There I was, sitting silently, staring at a blank word document with the curser blinking rhythmically at me
as if it was saying to me, ‘anytime now, you can type a sentence or even a word, anytime now’. Sitting in a dimly lit room with the sound of the rain coming down outside and hearing the sound of the cars go by with a ‘whoosh’ sound, I had so many thoughts and ideas but not sure how to connect them. 7:00 am and it’s still dark out because it is now December 10th. I’m sitting at my kitchen table with a cup of chai tea with a little bit of milk in it and a bowl of vanilla Greek yogurt. Wondering, how am I going to tie all my thoughts together on this subject matter; how to sum up the various forms of creative expression that I engage in to outline the creative mind and all it’s complex parts. And then my fingers started to move across the keyboard and I just started to type…
I first started to realise there was a divide between creative people and non-creative people when I started dating a guy who was very much not a creative person. I was puzzled by the fact that creativity was not in his vocabulary. His condo décor was very modern and straight forward, his job entailed very outlined work and his hobbies were very physically enduring and mechanical. Needless to say, he didn’t understand me most of the time and I didn’t understand him. The psychology major in me felt I needed to understand why. I started doing some researching through the university archives posing the question, ‘Are some of us really more creative then others and is there such thing as a creative gene that predispositions us to be creative?’
According to the research findings of Hur et al. (2014), based on the meta-analysis conducted by Feist (1998), “a high level of ‘openness to experiences’ was consistently linked with creativity in the field of art and science”. The scientific experiment of Hur et al. conclude that there is “a significant phenotypic correlation of .54 between the scientific and artistic creative achievement measured by the CAQ.” they go on to continue that, “the majority (70%) of this correlation was due to common sets of genes. Genetic commonality between the two creative achievement scales found in our study may represent pleiotrophic effects of genes that affect personality traits such as openness to experiences and intellectual abilities given that creative artists and scientists are characterized by high openness and intellectual abilities.”
To wrap up that last paragraph into simple words, there is a correlation link between genes and creativity.
Being a creative person myself, I find that I have to not just have 1 creative outlet but that I must have many. Me personally, I like to expel my creative energy in the form of writing (i.e. this blog), through creative movement such as dance, and through art work such as painting. It is an emotional state where I find release. There are many others but for this blog post, I’ll narrow it down to a more comprehensible list. With the research findings above, it would also explain my interests in the realm of psychology.
There is still lots of room to explore the creative mind in psychological research as it is a subject field that has been hard to define. Aside from scientific definition, I like to look at it from my own perspective as an emotional state of openness to possible connections.
The world is looked at in many different shapes and forms that are either connected or disconnected. The creative person sees these shapes and forms and finds ways to connect them or finds new connections out of the old. The creative person sees possibility everywhere; they do not reject ideas that do not work but instead configure them in a way to find the working matter.
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. – Steve jobs
What is your creative outlet and how can you expand on it?
Hur,Yoon-Mi; Jeong, Hoe-Uk; Piffer, Davide (2014) Shared genetic and environmental influences on self-reported creative achievement in art and science. Personality and Individual Differences, Vol.68, pp.18-22
G.J. Feist (1998) A meta-analysis of personality in scientific and artistic creativity. Personality and Social Psychology Review, pp. 290–309