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Characteristics of Creative People

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Jul 20, 2010

Cognitive Rational Creative Individuals

  • Self-disciplined, independent, often antiauthoritarian
  • Zany sense of humor
  • Able to resist group pressure, a strategy developed early
  • More adaptable
  • More adventurous
  • Greater tolerance for ambiguity and discomfort
  • Little tolerance for boredom
  • Preference for complexity, asymmetry, openendedness
  • High in divergent thinking ability
  • High in memory, good attention to detail
  • Broad knowledge background
  • Need think periods
  • Need supportive climate, sensitive to environment
  • Need recognition, opportunity to share
  • High aesthetic values, good aesthetic judgment
  • Freer in developing sex role integration' lack of stereotypical male, female identification


Affective/Emotional-Social Creative Individuals

  • A special kind of perception
  • More spontaneous and expressive
  • Unfrightened by the unknown, the mysterious, the puzzling; often attracted to it
  • Resolution of dichotomies: selfish and unselfish; duty and pleasure; work and play; strong ego and egolessness
  • Able to integrate
  • More self-accepting; lack fear of own emotions, impulses, and thoughts
  • Have more of themselves available for use, for enjoyment, for creative purposes; waste less of their time and energy protecting themselves
  • Involved in more peak experiences, integration within the person and between the person and the world, and transcendence
  • Capacity to be puzzled
  • Ability to concentrate
  • Ability to experience self as creative, as the originator of one's acts
  • Willingness to be born every day
  • Ability to accept conflict and tension rather than avoiding them
  • Courage to let go of certainties, to be different, to be concerned with truth, to be certain of one's own feelings and thoughts and trust them
  • Identify closely with the feelings and expectations of others
  • Less repressed and defensive
  • More curious
  • More maturely autonomous and less dependent on views of others


Physical/Sensing Creative Individuals

  • Openness to experience, new ideas
  • An internal locus of evaluation
  • An ability to toy with elements and concepts
  • Perceiving freshly
  • Concern with outside and inside worlds
  • Ability to defer closure and judgment
  • Skilled performance of the traditional arts
  • High theoretical and aesthetic values


Intuitive Creative Individuals

  • More intuitive and open to admitting turbulent inner conflicts
  • Have their energy field accessible
  • Have ability to tap and release unconscious and preconscious thought
  • Are able to withstand being thought of as abnormal or eccentric
  • Are more sensitive
  • Have a richer fantasy life and greater involvement in daydreaming
  • Are more enthusiastic and impulsive
  • Often show abilities of synesthesia (e.g., tasting color, seeing sound, hearing smells)
  • Show different brain wave patterns than the less creative, especially during creative activity
  • Get excited and involved when confronted with novelty of design, music, or ideas (less creative people get suspicious and hostile)
  • When given a new solution to a problem, get enthused, suggest other ideas (less creative students analyze the defect rather than explore potentials)


Sources: The listed characteristics are from the research of Albert, 1998; Amabile, 1990; Fromm, 1959; Guilford, 1959; Heath, 1983; Koestler, 1964; Krippner, 1968; MacKinnon, 1964; Martindale, 1975; Maslow, 1959; May, 1959; Maynard, 1970; Miliora, 1987; Parnes, 1967; Rogers, 1959; Runco and Nemiro, 1994; Schaefer, 1970; Sternberg and Lubart, 1993; Taylor & Williams, 1966; Torrance, 1962; Williams, 1968.

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