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Researchers Discover the Seven Characteristics of a Creative Personality

The seven traits of a creative person. Does this describe you?

There's long been a myth of the tortured artist, holed up in a studio somewhere, working away at his or her ideas isolated from the world. Well, a new study by Professor Øyvind L. Martinsen at BI Norwegian Business School has found that this stereotype might not be too far from the truth. Martinsen and his team set out to determine the type of characteristics creative people have by analyzing a group of artists, musicians, and actors as compared to a control group of managers and lecturers. What they found were seven core traits that creatives possess. Some of these are highly desirable characteristics like ambition and flexibility, yet others, not so much. Low emotional stability and low sociability are also on the list, hence this idea of the tortured artist. Here's the full run down of their findings:

Associative orientation: Imaginative, playful, have a wealth of ideas, ability to be committed, sliding transitions between fact and fiction.

Need for originality: Resists rules and conventions. Have a rebellious attitude because of a need to do things no one else does.

Motivation: Have a need to perform, goal oriented, innovative attitude, stamina to tackle difficult issues.

Ambition: Have a need to be influential, attract attention and recognition.

Flexibility: Have the ability to see different aspects of issues and come up with optimal solutions.

Low emotional stability: Have a tendency to experience negative emotions, greater fluctuations in moods and emotional state, failing self-confidence.

Low sociability: Have a tendency not to be very considerate, are obstinate and find faults and flaws in ideas and people.

Do you consider yourself a "creative"? Do you identify with the characteristics listed above?

Illustration by Emily Anderson

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