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Individual vs Group Creativity  

 In Blog

CreativeMan MedWhat sparks your creativity?  Do you work more creatively alone or in a group?  I read an article in Scientific American Magazine that talked about the perception of what helps creativity flourish.  While many creative people think they can only create working solo, the article [Creativity is Collective, by S. Alexander Haslam, Inmaculada Adarves-Yorno and Tom Postmes) challenges that thinking by doing a study that followed groups and individuals through a creative process.  They concluded that it is problematic and unhelpful to separate the creativity of individual minds from the communities in which they flourish.  A sense of shared social identity provides the motivation for people to stick to a creative project and see it to completion.  Even if an artist prefers to create solo, they still need others to appreciate their art and ensure impact.  In fact your social identity will have a huge factor on what you are creating.  For example, Pablo Picasso was a cubist painter, an antifascist and a Spaniard.  Depending on the context, those different social identities most likely influenced his creative behavior.   If you were part of a group, the Beatles, a writers group, scientist, etc., your creativity would be fueled when the group offers encouragement and constructive feedback.  So in this instance a collaborative spirit wins, where members of the group share a social identity, sustained energy to see a project though and continued support even if the project runs into trouble. 

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