Why are geniuses always loners
Creativity: Geniuses are not loners
Creativity and ingenuity are usually thought of as individual characteristics. But new research now suggests that the social environment may play an equally important role in this. Because: Being part of a group or not motivates people to face special challenges in terms of creativity, believes psychologist Alex Haslam from the University of Queensland in Australia.
"The group membership is a basis for certain forms of originality to be viewed or rejected," says Haslam. "What people do and how they do it depends in large part on what the people around them with whom they identify are doing," says Inma Adarves-Yorno of the University of Exeter.
Haslam, Adarves-Yorno and psychologists from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands have presented their theory in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review. According to the conclusion, geniuses and creative people are "to a large extent products of the groups and societies in which they live." From the idea that genius and creativity are the result of the personality and genes of the individual and against a "strange" environment arise, one has to distance oneself against it. "Our research shows that you can't assume that creativity just comes out of nowhere," says Haslam. "Artists, writers and scientists often create their most creative work when they work together with one or more others - like-minded friends, colleagues or peers."
The theory is supported by some experimental studies the team has conducted over the past decade. One investigated how creative minds are often presented in public as loners who, as soon as they are freed from peer pressure, contradict all conventions. This image was shaped, for example, by Steve Jobs's famous speech to Stanford graduates in 2005, in which he recommended to his audience: “Beware of dogmas, because that means nothing other than to align your life with the views of other people . "
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