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Creativity (article in Scientific American Mind)

There is an article on creativity in Scientific American Mind about creativity, what it is, how to get it, etc. Well, it indicates that on the cover but hte cover promises way more than it delivers in general. Anyway, it kind of wandered on the creativity subject leaving me feeling that they still didn’t really know.

First it didn’t distinguish between what people consider creative, like painting or composing, and general every day problem solving. Those are treated as equal creative endeavors. I personally feel that the abstract creativity (arts) is different than the practical creativity (how do I make the square peg fit the round hole).

It mentioned that people who have temporal lobe deterioration get more creative and people who previously couldn’t paint are now winning awards, etc. It also mentioned that the left brain, which is more focused on logic and reasoning gets developed as a child and the creative (right) side gets pushed down in many people. That was pretty much it for how much is known about creativity.

I also learned there are no standardized tests to determine creativity, just rules of thumb that creativity experts use to try and gauge. So things like take this shape and make a picture, take this set of shapes and make a picture, take this shape and complete the picture are used and then evaluated. Which by their definition would also be a creative act. According to the article just stringing words into a sentence is creative on some level.

I guess I’m just disappointed in an article that presented so little information. Especially when the next article showed that fMRI, which is the current main tool for study, is so unreliable for actually reading the brain.

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