A  A  A   Print
Study Explores the Cost of Creativity

Study Explores the Cost of Creativity

THURSDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Intense focus can help creative people achieve success, but it may undermine their capacity for flexible thinking, new research suggests.

The Northwestern University study included 74 college students with extremely high or low scores on a questionnaire about their achievements in creative fields such as writing, music, cooking and science.

Each participant was given a series of 128 challenges in which they had one second to accurately identify either the details or the large picture. In these challenges, the students had to focus on the details before quickly shifting their attention to see the bigger picture, and vice versa.

After accounting for differences in intelligence and reaction speed, the researchers found that students with high levels of creative achievement made more mistakes (9 percent of the challenges) than less creative students (2 percent).

The study was published April 25 in the journal Frontiers of Psychology.

Some experts have suggested that creativity partly depends on a person's ability to continuously switch attention between the details and bigger picture of a given task. But this study suggests that certain creatively successful people may focus so much on one aspect that they have difficulty switching to another.

More information

Zero To Three explains how creativity helps children learn.

SOURCE: Frontiers of Psychology, news release, April 25, 2013

 
Today's Interactive Tools

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.