Copyright © 2020 Harvard Business School Publishing. Desperate times require desperate measures! The participants also completed a "visual perception task". Too many of us simply want to “boost our creativity” without acknowledging the dark places it often comes from — or the challenging places it may take us. But there were now a few conditions. So the researchers put this to the test in their third and fourth studies. After all, if the status quo is fine, why change it? The researchers propose that creativity, "helps individuals develop original ways to bypass moral rules while allowing them to reinterpret available information in a self-serving way as they attempt to justify their immoral actions. Ideas of creativity and ethics are so subjective that I find it ludicrous that researchers think they can define these kind of concepts according to the job a person does, or whether they'll lie on a perception test. The results provide evidence for an association between creativity and dishonesty, thus highlighting a dark side of creativity. Finally, a field study constructively replicates these effects and demonstrates that individuals who work in more creative positions are also more morally flexible (Study 5). 1999b), it is possible that creative thinking may also have a hidden cost in the form of increased dishonesty. The dark side of creativity: biological vulnerability and negative emotions lead to greater artistic creativity. Narcissistic people are focused on themselves, and naturally spend more time focused on developing their own ideas and less time worrying about pleasing other people. According to the researchers, "In every ambiguous trial, the participants could benefit from unethical behavior by self-servingly and creatively misinterpreting the ambiguous information they were asked to evaluate. Akinola M(1), Mendes WB. OK, but is anyone, regardless of their personality, likely to be dishonest if their creative mindset is activated? Finally, a field study constructively replicates these effects and demonstrates that individuals who work in more creative positions are also more morally flexible (Study 5). The correlation between personality and dishonesty is only a correlation. In line, research shows that even when narcissistic individuals are not more creative, they are better able to sell their ideas to others, creating, in effect, a self-fulfilling prophecy. She wants to control the Id and limit freedom! The Neuroscience of Feeling Surprised by Unpredictability, Why Three Doctors' Heads Are Better Than One. That is not to say that creative people are necessarily unethical. Likewise, although the idea of embracing risk and tolerating failure seems cool and sexy, the natural human tendency is to preserve the status quo and make our environments as predictable and familiar as possible. Anecdotal evidence hinting at an association between creativity and dishonesty comes The reality is that creativity is both taxing and complicated. Of course, the bright side of creativity tends to eclipse its dark side. Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today. In my opinion this kind of research is meaningless. Outstanding entrepreneurs may be able to use such skills to convince others of their vision. And creative thinkers also tend to have poorer impulse-control. We didn't agree on ethical! In their first few studies, they administered a variety of different measures of creativity, assessing a person's creative personality, behaviors, and cognitive style. They also had a control condition in which none of the sentences includes creativity-related words. There was no link, however, between creativity and their measures of intelligence, nor a link between intelligence and dishonesty. But when I say ‘creative people’, I’m talking about… ..the group of people whose creativity is wrapped up in their identity. This includes not only creativity deliberately aimed at hurting others, such as crime or terrorism, or at gaining unfair advantages, but also the accidental negative side effects of well-intentioned acts. While Agreeableness (i.e., hostility) had no effect on creativity, those with lower levels of honesty and humility (i.e., higher levels of arrogance and pretentiousness) reported more creative accomplishments and also reported engaging in more creative activities. Dark side. BUT... there was also a dark side. They constructed the task so that on every single trial there were actually more dots on the left. Of course, the bright side of creativity tends to eclipse its dark side. The result? If you tell me that you will pay me more money to say the triangle on the right has more dots, that's the triangle YOU ARE TELLING ME TO PICK. In one condition, participants constructed grammatically correct sentences (e.g., the sky is blue) from a set of words (e.g., sky, is, the, why, blue). Participants also took a widely-administered test of divergent thinking, which required participants to identify common associations between seemingly unrelated words. Embrace your dark side folks – it holds lots of goodies! Creative people simply see beyond the rigidness of uncreative minds, which these studies do not express a direct connection of dishonesty at all regarding creative people.
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