As If By Design

As If By Design

How Creative Behaviors Really Evolve

Author(s): Edward A. Wasserman
Publication Date: 22-07-2021

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The eureka moment is a myth. It is an altogether naïve and fanciful account of human progress. Innovations emerge from a much less mysterious combination of historical, circumstantial, and accidental influences. This book explores the origin and evolution of several important behavioral innovations including the high five, the Heimlich maneuver, the butterfly stroke, the moonwalk, and the Iowa caucus. Such creations' striking suitability to the situation and the moment appear ingeniously designed with foresight. However, more often than not, they actually arise 'as if by design.' Based on investigations into the histories of a wide range of innovations, Edward A. Wasserman reveals the nature of behavioral creativity. What surfaces is a fascinating web of causation involving three main factors: context, consequence, and coincidence. Focusing on the process rather than the product of innovation elevates behavior to the very center of the creative human endeavor.

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