Are Weird People More Creative?

OriginalOlga Khazan writing in The Atlantic:

‘…[C]reative types, such as artists and writers, were more likely than, say, businesspeople to be considered “odd or peculiar” as children, and more likely than public officials or soldiers to be considered “different” as adults. In his 1962 study of architects, the psychologist Donald W. MacKinnon similarly found that the families of more creative architects had moved around a lot when they were kids, which appeared “to have resulted frequently in some estrangement of the family from its immediate neighborhood,” he said. Not surprisingly, many of the more creative architects said they’d felt isolated as children.

An unusual childhood is not the only thing that can make you more creative. Being considered “weird” in your culture can also enhance an element of creativity called “integrative complexity.” People who are strong in integrative complexity tend to handle uncertainty well and excel at reconciling conflicting information. They’re often able to see problems from multiple perspectives….’

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