What You Don’t Know Around Understanding Creativity

What You Don’t Know Around Understanding Creativity

Create March 27, 2017 / By Nick Skillicorn
What You Don’t Know Around Understanding Creativity

The Innovation and Creativity Summit was designed to turbocharge your ability to generate and execute breakthrough new ideas, and take back control over your own creativity.

You want to understand creativity in more detail. That’s why you’re here.

How it works.

Where it happens in the brain.

What habits help it, and what hinders it.

And fortunately, there are now an abundance of articles on the internet out there which provide insights from experts and research studies into just this topic.

However, there is also a distinct danger in this. Because just like any other complicated field of study, there is a lot of contradictory evidence out there, and yet we often see highlights from the latest piece of research quoted in the media.

“The colour Blue makes you more creative” – 2009, University of British Columbia

“The colour Green makes you more creative” – 2016, Regents University London

“Creativity is correlated with Mental Illness” – 2014, The Atlantic

“Creativity is not correlated with Mental Illness” – 2013, Scientific American by Scott Barry Kaufman

These contradictions become even more difficult to unravel when it comes to the nascent fields of understanding the psychology and neuroscience of creativity. When you look at individual studies, you may find some with quite clear indications of what is happening in the brain when it comes to creative tasks.

For example, one set of brain-scanning experiments might show evidence that the right hemisphere is more active during a specific Divergent Thinking task, based on something like “Event Related Synchronisation” (ERS). What the media might then do is make the wild assumption that this proves that creativity happens in the right part of the brain, based on one set of results from one study.

Reality is however a lot more complicated.

When Mark A Runco did a meta-analysis of numerous Divergent Thinking studies in 2014, he found that very clear, distinct conclusions about where in the brain creativity “happens” were not possible. Various studies with different methodologies were providing different results. And if you only looked at each individual study, you will get a very skewed sense of what happens when we are being creative.

Other prominent researchers in the field like Arne Dietrich, Keith Sawyer and James Kaufman also share the view that you need to look at evidence from across the research fields before you can see if there are any concrete patterns emerging.

This is why I organised the Innovation and Creativity Summit 2017 and interviewed thought leaders from across disciplines (including Dr Runco, Sawyer, Kaufman, Dietrich and many others) to find out all of the various perspectives on what makes people creative, and how it can be enhanced.

(Note, the Summit is running from 2nd to 9th April 2017, but you can get free access if you register now using this link to watch all 50+ of the interviews).

What I found was equally interesting. Every expert had their own views and perspectives on what impacted creativity, and what could be done to enhance it. If you were to listed to any one in particular, you will come away with some amazing insights into your own creativity, but it will only be part of the picture.

By listening to all of the various experts, you will get a much more holistic sense of how your own creativity works.

And yes, in some cases the experts contradicted each other.

This didn’t surprise me. After all, I interviewed over 50 experts for the summit, including a mix of innovation experts and creativity experts, academics with PhD’s and artists talking about their own creativity. In some cases, the answers to becoming more creative were about connecting with spirituality, whereas in other cases the academics were building on the results of the experiments they had done, backed up with evidence.

But even within the academic field, there were experts who were discussing the limitations of other experts’ work, and they were both at the online summit! 

So what can we learn from this?

It is important to get a variety of perspectives from a variety of sources before you can begin to truly understand creativity. No one expert will give you the final answer.

And a great place to start is by watching the various expert interviews at the Innovation and Creativity Summit 2017.

The Innovation and Creativity Summit was designed to turbocharge your ability to generate and execute breakthrough new ideas, and take back control over your own creativity. The experts collected for this summit want to help you understand how your own creative ability works, lead innovation teams, launch successful products & services, enjoy more of your life, and do it all from an evidence-based perspective.  

The experts sharing their insights and stories are all leaders in their field. Each speaker will share the unique research and insights into what it takes to get value from your ideas, and the proven tactics that you can applied to find similar success. 

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