Only artists and other “creative types” are really creative.
It’s a common misconception that there are creative “types” and that the rest of us just aren’t creative. Psychologist Robert Epstein, who has been researching creativity for decades, says: “Significant creativity is within everyone's reach—no exceptions. What's more, greater creativity breeds greater happiness. The creative process is itself a source of joy for most people. And with new creative powers we're also better able to solve the little problems that beset us daily.”
Creativity is a right-brain activity.
The popular idea that language and logic are “left brain” activities and creativity and emotions are “right brain” activities is an oversimplification of how our brains normally work. The idea was popularized from research that studied 40 people whose brains had been surgically severed between the left and right sides to control seizures. Most of us, however, do not have split brains. The left and right sides of our brains actually seem to work very well together, and creativity does not reside in one side or the other of the brain.
True creativity is the creation of art.
There are many ways to exercise your creativity, including problem solving and idea generation in whatever field interests you—any of the arts, sciences, professions, trades, avocations, and hobbies. In addition, you can nurture your creativity and reap some of its benefits just by appreciating another’s creativity—listening to music, viewing visual art, and so on.
Being under time pressure can spark creativity.
The opposite seems to be true. One study by Harvard professor Teresa Amabile found that people were least creative when they were fighting the clock—and for two days afterward. Amabile says, “In fact, it's not so much the deadline that's the problem; it's the distractions that rob people of the time to make that creative breakthrough. People can certainly be creative when they're under the gun, but only when they're able to focus on the work. They must be protected from distractions, and they must know that the work is important and that everyone is committed to it.”
Creative types are often moody and depressed.
Researchers have found that creativity is less likely to occur in the presence of sadness, anger, fear, and anxiety—and that it is more likely to occur with positive emotions, such as joy and love. One study found that people are more likely to come up with a creative idea if they felt happy the day before, and then they feel happy when they are creative. Creativity contributes to an “upward spiral” of positive emotions and greater happiness.
Creativity relies on IQ
Definitely not. Anyone who takes the time to learn, and especially to acquire diverse knowledge, can express great creativity.