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You’re not an innovator and you never will be: 7 Reasons


People who believed that impulsiveness could benefit creativity had an increase in effort-based performance on creative tasks according to new research. Led by Alexandra Wesnousky of New York University, the study helps support the “silver lining theory”: those who tend to see even their negative traits positively will be more motivated and provide more effort. Apparently, if you feel your flaws only hold you back, you won’t be as creative. Tweet this


Research presented in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that nostalgia can boost innovative thinking. Participants were instructed to think of “nostalgic” experiences versus “ordinary” ones. The first group were rated as more creative. If you look at your memories as merely ordinary, you won’t be as innovative. Tweet this


Another study led by University of Chicago Psychologist Sarah Gaither found that self-examination of our roles in society may be a creativity booster. When writing about themselves and imagining how they are perceived in various life roles such as gender, race, and family participants scored higher on creativity tasks than the group who focused on their daily lives without instruction. If you focus on your daily life rather than the roles you play in it, you might not be as innovative. Tweet this

Political Correctness 

A professor at Washington University in St. Louis tested the assumption that political correctness is a hindrance to creativity. Groups of the participants were instructed to list examples political correctness prior to a brainstorming session on how to use a vacant space on campus. Compared to the group who had no discussion before brainstorming, the political correct aware group had more ideas and those ideas were more unique. The researchers interpret that certainty about clearer expectations helped creativity. If you are unaware of political correctness, could you be less of an innovator? Tweet this


Short naps have been shown to boost creativity and short term alertness according to a study published by Georgeton University. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you can’t be as innovative. Tweet this


Boredom benefits creative thought. Researchers at Pennsylvania State found bored participants did better on creativity tests than those who were self described as distressed, elated, or relaxed. If you don’t let yourself experience boredom, maybe you’re not going to be as creative. Tweet this


A Stanford University study found that walking helps with inspiration. It also found that those who walked outside versus a treadmill were twice as creative, though all walkers were more creative than the sitters. If you spend all of your time sitting inside all day, you might not be as innovative as someone who goes for a walk. Tweet this

You're not an innovator and you never will be: 7 reasons

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Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.

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Brian E. Young

I'm a graphic designer (portfolio), classical pianist and artist in Baltimore, MD. I host the Uncanny Creativity Podcast helping to demystify the creative process and creator of, an online shop for apparel and games. Twitter: @sketchee

3 thoughts to “You’re not an innovator and you never will be: 7 Reasons”

  1. Wow. Boredom, walking, nostalgia. Who knew, right? For a while I’ve heard about how boredom is being destroyed for children these days because of devices everywhere, but this solidifies its importance as being part of their creativity

    1. Yeah,it’s boredom that’s really the mother of invention. Coming up with something to do from nothing… Realizing that we’re surrounded by so much to do. I’m guessing there will be very different forms of creativity birthed from our new era of mobile phones

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