives? This article begins with mentorship at Saybrook, and how at best this can open people's minds to love of learning, and finding one's own creative path, rather than fear of how "one is doing" while following someone else's well-worn trajectory. The article then moves to an original inquiry initia...
Article
Humanistic Psychology in recent years too often has focused on the same themes without bringing forth enough new perspectives, applications and voices. Creativity has two important roles in addressing this issue and advancing Humanistic Psychology. First, creativity is an important emergent theme in humanistic writing with relevancy for theory, res...
Article
Full-text available
Dynamics of creative mental activity are examined in waking and dreaming processes which manifest beyond normative waking consciousness. Some consider such phenomena to be pathological or meaningless. Alternatively they may be viewed in new and healthier ways, in the context of adaptive mental controls, using nonlinear dynamical/chaos theory. The f...
Article
Full-text available
Basic dynamical concepts relevant to human creativity include those of stability, instability, bifurcations, and self-organization. Here we present the view that most creative bifurcations are from chaotic to chaotic attractors, and that such bifurcations are macro-bifurcations comprised of a cascade of micro-bifurcations whether in continuous dyna...
Article
Full-text available
Everyone has creativity, and it is central to survival itself; yet many don't know this. Furthermore, our human creativity not only keeps us alive but can help us learn what we are living for. Nonetheless, in our culture, creativity-and especially everyday creativity, our "originality of everyday life"-often goes under recognized, underdeveloped, a...
Article
Years ago, while a secondary-level student teacher (I was getting a teaching credential in physics and math, and also in visual arts), a friend asked me if I would visit the fourth- through six-grade class at a small and quite charming three-room schoolhouse – truly a little wooden house – in a quaint rural California town, to teach a guest science...
Article
Reports an error in "Subtle mind, open heart: Mike Arons remembered (1929-2008)" by Ruth Richards and Howard Whitehouse ( Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 2008[Nov], Vol 2[4], 264-270). There was a printing error in the quoted passage of the poem "Mating of the Gods" by Mike Arons. The correct poem passage is presented in the err...
Article
[Correction Notice: An erratum for this article was reported in Vol 3(1) of Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts (see record 2009-01867-014). There was a printing error in the quoted passage of the poem "Mating of the Gods" by Mike Arons. The correct poem passage is presented in the erratum.] Presents an obituary for Myron Milford A...
Article
Everyday artistic creativity is downplayed in our schools, our lives, our culture. Yet here is an essential language of our lives, opening us to important ways of knowing, truth, beauty, and means for creative coping, as individuals and as cultures. Views of John Dewey and Suzanne Langer are each considered. A devaluation of artistic creativity may...
Article
What is everyday creativity? A capacity, a strategy, a process, all of these. It is a capability that is an intimate part of our daily lives and our personalities, yet it remains, for most of us, underdeveloped and, unfortunately, underacknowledged. Editor and leading creativity researcher Ruth Richards writes, "Everyday creativity is...fundamental...
Article
The late Frank X. Barron was a remarkable figure in psychology. His monograph, “The Psychology of Creativity,” appeared in New Directions in Psychology at a time when the study of creativity was still new and not well understood. Throughout several decades, Dr. Barron not only helped bring the field of creativity to a high degree of sophistication,...
Article
Full-text available
A criatividade não está confinada apenas a momentos de excelência nas Artes ou nas Ciências. É algo que ocorre também no dia-a-dia de pessoas não-eminentes e em uma ampla variedade de outras áreas. Com o intuito de acessar tanto a qualidade quanto a quantidade de realizações criativas na vida adulta de um indivíduo, é que foram desenvolvidas as Esc...
Article
Full-text available
A criatividade não está confinada apenas a momentos de excelência nas Artes ou nas Ciências. É algo que ocorre também no dia-a-dia de pessoas não-eminentes e em uma ampla variedade de outras áreas. Com o intuito de acessar tanto a qualidade quanto a quantidade de realizações criativas na vida adulta de um indivíduo, é que foram desenvolvidas as Esc...
Article
In this new millennium, our prospects for creative change may be particularly fluid. Chaos theory is used metaphorically to address aspects of creative process we therefore might note well, linking these both with (a) the operations, products, and contents dimensions of J. P. Guilford's structure of intellect (SI) model and (b) healthier balances w...
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Full-text available
Can beauty help us adapt, evolve, and cope with environmental crisis? This article challenges the longstanding Kantian view that beauty is “disinterested,” while linking Kant’s view of the sublime with chaos theory and the fractal forms of nature. We humans participate in beauty as open systems in ongoing process, coevolving with all of existence....
Article
There is great promise in the articles from this special issue and their focus on schizophrenia-spectrum disorders and creativity. It becomes all the more important, then, to proceed with caution and to do good service to patients, their families, and, indeed, to our greater human potential. After a note on the study of bipolar disorders and creati...
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Full-text available
Previous studies (Heston & Denney, 1968; Karlsson, 1970; Kauffman, Grunebaum, Cohler, & Gamer, 1979) have reported that psychologically healthier biological relatives of persons with schizophrenia had unusually creative jobs and hobbies. These studies, however, examined only eminent levels of creativity in a few professions, involved serendipitous...
Article
Montuori and Purser (1995), in "Decontructing the Lone Genius Myth," and Hale (1995), in "Psychological Characteristics of the Literary Genius," are perhaps closer together than one might think. The first authors do not deconstruct the lone genius, but rather the lone aspect of this genius, with attention to the context for creativity. Hale does no...
Article
Montuori and Purser (1995), in "Decontructing the Lone Genius Myth," and Hale (1995), in "Psychological Characteristics of the Literary Genius," are perhaps closer together than one might think. The first authors do not deconstruct the lone genius, but rather the lone aspect of this genius, with attention to the context for creativity. Hale does no...
Article
We may unfortunately resist, devalue, and frankly pathologize divergent and creative thought—all the more worrisome now in a world requiring increasing awareness and creative flexibility.
Article
there is strong evidence for an association between creativity and a personal or family history of bipolar mood disorders / after reviewing the relevant evidence, [the author] examines one form of powerful potential mediator, involving deviant cognitive style / considers creativity enhancement due to: (a) state-dependent phenomena linked with mild...
Article
How do we keep our eyes open to deal with the dangers threatening our world? This article looks at four types of potential blindness limiting us—as a species—from full awareness. These include difficulty seeing hazardous but slow changes, seeing heretofore unimagined dangers, seeing past our delimited reference groups to the needs of our species, a...
Article
Study 1 showed the relative enhancement of everyday creativity, as measured by the lifetime creativity scales of R. Richards et al (1988), in 20 Ss (aged late 30s–early 40s) with a history of milder rather than more extreme bipolar mood elevations. Study 2 extended this phenomenon to 9 unipolar depressed Ss with a family history of bipolar disorder...
Article
This article evaluates recent evidence for an association between creativity and bipolar mood disorders. Eminent creativity and everyday creativity are distinguished, with high rates of major mood disorders‐particularly bipolar disorders— appearing among eminent creators in the arts. However, among everyday persons, including the 4–5% of the popula...
Article
Full-text available
Studies of creativity and affective illness typically focus on eminent individuals in specific fields. This is the first study to select subjects solely by diagnosis, and then evaluate their overall creative accomplishments. Seventeen manic-depressives, 16 cyclothymes, and 11 normal first-degree relatives were compared with 33 controls with no pers...
Article
A new research tool, the Lifetime Creativity Scales (LCS), is presented, along with validation evidence based on three personally interviewed, independent samples totalling 541 subjects. The LCS provide broad-based assessment of original activity at work and leisure, without the requirement that activities be socially recognized or limited to parti...
Article
An age-old belief links creativity with psychopathology. The present paper examines the degree of scientific support for this belief and proposes a scheme for interpretation of the evidence within a framework of multiple causation. First, three major theories are considered; these differ fundamentally regarding whether creative ability and/or motiv...
Article
A trait such as schizophrenia, for which there is evidence of a strong genetic component but no fit to simple Mendelian modes of inheritance, presents several problems to the genetic counselor. Counseling with average empirical figures ignores specific family history and the possibility of genetic heterogeneity, yet precise estimates of risk are no...
Article
In order to identify factors related, to academic success at a model two‐year college, creativity, SATs, and high school GPA were factor analyzed, as were academic motivation variables, and included with sex in a step‐wise regression with college GPA as the criterion. Subjects were 278 freshmen at a two‐year “cluster college” for educationally marg...
Article
To study relationships among scores derived from J. P. Guilford's divergent production tests and the associative thinking tests of M. A. Wallach and N. Kogan, 483 naval recruits were administered 3 tests from each battery. Measures of intelligence (General Classification Test, Arithmetical Reasoning Test, Armed Forces Qualifying Test) were also ava...
Article
This study was designed to test the validity of using creativity and academic motivation variables, in addition to the traditional variables of scholastic aptitude and high school GPA, as predictors of college GPA. The sample consisted of the 1973-74 freshman class at the College of Basic Studies (CBS) at Boston University; CBS is a two-year colleg...
Article
In this chapter, we first review lines of empirical research that bear on the question and that suggest that there are indeed significant relationships between creativity and mood disorders or liability for these disorders. Next, we review complementary evidence for a relationship between creativity and mood elevation. We then discuss factors that...

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Project
My dissertation is a multi-year heuristic study of the lived experience of creativity. The goal was to answer the research question: "How can the lived experience of creativity be defined in a way that inspires imagination, creative action, and increased self-identification with personal creativity?"