10 Scientific Signs You’re a Creative Person
Creative people are known for art or music. But they do more than just entertain us and make nice things to look at.
They provide innovative business solutions. Advance science with new theories. Engineer new technology and applications.
Creativity is an invaluable resource, but what are the characteristics of a creative person?
Here’s 10 real, actual, scientific signs you’re a creative person. As revealed from studies in psychology and neuroscience.
1. You’re Playful
There’s a number of benefits of being a playful adult. Even if others might think it’s immature.
When a study looked at playfulness in adults, they found that they were more likely to look at situations or ideas from different angles. One author stated:
When looking for solutions to complex problems, they can easily change perspectives. This allows them to find unusual and novel solutions.
Showing that corporations could benefit from a bit of fun and playfulness in the workplace, instead of a scene out of Office Space.
2. You’re a Night Owl
Research published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that those who tend to stay up later are able to find more creative solutions.
Night owls scored higher on 3 tests of creativity than people who were early risers. The experts believe the reason why is because night people have a schedule that is outside the norm. They state:
Being in a situation which diverges from conventional habit, nocturnal types often experience this situation, may encourage the development of a non-conventional spirit and of the ability to find alternative and original solutions.
3. You’re Sarcastic
Not everyone appreciates sarcasm. When the delivery is poorly made, it can rub people the wrong way.
While sarcastic people may not be our favorites, one study says it takes a bit of brain power to both deliver and understand sarcastic conversation.
The research also says that sarcasm can actually cause creativity. Because our brains must decipher the underlying meaning from the literal words, it causes our brain to think in unusual patterns.
Which puts our brains in a mode that’s conducive to creativity.
4. You Get Distracted Easily
When it comes to creativity, sometimes focus can be the enemy. Instead of concentrating too much on one particular piece of the puzzle, you need to draw from different ideas and information.
Researchers found that creative achievement in the real world was associated with the inability to filter out sensory information.
If you get annoyed by loud chewing, constant tapping, talking, or noises from outside, it may be because you’re brain has difficulty ignoring it.
But the silver lining is that you may be able to connect information from fringes of your consciousness to create something novel.
5. You Have A Messy Desk or Work Environment
We’re not talking about a dirty, dusty workplace here. Where roaches scamper to hide when you turn on the light.
But one study found that a disorganized desk or environment can drive creativity.
Researchers conducted 3 experiments to see how messy rooms would affect people’s creativity. In their study, they write:
Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights.
Orderly environments, in contrast, encourage convention and playing it safe.
6. You Can’t Help Daydreaming
Letting your mind wander can actually be fertile ground for creativity.
Scientists have begun to discover that the brain has two modes. One that focuses on specific tasks and the other that’s associated with mind wandering. What scientists call the “default mode network” of the brain.
Mind wandering allows many different areas of the brain to talk to each other more easily. The experts state:
This cross-brain involvement may be involved in behavioral outcomes such as creativity and mood, and may also contribute to the ability to stay successfully on-task while the mind goes off on its merry mental way.
7. You Talk to People Who Have Different Views and Ideas
Creativity doesn’t happen in a vacuum. There are certain environments that are more conducive to new ideas than others.
Researchers argue in a paper that innovation comes from places where people, ideas, and information are free to mix and communicate. There should also be a tolerance for trying new things and being willing to fail.
…what predicts the difference between a Steve Jobs and a Joe Bloggs is actually their exposure to new ideas that are wonderful and different.
If you want to be more creative the best thing you can do is to talk to people who disagree with you.
8. You’re A Bit Neurotic
Neurotic people are big worriers. They’re more anxious and stressed than the average Joe.
Nobody wants to be pulling their hair out. Researchers note that while neurotic people may be unhappier than others, there also more creative.
A part of the brain that is highly active in neurotic people is also important in self-generated thoughts.
While the neuroscientists don’t know why there’s an association between neuroticism and creativity, they theorize it may be because this active part of the brain is also tied to imagination.
…we hope that our new theory will help people make sense of their own experiences, and show that although being highly neurotic is by definition unpleasant, it also has creative benefits.
9. You Do Your Best Work When You’re Not Rushed
One study found that hard deadlines can impede the creative process.
In a series of experiments, people were found to solve several verbal and visual puzzles with more accuracy when they used insight, or “Aha” moments, as compared to more conscious driven thinking.
The experts say that deadlines can drive us to think more analytically under pressure:
Deadlines are helpful to keep people on task, but if creative ideas are needed, it’s better to have a soft target date.
A drop-dead deadline will get results, but they are less likely to be creative results.
It’s not that deadlines are evil. We need them to stay on track and be productive. But when it comes to novel solutions, some types of creativity can’t be rushed.
10. Creative People Are Slightly More Dishonest
What?! Did you think all characteristics of creative people were good?
They don’t say that every creative person is a lying, cheating, thief. But they did find that that highly creative people are, generally, more dishonest than those of average creativity.
The two authors believe that creative people subconsciously convince themselves that their actions are justified. A mental trick that is harder for less creative people.
The thing is, creative people don’t think they’re more dishonest. Their active imagination convinces them they’re just as straight-shooting as the next guy. But the reality is different.