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Myths About Creativity

Definition of Creativity

Definition of Creativity

Creativity is the process of generating new ideas, possibilities, or alternatives that result in outcomes that are original and of value. Characteristics:

  • It is not a person's characteristic, it is a process.
  • Creativity is not just about thinking, but also coming up with an outcome.
  • You end up with something unique.
  • The outcome is of value to someone.

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Myths About Creativity

Myths About Creativity

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brain-wise/201606/myths-about-creativity

psychologytoday.com

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Key Ideas

Definition of Creativity

Creativity is the process of generating new ideas, possibilities, or alternatives that result in outcomes that are original and of value. Characteristics:

  • It is not a person's characteristic, it is a process.
  • Creativity is not just about thinking, but also coming up with an outcome.
  • You end up with something unique.
  • The outcome is of value to someone.

"Naturally creative" people

Myth: "Some people are naturally creative and other people aren’t."

It’s true that some people spend more time on creative activities than others. But brain science is clear about the fact that there are creative brain states that can be turned on by some fairly simple actions. This means that everyone can learn how to be more creative.

Creativity and art

Myth: "Creativity means creating works of art."

Creativity is not just about being artistic. There are many ways to be creative, and creating works of art is just one way. Creativity includes many things, for example, cooking, programming, interface design, and problem solving.

Left-brained vs. right-brained

Myth: "Some people are left-brained (analytical) and others are right-brained (creative)."

When people say that they are left-brained or right-brained, it doesn't mean that only that part of the brain is working; they are referring to how they think, learn or process information.

Creativity doesn't only work in one half of the brain. There is a bundle of nerve fibers connecting the two hemispheres.

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The right side of the brain
The right side of the brain

Creativity isn’t the preserve of one side of the brain, and it isn’t a talent confined to people with a special kind of brain. If you’re human and you’ve got a brain, you’re capabl...

The “Eureka!” moment

This myth encourages the belief that creativity is a passive process. It suggests you have to wait and hope that you’ll make a breakthrough.

That Eureka moment is actually the last step in a long, involved process and not the only step. For this to happen, your unconscious mind needs material to work with. You have to put in the hard work of studying and mastering your field and exposing yourself to different perspectives.

The lone, eccentric geniuses

In reality, creativity is a team sport.

The lone genius myth is a stereotype and it’s unhelpful because it suggests the route to innovation is to cut oneself off from colleagues and collaboration. You need a modest amount of intelligence to be creative, but extremely high IQ is neither sufficient nor necessary for being an innovator.

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Using 10% of our brains

The source of this figure isn't entirely clear.

People's capacity to develop any skill is a combination of practice and talent. A person can get quite good at almost any skill if they practic...

Left-brained or right-brained

People used to speak of being left or right-brain dominant (where the left brain is more logical and algorithmic, and the right brain more artistic and intuitive).

However, both hemispheres of your brain are involved in all of the complex work you do. The most effective thinkers are the ones who learn to rely on both their intuitive judgments as well as their reasoning.

Emotions and rational thinking

The theory goes that emotions reflect a more primitive form of thinking and that good thinking is only logical.

However, when faced with risky decisions, it is possible to talk yourself into almost anything. But, even a little anxiety in that situation can provide information too valuable to ignore.

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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.

Innovation and Creativity
Innovation and Creativity

Creativity is about formulating new original ideas, while innovation is about how those ideas are being incorporated to produce and introduce new, useful, and feas...

Innovation in Entrepreneurship and Startups

Innovation can be achieved by mature, large companies, not only by startups.

While most innovation comes from startup companies, some of the top innovative companies are mature and large (Apple was founded in 1976 and generates $228 billion. Google: 1998, $78 billion, Microsoft: 1975, $87 billion.) The myth acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy and deters large companies from attempting to innovate like startups.

Being born creative

Creativity can be learned and exercised.

It can be affected by your practices, how you expose yourself to old ideas, procrastinate to let them incubate, trigger the combination of those ideas into new ones, and relax to let it happen. Great ideas might feel accidental, but they are not.

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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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Creativity expectations
Creativity expectations

Our expectations of how creativity should look like block us. Creative inspiration is all around us, but we don’t see it because we've grown up being taught to look for it in specific p...

How to feel more creative
  • Take a break. Give your brain some space to think of other things.
  • Expand your definition of creativity. You’re probably conditioned to look for it in specific places. Break that mold.
  • Limit yourself. Fewer tools and less time, counterintuitively, force you to be more creative.
The Eureka Myth
The Eureka Myth

There is a big misconception that ideas generate like a flash.

Researches show that such insights are actually the culminating result of prior hard work on a problem. Itt&#...

The Breed Myth

A lot of people think that creative ability is a trait inherent in one’s heritage or genes. In fact, there is no such thing as a creative breed.

Creative minds are not born, they are made. People who have confidence in themselves and work the hardest on a problem are the ones most likely to come up with a creative solution.

The Originality Myth

There's a long-standing myth about intellectual property - the idea that a creative idea is proprietary to the person who thought of it.

But history and empirical research revealed that new ideas are actually combinations of older ideas and that sharing those helps generate more innovation.

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Creativity
The creative process is the act of making new connections between old ideas or recognizing relationships between concepts.

While being creative isn't easy, nearly all great ideas follow a sim...

The 5 Step Creative Process
  1. Gather new material directly related to your task as well as learning general material by becoming fascinated with a wide range of concepts.
  2. Thoroughly work over the materials in your mind.  Examine what you have learned by looking at the facts from different angles and experimenting with fitting various ideas together.
  3. Step away from the problem. Next, you put the problem completely out of your mind and go do something else that excites you and energizes you.
  4. Let your idea return to you. After you have stopped thinking about it, your idea will come back to you with a flash of insight and renewed energy.
  5. Shape and develop your idea based on feedback. For any idea to succeed, you must release it out into the world, submit it to criticism, and adapt it as needed.
Creativity is learned

Some people are primed to be more creative than others.

However, nearly every person is born with some level of creative skill and the majority of our creative thinking abilities are trainable.

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