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James C. Kaufman, Ph.D. - University of Connecticut. Storrs, CT, US

James C. Kaufman, Ph.D. James C. Kaufman, Ph.D.

Professor | University of Connecticut


Dr. Kaufman's research focuses on creativity and educational psychology.


James C. Kaufman is a Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut. He is the author/editor of more than 35 books, including Creativity 101 (2nd Edition, 2016) and the Cambridge Handbook of Creativity (with Robert Sternberg; 2010). He has published 250 papers, including the study that spawned the “Sylvia Plath Effect” and three well-known theories of creativity, including (with Ron Beghetto) the Four-C Model of Creativity. He is a past president of Division 10 of the American Psychological Association. James has won many awards, including Mensa’s research award, the Torrance Award from the National Association for Gifted Children, and APA’s Berlyne and Farnsworth awards. He co-founded two major journals (Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts and Psychology of Popular Media Culture) and currently co-edits the International Journal of Creativity and Problem Solving. He has tested Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s creativity on CNN, appeared in the hit Australia show Redesign Your Brain, and narrated the comic book documentary Independents. He wrote the book and lyrics to Discovering Magenta, which had its NYC premiere in 2015.

Areas of Expertise (3)

Educational Psychology


Teaching Creativity in the Common Core

Education (4)

Yale University: Ph.D., Cognitive Psychology 2001

Yale University: M.Phil., Cognitive Psychology 1998

Yale University: M.S., Cognitive Psychology 1997

University of Southern California: B.A. (cum laude), Psychology (Honors) and Creative Writing 1995

Affiliations (1)

  • American Creativity Association, President

Accomplishments (5)

Rudolf Arnheim Award for Outstanding Achievement in Psychology and the Arts (professional)

Awarded by the American Psychological Association, Division 10.

Paul Farnsworth Award for Service (professional)

Awarded by the American Psychological Association, Division 10.

Choice Outstanding Academic Title (professional)

Awarded by the American Library Association.

Award for Excellence in Research (professional)

Awarded by the Mensa Education & Research Foundation and Mensa International, Ltd.

E. Paul Torrance Award, Creativity Division (professional)

Awarded by the National Association for Gifted Children.







Ronald A. Beghetto & James C. Kaufman - Creativity and the Common Core Talking Teaching Creativity in the Common Core Classroom with Dr. Ron Beghetto


Media Appearances (1)

While rethinking admissions process, consider creativity

The Conversation  


The Turning the Tide report released last week by the Harvard Graduate School of Education has colleges and universities across the country taking a hard look at what many believe is a deeply flawed admissions process.

A number of colleges have already been reexamining their admissions process. In September last year, more than 80 leading colleges and universities announced the formation of the Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success, so as to make changes in the admissions process and diversify student bodies...

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Articles (5)

Intelligence in Childhood and Creative Achievements in Middle-Age: The Necessary Condition Approach Intelligence


This paper explores longitudinal links between intelligence measured at age 11 (N = 1594) and 13 (N = 255) and creative achievement as tested forty years later (at age 52). Using a dataset from the most recent (fifth: 2015) follow-up to the Warsaw Study (Firkowska et al., 1978), we examined the hypothesis that intelligence forms a necessary-yet-not-sufficient condition for creative achievement. Although ...

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From the Sylvia Plath Effect to Social Justice: Moving Forward With Creativity European Journal of Psychology


The author contrasts an early research passion, creativity and mental illness, with his current interest in creativity and social justice. Kaufman’s initial research revolved around the Sylvia Plath Effect, yet was insensitive to broader implications or concerns. As his thinking about creativity has evolved, he is currently more focused on a more positive use for creativity – namely, how creativity can help issues of fairness and equity.

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Measuring the Muses: Validating the Kaufman Domains of Creativity Scale (K-DOCS). Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts


The Kaufman Domains of Creativity Scale (K-DOCS) is a self-report, domain-specific measure assessing creativity in 5 domains: Everyday, Scholarly, Performance, Science, and the Arts. J. C. Kaufman (2012) provided initial evidence for the K-DOCS’ factor structure. However, the factor structure requires replication and the measure has not been validated. The current study examines the factor structure of ...

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Beyond the Mask: Analysis of Error Patterns on the KTEA-3 for Students with Giftedness and Learning Disabilities Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment


An understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, and achievement profiles of students with giftedness and learning disabilities (G&LD) is needed to address their asynchronous development. This study examines the subtests and error factors in the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement–Third Edition (KTEA-3) for strength and weakness patterns of students with G&LD in higher and lower level ...

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Do You Pursue Your Heart or Your Art? Creativity, Personality, and Love Journal of Family Issues


We examined the associations between love, personality, and creativity for people in relationships of varying durations. Participants (N = 1,529) from regions across the United States completed an online survey. Consistent with prior work, we found that relationship length was negatively associated with passion, positively associated with commitment, and did not exhibit a significant association with ...

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