For example, take nonconformity – a necessary prerequisite of creativity. This includes not only creativity deliberately aimed at hurting others, such as crime or terrorism, or at gaining unfair advantages, but also the accidental negative side … This effect was stronger than the relationship between Extraversion and creativity, leading the researchers to call for more research on the link between creativity and dishonesty. With few exceptions, scholarship on creativity has focused on its positive aspects while largely ignoring its dark side. Until we put up a mutual agreed upon ethical wall (aka obstacle to me) I can go wherever I want! So creativity isn’t all upside. Again, they had participants complete the "visual perception task". The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. The ability to be creative, combined with the motivation to think outside the box, explains the proposed relationship between creative thinking and dishonesty.". Yet it is also true that creativity has been associated with a wide range of counterproductive, rarely discussed qualities. In sum: creativity was a better predictor of dishonesty than intelligence. Could Vigorous Physical Exercise Help People Live Longer? OK, but is anyone, regardless of their personality, likely to be dishonest if their creative mindset is activated? In this paper, we test for this possibility and propose that creativity has a dark side when applied to ethical behavior. The path to new ideas is often a turbulent one. For these people, to deny their creativity is to deny themselves. temporarily priming creativity on dishonest behavior (Experiment 5). And creative thinkers also tend to have poorer impulse-control. In their second study, they tested this possibility by adding measures of "intelligence": cognitive reflection and vocabulary. Embrace your dark side folks – it holds lots of goodies! These results are consistent with the Silvia and colleagues study mentioned above, but go further by showing that not only is there a relationship between creativity and a dishonest personality, but there is also a relationship between having a creative personality and actually behaving dishonestly in the context of a psychological experiment. It was precisely these ambiguous trials that provided their measure of dishonesty. First, research has established a link between creativity and negative moods. But there were now a few conditions. Copyright © 2020 Harvard Business School Publishing. Not only does this research show a relationship between creativity and dishonesty, by it also shows that creativity causes dishonesty. A creative personality could cause dishonesty, but dishonesty could also cause someone to be more creative. - Franz Kafka, i would choose the right triangle, once intuition kicked in, just because it was more fun, nothing to do with dishonesty. Those reporting higher creativity on their measures chose "right" in ambiguous trials more frequently (i.e., they were more dishonest). Note: Want more about the dark side of creativity? Her blame finger is aimed at the creativity trait which everyone has! Even seemingly desirable creative qualities often present more problems than opportunities for the person who incarnates them. Keywords: creativity, ethics, morality, moral flexibility, unethical behavior Evil always turns up in this world through some genius or other. Desperate times require desperate measures! Likewise, although the idea of embracing risk and tolerating failure seems cool and sexy, the natural human tendency is to preserve the status quo and make our environments as predictable and familiar as possible. The result? The dark side has become my friend – it is such a great spawning ground for the other bits – wondrous creativity and the sheer joy of accomplishment. I would quite possibly lie in a test for financial gain where I felt that the outcome was in no way likely to cause harm to others. Narcissistic people are focused on themselves, and naturally spend more time focused on developing their own ideas and less time worrying about pleasing other people. Anecdotal evidence hinting at an association between creativity and dishonesty comes Without creativity, we would be still living in the dark ages. Simonton argues that creative geniuses aren’t necessarily crazy, a better word to describe them is eccentric.