Why do we experience the urge to be creative?

Source: A-Durand via Wikimedia Commons

 

Why be creative?  Often the answer to this simple question is couched in terms of how creativity can bring us and others a bountiful bevy of better things:  better products, better services, better ways of doing.  Creativity brings with it, it is true, a host of instrumental advantages –– improvements in how we work, play, think, and live.  A better this, a better that _______ (you fill in the blanks).

But is this answer the full story?  Might there be more to be said?  Might being creative (often) be something desirable just in and of itself?  Is being creative itself rewarding?  Does being creative feel good?

There are many reasons to think so. . . .

—> To read more,  see Wilma’s “Creativity Feels Good!”

Where is your sweet spot for coming up with good creative ideas?

Finding your creativity sweet spot. Source: W. Koutstaal

 

Imagine that you have just been invited to take part in an online experiment in which you will be asked to generate as many creative ideas as possible.

Imagine, too, that you are given the opportunity to first read the instructions for the creative challenge you will be set, and that you can choose between one of two sets of instructions, A or B.

Both versions outline your responsibilities.  Version A says you’ll be asked to take part in “an idea-generating task involving various commonly found household items” such as “a 14-inch nonstick-cooking pan or wooden door stoppers.”  Version B is slightly more general, saying that you’ll be asked to take part in “an idea-generating task involving household items” such as “cooking pans and door stoppers.”

You are also told that exactly 25% of the responses will be reviewed (Version A) or, instead, that some –– no percentage specified –– will be reviewed (Version B).  Additionally, you are told “You will receive your compensation within 48 hours of completing this task, in your PayPal account” (Version A) or “You will receive your compensation within 2 days” (Version B).

Which of the two versions of the instructions do you prefer:  Version A or Version B?  Do you think you’d be likely to come up with more creative ideas if given Version A or if given Version B?  Why?

On testing it out see: “Finding and Making Sweet Spots in your Creative Process.”