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Is there a Link between Creativity and Personality?

  1. Dec 19, 2014 #1


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    Is it possible to be creative and think differently in just one aspect/area of one's life
    or must one in general be different/eccentric? I mean, can one compartamentalize
    one's personality to be very straightforward , say at work, and be very creative otherwise?
    I lean towards a no; not that it is impossible, but it is unusual and it is difficult to do, and I am thinking more of scientific discoveries than anything else , though I think the question is still interesting/relevant for other areas. It may be possible to be both thoroughly conventional at times and extremely creative at other times, but this seems to require a great level of flexibility, and it seems to be pretty rare; one often finds, e.g., the creative artist exploited by the savvy businessman, each lacking the others' skill.
    This is why I find it strange to see comedians, some of the talk show hosts wearing suits and ties, which are a mainstream way of dressing.
    Just my thoughts, do you agree?
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  3. Dec 19, 2014 #2

    Stephen Tashi

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    I think it requires skill in a given area in order to be considered creative in it. For example, a person might have an unusual method of selecting chess moves, but unless his play was effective, it wouldn't be considered "creative".

    I lean toward the same opinon that you have - that there are general traits that characterize people who are imaginative. Whether they are considered "creative" in a given field is more specific. They have to have some skill in it and exercise enough conventional behavior to master the knowledge and conventions that the field requires.
  4. Dec 19, 2014 #3


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    Good points. I have often heard of the naïve view that creativity is a sort-of random process without any method. But it is true
    that creativity rests on having solid basics. But I guess after one has the solid basics down, one must be willing/wanting to explore beyond these basics.
  5. Dec 20, 2014 #4


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    Personally I think a big part of being creative is simply being willing to put an idea out there. In some arenas this just isn't possible or ideal. In the army, for example, no one is rewarded for being creative with how they dress. But there are lots of examples of model soldiers who in other dimensions of their lives are very creative - they form bands, they write stories and poetry, they invent things, etc.
  6. Dec 20, 2014 #5


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    I don't know. I find this difficult to answer without a specific definition of what "creativity" is and how it works, which doesn't exist. Some of the most "creative" things I've seen are the result of someone just applying some basic ideas, whereas others are the result of someone breaking every rule in the book and still getting it right.
  7. Dec 21, 2014 #6
    Yes, creativity is difficult to define because it's really an external perception, and it's relative to what the majority are doing. If the majority are being cautious and conservative, then flourish will be seen as creative. If the majority are being rococo and Byzantine, then creativity consists of cutting back to basics. In the latter case, an exceptionally conservative person who stubbornly eschews ornament might suddenly seem creative in contrast to his contemporaries (Mies van der Rohe: "Less is more," or Frank Lloyd Wright).

    Being perceived as creative means espousing a method or style different than the mainstream but equally as, or more successful than, the mainstream. That excludes what we'd call "eccentric" people. The hallmark of eccentricity is an alternate method or style that is perceived as inferior to the mainstream ones. Whether you end up being perceived as creative or eccentric is a matter of spin, because it's ultimately a perception, and not a hard fact.
  8. Dec 21, 2014 #7


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    You might be interested in this book: https://www.amazon.com/Defining-Creativity-Science-Great-Ideas/dp/9063693451. It gives an overview of the concept.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
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