Donald MacKinnon


Creativity, according to Donald MacKinnon, long-time researcher in the field, it is

“a process that is extended in time and characterized by originality, adaptiveness and realization.”

For me, the essence of creativity is “connection” the ability to relate or combine, through flexible persistence and insight, seemingly remote, contradictory or irrational ideas and elements with an elegant, unified and complex simplicity. The creative concept, product or outcome is not only novel but has value and use” (Gorkin).

One Reply to “Donald MacKinnon”

  1. New York Times reported Donald MacKinnon, Psychology Professor
    Published: January 27, 1987

    Dr. Donald W. MacKinnon, a psychology professor who formulated controversial theories on creativity and helped select Secret Service agents in World War II, died last Tuesday in a hospital here. He was 84 years old.

    Dr. MacKinnon, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley who was an expert on the creative process, recently found that he had Alzheimer’s disease.

    In World War II, as director of Station S, a remote Maryland farmhouse, he helped single out those he believed would make good spies and leaders of European resistance forces. About 2,500 prospective members of the Office of Strategic Services went through the station.

    In 1949, he founded the Institute of Personality Assessment and Research. In 1959, he announced that creative writers and scientists resembled sedate business people. He issued a controversial report in 1961, saying engineering students were materialistic, power-hungry and lacking in creativity.

    Dr. MacKinnon leaves his daughters, Julia Roseblat of Stockton and Ann Povell of New York City and Florida; a sister, Mrs. Robert DeWick of Wiscasset, Me.; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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