Is Creativity an Art or Science?
For many people, creativity may feel like either something they’re born with, or something they’ll simply never possess. But is that truly the case?
From our earliest school days, some of our peers excelled at all things that called for creativity: art projects, short stories, chorus and musical theatre, even various assignments in math and science class that needed posters, drawings, or presentations for the class. If you were not among these students, you may have felt totally void of the creative knack and resigned yourself to other endeavors, leaving that portion of group projects for your partners.
But creativity is not just drawing or performing. In fact, it comes in practically endless shapes, sizes, and forms: from choosing the right words to putting together a resume or powerpoint, even to cleaning up an Excel sheet or taking clients out for dinner. Given its countless manifestations, one has to ask: Is creativity an art or a science?
Does your job require you to be creative? A cognitive psychologist and a Harvard liberal arts professor sat down to discuss the similarities and differences between their approaches to creativity, as well as the common link that some of our world’s greatest creative minds—from artists to mathematicians—had in common.
As it turns out, though they disagreed on their approaches to studying creativity, they agreed on the one factor necessary for mastering a given skill.