You don’t need to be intelligent to be creative
Time for episode 3 of our Creative Lies series, where we delicately handpick a common misunderstanding and unceremoniously ram it down the waste disposal unit.
And this week, we’re looking at the belief that you need to be really intelligent to be creative.
As it turns out, there’s very little truth in this one.
Studies have shown a very low IQ threshold for creative thinking
Studies have shown a very low IQ threshold for creative thinking. This threshold appears to be just above a level that’s termed ‘borderline deficiency’. Very few people in an office environment will fall below this level (although at times of extreme corporate frustration, you may think otherwise).
The general view of the psychology community is that creativity and intelligence are distinctly separate mental functions with limited overlap. You can certainly have highly intelligent people who don’t have the adaptive thinking required for creative thought and highly creative people who would never excel in the world of academia.Creativity and intelligence are distinctly separate mental functionsClick To Tweet
It seems, however, that intelligent people are more likely to have habits and lifestyles that lead to them generating more ideas. They read more. They consume a wider variety of information. They debate with others. And they’re more likely to make their ideas happen.
But a lot of that comes down to attitude and curiosity – which are things we can all develop.
The smart thing is to use your brain for what it’s capable of. Because it’s almost certainly capable of far more than you think it is.