The Possible: A Sociocultural Theory

Vlad P. Glaveanu

This book explores an eminently human phenomenon: our capacity to engage with the possible, to go beyond what is present, visible, or given in our existence. Possibility studies is an emerging field of research including topics as diverse as creativity, imagination, innovation, anticipation, counterfactual thinking, wondering, the future, social change, hope, agency, and utopia. The Possible: A Sociocultural Theory contributes to this wide field by developing a sociocultural account of the possible grounded in the notions of difference, position, perspective, dialogue, action, and culture. This theory aims to offer conceptual, methodological, and practical tools for all those interested in studying human possibility and cultivating it in education, at the workplace, in everyday life, and in society.


1. The possible
2. Difference
3. Perspectives
4. Perspectival worlds
5. The meta-position
6. Dialogue
7. Societies of the possible
8. Pedagogies of the possible
9. The impossible


Vlad P. Glaveanu is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Psychology and Counseling at Webster University Geneva, Associate Professor II at the Centre for the Science of Learning and Technology, University of Bergen, and Director of the Webster Center for Creativity and Innovation. His work focuses on creativity, imagination, culture, collaboration, and societal challenges. He edited the Palgrave Handbook of Creativity and Culture (2016) and the Creativity Reader (2018), and co-edited the Cambridge Handbook of Creativity Across Domains (2017) and the Handbook of Imagination and Culture (2017). He co-edits the Palgrave Studies in Creativity and Culture Series and is editor of Europe's Journal of Psychology, an open-access peer-reviewed journal published by PsychOpen (Germany). He received in 2018 the Berlyne Award from the American Psychological Association for outstanding early career contributions to the field of aesthetics, creativity, and the arts.