Science-Based Facts about Creativity

Source: Fast Company, Sep 2016

72% OF PEOPLE HAVE CREATIVE INSIGHTS IN THE SHOWER

THE INTROVERTS ARE ONTO SOMETHING: SOLITUDE IS WHERE CREATIVITY THRIVES

the more creative, imaginative networks of the brain simply work better when we’re alone. That’s when we are able to engage in what neuroscientists call “constructive internal reflection,” a mental state crucial to idea generation and creativity. When the outside world is tuned out, our brains are better at making certain connections, crystallizing memories, and processing information.

TRYING NEW THINGS MAKES YOU MORE CREATIVE

“the drive for exploration, in its many forms, may be the single most important personal factor predicting creative achievement.”

TRUST YOUR INTUITION, THAT’S HOW LSD WAS DISCOVERED

1992 research published inAmerican Psychology suggests that “nonconscious processes may indeed be faster and structurally more sophisticated than our conscious thinking systems.”

DAYDREAMING IS SURPRISINGLY GOOD FOR YOUR BRAIN

According to the science on daydreaming, these moments provide a sort of mental incubation period that can enhance creative thinking, long-term planning, and self awareness. … “the mind’s wandering is vital to imagination and creative thought.”

SOME OF THE BEST IDEAS ARE WIDELY RIDICULED BEFORE THEY’RE REVERED

one paper published in Scientometrics examined examples of Nobel Prize-winning ideas and discoveries that were initially resisted by the scientific community, demonstrating a systemic pattern of skepticism directed at paradigm-challenging theories.

Psychologists at Cornell University conducted a study that showed that we have an implicit bias against less conventional, practical-seeming ideas. This tendency apparently runs deep as studies going back to the 1950s have shown people to be prone to conforming to popular opinions and perspectives.

Research suggests that whatever nonconformist tendencies we may have as children are often driven out of us by the rote learning and direct instruction utilized in schools, which may counteract our more exploratory and creative modes of thinking and learning. “In fact,” Kaufman and Gregoire write, “teachers have been found to display a clear preference for students who show less creativity.”

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