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People with creative personalities really do see the world differently

Opening our minds

There is mounting evidence that personality is malleable, and cognitive training interventions shows promise to increase openness. Travel also broadens the mind.

However, the dark side to the permeability of consciousness that characterises open people is that it is linked to aspects of mental illness, such as being disposed to hallucination. Care should be taken not to see things that are not there.

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People with creative personalities really do see the world differently

People with creative personalities really do see the world differently

https://theconversation.com/people-with-creative-personalities-really-do-see-the-world-differently-77083

theconversation.com

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Key Ideas

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso

"Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not."

The concept of creativity

The central concept of creativity is that some people are open to examine things from all angles and visualize more possibilities.

The part of our personality that seems to drive our creativity is called openness to experience. Openness best predicts performance on varying thinking tasks, on real-world creative achievements, as well as engagement in daily creative pursuits.

Creative vision

Research found that open people don't just bring a different perspective; they really see things differently.

The research findings suggest that open people's creative tendencies are ingrained in their basic visual perception. Open people may have inherently different experiences to other people.

Inattentional blindness: Seeing things that others miss

A well-known perceptual phenomenon is called inattentional blindness. This is when people are so focused on one thing that they miss something else right in front of their eyes.

A study showed that your susceptibility to inattentional blindness depends on your personality. Open people are less likely to suffer from inattentional blindness.

Opening our minds

There is mounting evidence that personality is malleable, and cognitive training interventions shows promise to increase openness. Travel also broadens the mind.

However, the dark side to the permeability of consciousness that characterises open people is that it is linked to aspects of mental illness, such as being disposed to hallucination. Care should be taken not to see things that are not there.

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Open-minded people are more creative

A recent study has shown that open-minded individuals tend to be more creative and willing to have new experiences. 

The result led to the idea that this kind of people have the t...

Open-minded people are more focused

A recent study has come to the conclusion that open-minded persons possess the ability to focus on different things at the very same moment. 

Even if there are distractions around them, these individuals still manage to concentrate and see everything that is going on in the room and, so, they are less prone to the so-called 'inattentional blindness'.

Our personality and perception of the world

Research has proven that individuals' personality plays an essential role in the way they perceive the world. 

Therefore, it is very probable that our perception of the world changes at the same time with our personality.

"Pareidolia"
"Pareidolia"

A team of neuroscientists believes there might be a meaningful link between creativity and seeing faces in clouds.

The scientific term for seeing familiar objects i...

Studying involuntary imagination

At first, pareidolia (seeing shapes in clouds and in other inanimate objects) was seen negatively rather than a sign of creativity. It was even considered to be a symptom of psychosis or dementia.

In 1895, French psychologist Alfred Binet - known for his work on IQ tests - suggested that inkblots could be used in psychological research to study differences in involuntary imagination. This idea was further developed, resulting in inkblots to investigate people's personality and assess their psychological state.

Imagination is a sign of creativity

The creative aspect of pareidolia became known in the 19th century with the practice of 'klecksography' - the art of making images from inkblots.

Writer Victor Hugo experimented with folded papers and stains by holding his quill upside down to use the feather-end as a brush. Another practitioner of klecksography, German poet Justinus Andreas Christian Kerner, published Kleksographien (1890), a collection of inkblot art with accompanying short poems about the objects that can be noticed in the images.

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Creativity
Creativity

While some people are born creative, it is possible to acquire this skill. The right conditions and the right training can make everyone creative, in their own unique way.

As we move from t...

Traits Of Creative People
  • In various studies, it is found that creative people tend to be more driven, impulsive, and self-confident.

  • They are less conventional and unorthodox in many aspects of life.

  • Openness to new ideas, curiosity and disagreeableness comes as common traits of creative individuals, as they are opposite of normal or popular, and like Steve Jobs, are a prickly personality.

Steps Of The Cognitive Process

Creativity can be learned as a cognitive skill using the following steps:

  • Preparation: The basic rules, languages, and instructions in any skill.
  • Incubation: When ideas wander in your brain's neural network, lost in the wild.
  • Illumination: This is the Aha! Moment, the light bulb coming on.
  • Verification: Where it is verified that the idea is real or just a random dream without legs.

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Early History

The connection between genius and possible insanity was first documented in 1891 in the Italian physicians’ book The Man Of Genius.

In 1869, this was taken up by the cousin of Charles Darwi...

Genius and Heredity

In a 1904 study by English physician Havelock Ellis, a list was made of 1030 individuals through extensive research, examining thoroughly the intellectual distinction people had by the various factors like heredity, general health, and social class.


These works established that genius minds are often hereditary.

Genetic Studies Of Genius

A body of work of Stanford psychologist Lewis M. Terman, was an in-depth multi-decade study of gifted individuals, and an attempt to improve the measurement of genius and its association with the degradation of mental stability. This also included an enhanced version of the French IQ (Intelligence Quotient) test.

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Right-brained or left-brained
Right-brained or left-brained

According to conventional wisdom, people tend to be either right-brained or left-brained. Those who are right-brained are supposed to be intuitive and creative free thinkers; they are big-pictur...

Location

Some brain functions reside more on one side of the brain than the other. The left side of the brain control language and the right half control movement of the left arm and leg (and vice versa.)

But for more individual personality traits, such as creativity or a tendency toward the rational rather than the intuitive, there is little or no evidence supporting the claim that these reside in a specific area of the brain.

The right-brain/left-brain myth

The idea of right-brain/left-brain may be a myth as evidence is mounting against the idea.

A 2013 study demonstrated that activity is similar on both sides of the brain regardless of one's personality. The study concluded that the notion that some people are more left or right-brained is more a figure of speech than it is anatomically accurate.

See and observe

It is important to both see and to observe. As Holmes told Dr Watson: “You see, but you do not observe,”

This mental alertness, or mindfulness, is cultivated with deliberate pra...

Why mindfulness is so important to us

Over the past several decades, researchers have discovered

  • Mindfulness can lead to improvements in physiological well-being and emotional regulation.
  • Mindfulness can even enhance our levels of wisdom, both in terms of dialectism (being cognizant of change and contradictions in the world) and intellectual humility (knowing your own limitations)
  • Mindfulness can lead to improved problem solving, enhanced imagination, and better decision making.
Mindfulness is good against inattentional blindness

When we focus on one particular element in a situation or problem, our brains can cause all the other elements to ‘disappear', so that we will have no conscious experience of having ever been exposed to them.

Inattentional blindness illustrates the limitations of our attentional abilities. We can’t ever multitask the way we think we can. Something will get lost. 

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Happy/sad music

Our brains respond differently to happy or sad music.

One study revealed that participants interpreted a neutral expression as happy or sad to match the tone of the music they heard. 

Ambient noise can improve creativity

A moderate noise level is ideal to improve our creativity. It increases the processing difficulty which stimulates abstract processing, leading to higher creativity. 
High noise levels impair our creative thinking because we feel overwhelmed and struggle to process information properly.

Music and personality

Different genres correspond to our personality. For instance:

  • Blues and Jazz fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease
  • Classical music fans have high self-esteem, are creative, introvert and at ease
  • Opera fans have high self-esteem, are creative and gentle
  • Rock/heavy metal fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, and at ease

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The ghost ball trick
The ghost ball trick

A magician sat at a table in front of a group of schoolchildren. He threw a ball up in the air a few times, but before his last throw, he secretly let the ball fall into his lap. Then he continued ...

The role that social cues play during magic tricks

In the vanishing ball illusion, a study found that when the magician pretends to throw the ball in the air, and his gaze follows the imaginary trajectory of the ball, almost two-thirds of the participants will be convinced that they had seen the ball move up. If his gaze did not follow the imaginary ball, the illusion was far less effective.

This illustrates that the illusion is mostly driven by expectations. Our eyes find it difficult to track fast-moving objects. Looking at the ball is only possible when we can predict where it will be in the future.

Perception does not take place in the eyes

Although most participants experience an illusory effect during magic tricks, the eyes are not tricked. The conscious perception has been fooled by the illusion, but your eyes have not.

Lots of neural calculations are required before we can experience the world. Neural signals start in the retina, then it passes through different neural centers to the visual cortex and higher cortical areas, and eventually build a mental representation of the outside world. It takes about a tenth of a second for the light registered by the retina to become a visual perception. The neural delay means we perceive things at least a tenth of a second after they happened.

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The Big Five
It represents the 5 personality traits psychologists use today:
  • Openness to experiences
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
Openness to Experience

It describes people who enjoy the arts and new experiences. Possible facets:

  • Fantasy: they have a vivid imagination
  • Aesthetics: they believe in the importance of art
  • Feelings: They experience emotions intensely
  • Actions: They prefer variety to routine
  • Ideas: they like complex problems
  • Values: they tend to vote for liberals.
Conscientiousness

People that score high on this are organized, methodical and tend to keep going and going. Possible facets:

  • Competence: they complete tasks successfully
  • Order: they like order
  • Dutifulness: the follow the rules
  • Achievement-striving: they work hard
  • Self-discipline: they get chores done right away
  • Deliberation: they avoid mistakes.

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Aphantasia: Image Not Found
Aphantasia: Image Not Found

Aphantasia is a phenomenon in which an individual cannot conjure an image of a face or thing in their minds. There is no inner ‘mind’s eye’ in these people and the mental imagery i...

Discovery of Aphantasia

Aphantasia was first described in the early 1800s by Francis Galton in a paper on mental imagery. It was not until 2015 that the phenomenon was further studied and the term was coined.

One of the major studies was with a patient who had undergone a minor surgery in 2005 and later could no longer generate visual images within the ‘mind’s eye’. The details of the study were published in 2010, which led to many others coming up with similar symptoms.

Binocular Rivalry

This was a technique used by the researchers to help test the image forming inside the brain of the individuals.

The experiment led to the finding that a recent viewing of an image had no correlation with the imagining of the image.

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