Why Creative People Are Eccentric (Scientific American)

18 Apr

Last month, I wrote a bit about my long-standing opinion that all writers are mildly schizophrenic. And last year, I mentioned how much I love it when research backs up something I’ve always known (or at least believed). Here we go again!

The new Scientific American has an article titled “The Unleashed Mind: Why Creative People Are Eccentric“. It’s an interesting read if you’re interested in psychology, creativity, and/or why your neighbor wears polka dots exclusively and talks to his pet duck in Chinese; and it looks like the entire text is available online. So rather than discuss the article in detail here, I’d rather drive some traffic their way and have you go read the article for yourself.

But I will point out one of the conclusions drawn from the research discussed:

Harvard researcher Dennis Kinney and his team … suggested that schizotypal individuals may inherit the unconventional modes of thinking and perceiving associated with schizophrenia without inheriting the disease itself. … They found that the adopted offspring of schizophrenic individuals who themselves displayed signs of schizotypal personality had higher scores for creativity than the control subjects. The Kinney group also made a new discovery: some of their control subjects who did not have a family history of schizophrenia met the profile for schizotypal personality—and they too scored higher for creativity than other control subjects.

In other (over-simplified) words: highly creative people are, quite frequently, mildly schizophrenic. Or at least exhibit similar thinking styles.

Where have I heard that before…?

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3 Responses to “Why Creative People Are Eccentric (Scientific American)”

  1. Helen (of troy) 25 April 2011 at 13:28 #

    where is the Agree or Like button.

    great post!

    • ButMadNNW 25 April 2011 at 13:33 #

      Thanks, Helen! Glad you liked. :-)

  2. Cary C. Mendoza 15 February 2013 at 13:36 #

    New research in individuals with schizotypal personalities-people characterized by odd behavior and language but who are not psychotic or schizophrenic-offers the first neurological evidence that these individuals are more creative than normal or fully schizophrenic people, and rely more heavily on the right sides of their brains than the general population to access their creativity.

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