advertisement
26 April 2013

The cost of creativity

Being focused helps creativity but hampers flexible thinking.

0
Intense focus can help creative people achieve success, but it may undermine their capacity for flexible thinking, new research suggests.

The Northwestern University study included 74 college students with extremely high or low scores on a questionnaire about their achievements in creative fields such as writing, music, cooking and science.

Participants were given challenges in study

Each participant was given a series of 128 challenges in which they had one second to accurately identify either the details or the large picture. In these challenges, the students had to focus on the details before quickly shifting their attention to see the bigger picture, and vice versa.

After accounting for differences in intelligence and reaction speed, the researchers found that students with high levels of creative achievement made more mistakes (9% of the challenges) than less creative students (2%).

The study was published in the journal Frontiers of Psychology.

Some experts have suggested that creativity partly depends on a person's ability to continuously switch attention between the details and bigger picture of a given task. But this study suggests that certain creatively successful people may focus so much on one aspect that they have difficulty switching to another.

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Myths busted! »

Breastfeeding may reduce pain from C-section Breastfeeding and work - how to make it work

9 breastfeeding myths busted

Breastfeeding will help me lose my baby weight, right? Wrong! We bust nine myths about breastfeeding.

Eat right. »

How watching porn can cause erectile dysfunction 7 scientific ways to cure erectile dysfunction

7 foods that could relieve erectile dysfunction

If you experience erectile dysfunction from time to time, you may be able to manage the problem without any medical help.