James C. Kaufman

James C. Kaufman

James C. Kaufman (born September 21, 1974) is a psychologist known for his research on creativity. He is a Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut . Previously, he taught at the California State University, San Bernardino , where he directed the Learning Research Institute. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in Cognitive Psychology , where he worked with Robert J. Sternberg .

Early life

Born in Great Neck, New York, he attended the University of Southern California as an undergraduate, where he worked with both John L. Horn and famed novelist T. Coraghessan Boyle . His parents are Alan S. Kaufman psychologists and Nadeen L. Kaufman .


He is a prolific researcher and editor who is best known for his theoretical contributions to the study of creativity . [1] His most prominent theoretical work, with Ron Beghetto, is the Four-C Model of Creativity. This model explores the idea of ​​expanding traditional conceptions of emerging creativity (“Big-C”) and everyday creativity (“little-c”) to include “mini-c” -creativity that is inherent in the learning process-and “Pro- c “-creativity at a professional level that has not yet had a historical impact. [2]Kaufman and Beghetto have more creative metacognition, which refers to their creative strengths and weaknesses as well as recognizing appropriate times and contexts to express one’s creativity. [3]

In addition, with Robert Sternberg and Jean Pretz, he developed the propulsion model of creative contributions, outlined in the book The Creativity Conundrum. [4] With John Baer, ​​he developed the Amusement Park Theoretical (APT) Model of Creativity. [5]

Kaufman’s empirical work has focused on a few different key areas. Most media attention has focused on his research and mental illness. He coined “the Sylvia Plath Effect ,” after finding that female poets were more likely to be mentally ill than other writers, in a paper in the Journal of Creative Behavior , [6] and his work on poets New York Times, [7] NPR, BBC, CNN, and newspapers and magazines across the world. He has recently focused on issues of creativity and fairness, arguing that this should be a supplemental part of college admissions [8]

Kaufman has written and edited 35 books, including Creativity 101 (Springer, 2016), the Cambridge Handbook of Creativity (with Sternberg, Cambridge, 2010), Essentials of Creativity Assessment (with Jonathan A. Plucker and John Baer, ​​Wiley, 2008), the ALA Choice Award winning Teaching for Creativity in the Common Core Classroom (with Ron Beghetto and John Baer, ​​Teachers College Press, 2014), and The Psychology of Creative Writing (with Scott Barry Kaufman , Cambridge, 2009). He is the Series Editor of the Psych 101 series from Springer.

Kaufman was the founding co-editor of both Psychology of Popular Media Culture and Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts , both published by the American Psychological Association . He received the 2003 Daniel E. Berlyne Award from Division 10 of the American Psychological Association for Outstanding Research by Junior Scholar; The National Association of Gifted Children 2008 E. Paul Torrance Award for creativity research; the 2009 Western Psychological Early Career Association in Research Award; the 2011 Paul Farnworth Award, also from Division 10 of the American Psychological Association , for service to the division; and the 2011-2012 MensaAward for Research Excellence. [9] He is a past president of the American Psychological Association’s Division 10.

Kaufman is also a playwright and lyricist. His musical, Discovering Magenta , written with composer Michael Bitterman, had its premiere in 2015 in New York City as part of the Thespis Theater Festival. [10] The musical is the story of a patient who has suffered past [11] His short play “My Very Elegant Mother” made its NYC debut in 2008 at the Riant Theater [12] and was adapted into an audiobook .


  1. Jump up^ http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2014/03/creativity-expert-james-kaufman-joins-uconn-faculty/
  2. Jump up^ Kaufman, JC, & Beghetto, RA (2009). Beyond Big and Little: The Four C Model of Creativity. Review of General Psychology, 13, 1-12.
  3. Jump up^ Kaufman, JC, & Beghetto, RA (2013). In praise of Clark Kent: Creative metacognition and the importance of teaching when (not) to be creative. Roeper Review, 35, 155-165.
  4. Jump up^ Sternberg, RJ, Kaufman, JC, & Pretz, JE (2002). The creativity conundrum. Philadelphia: Psychology Press
  5. Jump up^ Baer, ​​J., & Kaufman, JC (2005). Bridging generality and specificity: The Amusement Park Theoretical (APT) Model of creativity. Roeper Reviewer, 27, 158-163.
  6. Jump up^ Kaufman, JC (2001). The Sylvia Plath effect: Mental illness in eminent creative writers. Journal of Creative Behavior, 35 (1), 37-50
  7. Jump up^ Lee, FR (April 24, 2004). Going early into that good night. New York Times, Arts p, 1, 4.
  8. Jump up^ Kaufman, JC (2010). Using creativity to reduce ethnic bias in college admissions. Review of General Psychology, 14, 189-203.
  9. Jump up^ http://www.mensafoundation.org/what-we-do/awards-and-recognition/awards-for-excellence-in-research/afe-winners1/winners-2010-20111/
  10. Jump up^ http://www.broadwayworld.com/central-new-york/article/DISCOVERING-MAGENTA-makes-NYC-Debut-at-Thespis-Theatre-Festival-20150818
  11. Jump up^ http://www.app.com/story/entertainment/theater/2015/08/27/magenta-make-nyc-debut-thespis-fest/32445471/
  12. Jump up^ http://therianttheatre.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.html