Why are some humans more creative than others?

At a young age, it was a clear understanding that my mother was a very creative person. She had transformed our basement into the ultimate play area that any child would dream of having. The walls were painted telling the story of Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robins alongside their friends as they explored the Hundred Acre Wood. Ordinary cabinets were turned into giant six foot dominos and bland white tables were painted to feel as if you were attending a fairy tea party. Every detail in our basement was perfected; yet, her ideas did not stop there, she had painted and added murals to give loving vibes throughout our home. When I began school it became evident that I too possessed the same creative characteristics that my mother has. I believed that everyone was just as creative as me and my mother yet, when I discovered that creativity didn’t come naturally to them I wondered why. Why are some humans more creative than others?

Steve Jobs once said “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they got something they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it they just saw something.” Creativity is more than just inherited genes, it is a way of thinking. Psychologists define creativity as divergent thinking, which is the ability to conclude answers and theories by using many different solutions. People who think divergently don’t use logical steps in order to reach an answer, but instead use spontaneous ideas to discover an answer.

Divergent thinking has been believed to be connected to understanding concepts in one’s long term memory. The picture below explains how one thought connected other thoughts in order to determine the answer. This process is called ‘semantic networking’. For example, the thought process of getting to the word sunsets all started from the word street. Obviously the two words are not at all connected, but by bouncing off other ideas, or words, a divergent thinker can go from street to sunset without any problems. By being able to connect concepts to achieve different answers proves that one is a divergent thinker.

An experiment  conducted by Edward Neckaa and Teresa Hlawaczb was between 60 bankers and 60 artists to understand the difference between divergent, creative thinking and temperament, logical thinking. It was discovered that the artists did posses the temperament thinking just like the bankers; however, the artists scored much higher on the divergent thinking process than the artists did. According to Neckaa and Hlawaczb, the artists possessed characteristics such as briskness, endurance, and activity which shows that more creative people are able to understand and change their way of thinking quicker than temperament thinkers are. As the experiment concluded, the most interesting piece of evidence the scientists took away was that temperament thinking is at the base of all creativity. So, if the artists weren’t able to think logical like the bankers, they would not be able to think divergently.

So are you a divergent thinker?

Here is a link that can help you determine if you’re a more temperament or divergent thinker:








7 thoughts on “Why are some humans more creative than others?

  1. Taylor Weinstein

    Hello Gulianna,
    While reading this article it got me thinking. I do agree that some people are more creative then others. However, I do have to say that I think everybody is creative in there own way. I may not be an artist but I am creative in the way I can dance. For me I have been dancing my whole life and my body moves and it is creative. I wish I had art talent, my mom’s mother was an amazing artist and I wish I had the gene but I get the dancing from my mother. I took the quiz at the end of your blog to figure out what thinker I am. I got a Convergent thinker it stated that I like to come together and am focused. This is how I feel when I dance, very focused. I did some research about dance and being a convergent thinker and this is what I found. I found out that in my research dance can change how you think. dance can help you think in a more divergent and convergent way depending on the dance that your doing.
    This article goes more into depth about dance and the way people think: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/jul/31/peter-lovatt-dance-problem-solving

  2. Hannah Marie Helmes

    I took the quiz at the end of the post and determined I am a Divergent thinker. This makes sense because I consider myself and artist. I find creativity quite fascinating. I would love for you to read my post because I actually address the importance of creativity and specifically how it can affect human behavior. I think every person in the world can be creative but it just depends on how much creativity you have. Creative thinkers are just important as analytical thinkers but I also think that creativity is not something you can teach or learn. My freshmen year studio class was basically meant to weed out the creative people and the not so creative people. I have trouble understanding why people think I’m “creative” because I think “Can’t you do this too?”
    Loved your post!

    I would love to hear your opinion on my post, Here’s the URL:

  3. Rachel Sara Anton

    Hey Gulianna,
    This post caught my attention right away. I’m am artist. I took studio in my senior year of high school and my concentration was extremely far off and creative. All of my pieces consisted of inanimate objects in real life scenarios. I painted chopsticks walking down a fashion runway, an eyelash curler sadly walking through a rainy city, a corkscrew as a cheerleader on a football field..etc. I saw something unique in the forms of these objects and created a real environment for each of them. To other people in my class, this was insanity. They were always shocked to see that I had come up with something weird and new for each due date. But to me, this came naturally. I really can’t explain why my brain does that, and I like that you addressed that in this post. I am for sure a divergent thinker!

  4. ajh6183

    My take away from reading your blog post was that I think it’s interesting that this study showed in order to be creative you need to be somewhat logical too, but to be logical, you don’t necessarily have to be creative at all.
    I totally agree with the conclusion that was made from this research. But I was curious if it meant that this was true for all creative people. So I searched the web to see if i could find a contradicting approach.
    Here: http://interactions.acm.org/archive/view/september-october-2014/stupidity-ignorance-and-nonsense-as-tools-for-creative-thinking is a link to an article I found that implies that stupidity, ignorance, and nonsense are actually three of the main characteristics of creativity.

  5. Brooke Barrett

    I love this blog! I am definitely not so much a divergent thinker as I am a convergent thinker (another name for temperament). I have always been fascinated by others’ ability to be creative and artistic. It was something that I thought could be taught but the truth is, you either have it or you don’t. I truly envy those who have that ability. But I do wonder, in different situations, can a convergent thinker think “outside of the box”?

    1. Lauren Elizabeth Mcgonigle

      This blog caught my attention because as I grew up my entire family was always telling me how creative I was. As a left handed person there is always the saying “lefties are so creative and better at art”. Until I read your blog and did further research, I always believed that to be true (kind of embarassing). Now I know that creativity and thinking is not due to genetics or left handedness. But I still question, why I know so many left handed people that have amazing artistic talents? Are there other psychological factors contributing to creativity?

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