Brain Fail: Our Brains Really Fight Against Creative Ideas

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“Just as people have deeply-rooted biases against people of a certain age, race or gender that are not necessarily overt, so too can people hold deeply-rooted negative views of creativity that are not openly acknowledged.

uncertainty spurs the search for and generation of creative ideas, yet our findings reveal that uncertainty also makes us less able to recognize creativity, perhaps when we need it most.”

oh oh – “…millennials are less motivated to elaborate on creative ideas, and more anxious about embracing them, than prior generations. Recent data show that millennials are also less likely to start new businesses.” a trend that has contributed to the lowest number of US startups since the 1970s…Even though studies show that millennials have less motivation to elaborate on creative ideas, research also shows that they are able to generate ideas just as original as those of previous generations

IBM recently asked 1,500 executives which leadership characteristics they most desired in employees. The number one trait: You guessed it, creativity. But the same study noted that more than 50% of executives said they struggled with, and felt unprepared to recognize and embrace, creative solutions. Study[8] after study[9] shows that new ideas are chronically rejected at many companies, even businesses that say they want[10] more innovation.

…people in charge of evaluating scientific grant proposals consistently gave lower ranking to highly novel proposals, even when controlling for quality.

Creative ideas necessarily break paradigms. In fact, my colleagues and I have found[13] that people who are motivated to choose a correct solution demonstrate a clear negative (but unacknowledged) bias against creativity

“A choice can only be “correct” if it matches a paradigm. Creative ideas necessarily break paradigms. In fact, my colleagues and I have found that people who are motivated to choose a correct solution demonstrate a clear negative (but unacknowledged) bias against creativity — even when they outwardly claim to love and cherish it.”

“…research documents that teachers dislike students who exhibit curiosity and creative thinking even though teachers acknowledge creativity as an important educational goal…”

Practical ideas are generally valued. However, the more novel an idea, the more uncertainty can exist about whether an idea is practical, useful, error free, and reliably reproduced. When endorsing a novel idea, people can experience failure, perceptions of risk, social rejection when expressing the idea to others, and uncertainty about when their idea will reach completion. Uncertainty is an aversive state which people feel a strong motivation to diminish and avoid. Hence, people can also have negative associations with novelty; an attribute at the heart of what makes ideas creative in the first place.

…if people have difficulty gaining acceptance for creative ideas especially when more practical and unoriginal options are readily available, the field of creativity may need to shift its current focus from identifying how to generate more creative ideas to identifying how to help innovative institutions recognize and accept creativity…

 

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One thought on “Brain Fail: Our Brains Really Fight Against Creative Ideas

  1. Pingback: Brain Fail: Our Brains Really Fight Against Creative Ideas | Growth

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