Research Blog

Creativity, Learning & Technology: Palgrave Encyclopedia of the Possible now available!

March 30, 2023

The Palgrave Encyclopedia of the Impossible (2023). Photo: Ingvild Abildgaard Jansen.

The Palgrave Encyclopedia of the Possible has finally been published in a complete format— a great resource for researchers interested in the study of how we engage with and cultivate the possible within the self, society and culture. SLATE Professor II, Vlad Glaveanu, and SLATE Senior Researcher, Ingunn Johanne Ness, number among the people behind the encyclopedia.

Far from being opposed either to the actual or the real, the possible engages with concrete facts and experiences, with the result of transforming them. examines the notion of the possible and the concepts and themes associated with it from standpoints within psychology, philosophy, sociology, neuroscience and logic, as well as multidisciplinary fields of research including anticipation studies, future studies, complexity theory and creativity research.

The encyclopedia represents a comprehensive resource for researchers and practitioners interested in an emerging multidisciplinary area within psychology and the social sciences: the study of how we engage with and cultivate the possible within the self, society and culture.

In 2020, chapters in the encyclopedia were published as articles online as part of a living reference work, but in 2023, the complete encyclopedia is finally available in a physical format.

An Important Contribution to the Field

Vlad Glaveanu is the editor of the Palgrave Encyclopedia of the Possible. Glaveanu is Full Professor of Psychology at the School of Psychology at Dublin City University, and Professor II at SLATE at the University of Bergen.

Dr. Ingunn Johanne Ness, Senior Researcher and the leader of the Creativity, Learning & Technology research theme at SLATE, is one of the Section Editors for and contributors to the encyclopedia.

Ness comments: “We started this work in 2018, and we are so lucky to have Vlad as a colleague – he convinced me that all this work would be worthwhile, and when seeing the result, I agree: It is truly an important contribution to the field.”

Presenting multiple perspectives on the possible, the encyclopedia authors consider the distinct social, cultural and psychological processes that define our engagement with new possibilities in domains as diverse as the arts, architecture, design, education and business. These processes include imagination, counterfactual thinking, wonder, play, inspiration, and many others.