Psychologists and neuroscientists are exploring where creativity comes from and how to increase your own.
At an individual level, creativity can lead to personal fulfillment and positive academic and professional outcomes, and even be therapeutic. People take pleasure in creative thoughts, research suggests—even if they don’t think of themselves as especially creative.
“Across different age groups, the best predictor of creativity is openness to new experiences,” said Anna Abraham, PhD, the E. Paul Torrance Professor and director of the Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development at the University of Georgia. “Creative people have the kind of curiosity that draws them toward learning new things and experiencing the world in new ways,” she said.
The absence of certainty makes us more flexible and open to alternative ideas. Navigating ambiguity takes work. It can be exhausting. Even when you think you’re relaxing and letting it be, your brain is working in the background to solve unknowns and make connections. It’s a muscle that can be built with patience and effort.
“Navigating Ambiguity” is part of Stanford d.school’s new series of guides looking at the methods and mindsets of designers.