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Scientific Genius: A Psychology of Science
Scientific Genius: A Psychology of Science

by Dean Keith Simonton

Simonton develops a theory of scientific genius, using Donald Campbell's 'blind variation and selective retention' model of creativity as his starting point, and expands it into his own 'chance-configuration' theory. He then uses this to account for key aspects of pathbreaking science: the mental processes and behaviors behind the creative act, the cognitive and motivational styles of great scientists, the causes and consequences of exceptional productivity, and the developmental antecedents of distinguished scientific work. The phenomenon of multiple discovery (where two or more independent investigators chance upon the same finding) is shown to provide some of the best empirical evidence on behalf of the theoretical argument. A concluding chapter outlines the broader implications of the theory for the measurement of genius in science, and places it in the context of the alternative metasciences - the philosophy, sociology, and psychology of science.

Pub. Date: July 2009 Publisher: Cambridge University Press Format: Paperback, 240pp

Item: 052111713

Price: $34.99


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