Brown Bag Talk by Prof Keith J. Holyoak on 12 March

Speaker: Prof. Keith J. Holyoak

Title: Relational Thinking and the Creative Mindset

Date: 12 March 2014, 12pm

Venue: AS4/02-08 (Psychology Department Meeting Room)


The capacity for what I term “role-based” relational reasoning is revealed in the ability to see analogies and understand abstract causal relations. I will argue that this ability (possibly unique to the human species) is a core component in both intelligence and creative thinking. After reviewing what is known about the neural basis for relational reasoning, I will discuss how this ability relates to creativity, and suggest some interventions that have the potential to facilitate creative thinking.

About the Speaker:

Keith J. Holyoak, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, is a leading researcher in human thinking and reasoning. He received his B.A. from the University of British Columbia in 1971 and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1976. Dr. Holyoak was on the faculty of the University of Michigan from 1976-1986 and then joined the Department of Psychology at UCLA. His work combines behavioral studies with both cognitive neuroscience and computational modeling. He has been a recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and a James McKeen Cattell Fellowship. Dr. Holyoak is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Psychological Science, the Cognitive Science Society, and the Society for Experimental Psychology. He has served as Editor of Cognitive Psychology, Senior Editor of Cognitive Science, Associate Editor of Psychological Science, and as editorial board member of numerous other journals. Dr. Holyoak has published over 200 scientific articles, and is the co-author or editor of numerous books, including Induction: Processes of Inference, Learning and Discovery (MIT Press, 1986), Mental Leaps: Analogy in Creative Thought (MIT Press, 1995), and the Oxford Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning (Oxford University Press, 2012). In a parallel career as a poet he has published Facing the Moon: Poems of Li Bai and Du Fu (Oyster River Press, 2007) My Minotaur: Selected Poems 1998–2006 (Dos Madres Press, 2010), and Foreigner: New English Poems in Chinese Old Style (Dos Madres Press, 2012).


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