What types of people have creative personalities?

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I did an informal survey (n=61) asking people about their creative achievements and then compared it to their personalities as measured by the AB5C scales. Here are the results:

Key Findings

  • The various facets of openness best predicted creative achievement.
  • There appears to be some truth to the stereotype that creative people are more messy. However, they often do appear to be conscientious in other ways.
  • The creative people in this sample were more neurotic on average, but not enough to settle the debate over whether depression can fuel creativity.
  • Interestingly, it wasn’t the creativity facet that had the strongest correlation, it was imagination.

Creativity asks where you agree with statements such as:

  • “I like to solve complex problems.”
  • “I ask questions no one else does.”
  • “I know the answers to many questions.”

While imagination includes statements such as:

  • “I have a vivid imagination.”
  • “I need a creative outlet.”
  • “I believe in the importance of art.”

So it kind of makes sense why imagination was a better predictor. Perhaps these traits need better names — I’d suggest “ingenuity” rather than “creativity”, and “creativity” rather than “imagination”.

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