Taking Creative Measures

 

Has anyone every told you that you needed to “think outside the box”? How many times have you come up with creative solutions to problems you found difficult? Do you know anyone who always seems to have their head in the clouds? It’s not hard to guess that all of these fit into most people’s realities! Creativity is more prominent in our lives than we often think, and some have more creative ability than others. In fact, research suggests that heightened creative ability may be due to increased cooperation between brain regions linked to both cognitive control and spontaneous processes! (https://www.psypost.org/2019/11/new-study-confirms-some-of-the-neurophysiological-predictors-of-creativity-54952) In other words, these two regions are likely what give you that “eureka” moment when attempting to solve problems. They work together in order for you to solve problems in ways you may not have considered before!

Imagine that you’re making dinner for a friend, and you find out halfway through that you’re missing an ingredient! After a few minutes of thinking about the best way to handle the situation, you suddenly remember you can use another item as a substitute for the missing ingredient! This “creative problem solving” helped you figure out just what to do in a situation which called for you to act in a spontaneous situation. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/199203/the-art-creativity)

     These moments of realization are not the only experience that can be attributed to creativity, because it can also align with abilities one already has in situations that call for them! No doubt you have experienced moments where your skills are perfect for whatever task is at hand, and it feels almost effortless because of it. Psychologists call this moment “flow”. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/199203/the-art-creativity) Flow can occur in many situations, and inspires the feeling of everything falling into place. For example, imagine that you are a soccer player. You’re running down the field with the ball, and someone runs at you from your right in an attempt to steal the ball before you can score a goal! You confidently move the ball just out of their reach and take the ball up the field, scoring the last point your team needed to win. This is an example of flow, where your soccer playing abilities perfectly matched the demand of the situation, enabling you to confidently outperform your opponent. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/199203/the-art-creativity) Creativity allowed you to use the skills you have already to quickly solve the problem you were facing. Your attention was entirely focused on the tasks you were performing in that moment, and it allowed you to achieve success. Solving problems, complex or simple, can be infinitely easier due to this aspect of creativity. Of course, this comes in handy for more than just sports! This “flow” is perfect example of how helpful creativity is and how quickly it can be used.

Creativity seems pretty great- but some extremely creative minds may not always feel like they can keep their thoughts in check. Daydreaming. We’ve all had times where we felt like we just couldn’t focus, or times where we couldn’t stop thinking about things unrelated to tasks we were performing. This can be frustrating and even inconvenient, but don’t worry! Daydreaming isn’t as negative as it may seem. A study from the Georgia Institute of Technology reveals that the more the mind wanders, the more creative that individual may be! The study was performed by having more than 100 people lay in an MRI machine and stare at a fixated point for five minutes in order to see which parts of the brain worked together in regards to mind wandering. They measured the mind at rest, as well as when it wasn’t. The participants also filled out a questionnaire about how much they daydream during their normal, everyday lives. (https://www.psypost.org/2017/10/brain-study-finds-mind-wandering-linked-fluid-intelligence-creativity-49997) The study found that the participants who expressed their mind wandered frequently, actually scored higher in creative ability! Not only this, but they were even found to have more efficient brain systems. Daydreaming can be a sign of a more efficient brain, so the next time you find you’re unable to focus on the task at hand, don’t be too hard on yourself!

Each of my sources did a thorough job of describing aspects of creativity and how they effect people’s lives. They were enjoyable to read because of the insight they gave into something we often take for granted. Our creative abilities are often pushed to the side and seen as less helpful than logical abilities, but they come in handy in just as many, if not more, ways! Each of the authors went into detail about how the brain works in relation to creativity, which I felt was necessary because the parts of the brain that inspire our creative feats also aid in some of our most important functions. I recommend all of my sources because they reflect the importance and necessity of nurturing creative minds.

So, are you creative? Are you a daydreamer? What creative activities do you engage in that have helped you in other aspects of your life?

 

Sources:

1) https://www.psypost.org/2017/10/brain-study-finds-mind-wandering-linked-fluid-intelligence-creativity-49997

2) https://www.psypost.org/2019/11/new-study-confirms-some-of-the-neurophysiological-predictors-of-creativity-54952

3) https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/199203/the-art-creativity

4) Einstein Quote: https://www.google.com/search?q=creativity+is+intelligence+having+fun&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwjbq8bds4LpAhWJAp0JHTRtC3cQ2-cCegQIABAA&oq=creativity+is+intelligence+having+fun&gs_lcp=CgNpbWcQA1DHiAFYjKsBYNStAWgAcAB4AIABAIgBAJIBAJgBAKABAaoBC2d3cy13aXotaW1n&sclient=img&ei=dI-jXtuhF4mF9PwPtNqtuAc#imgrc=lisgLKXtk9KBOM&imgdii=zopM0Zxgu9qk4M

5) Brain: https://www.google.com/search?q=creativity&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwiqmOWitILpAhX6BJ0JHfPwB4AQ2-cCegQIABAA#imgrc=eXoVovph1XRCzM

6) Daydreaming: https://www.google.com/search?q=daydreaming+meme&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwj-kZ35tILpAhUIYM0KHfySAGoQ2-cCegQIABAA#imgrc=O4XC4E6DDXi7nM

 

I pledge I have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance on this assignment.

– Shelby Russell

 

1 thought on “Taking Creative Measures

  1. evaalexis422

    What an awesome concept and well written! Creativity has always been something which has interested me greatly, and learning the cognitive dynamics behind it is fascinating. There is definitely a eureka moment in which a light goes off in the mind. I often experience this when writing poetry. I love writing poetry and the eureka moment for creativity happens often in different art forms. When writing poetry there are times when a concept and word combination just fits very well, and gets the intended point across eloquently.

Comments are closed.