The link between a high IQ and high creativity

I’ve spent a lot of time studying the link between measured intelligence (IQ) and creative ability. It seems that there’s a good reason why so many artists have average IQ’s and why some people with extremely high IQ’s struggle to be creative.

Getzels & Jackson

For instance, a very well known 1962 study by Getzels and Jackson, tested high school students for IQ and creative thinking. The conclusion was interesting. It showed that high IQ and high levels of creativity, tended to be mutually exclusive. The majority of the highest scoring students were either highly creative people or they were highly intelligent, but not both.

Dr. Donald MacKinnon: Creative thinking is a skill that can be learned

The late creative thinking expert, Psychology Professor Dr. Donald MacKinnon, studied creativity for decades. He observed scientists, writers, engineers and doctors, who were regarded as highly creative by their colleagues and found they were no more intelligent, than their less creative counterparts. He came to the conclusion that so long as a person had a basic, minimal level of intelligence, they could be (at least) as creative as someone with a higher IQ.

Dr. MacKinnon believed that creativity was simply a way of working with your mind, which could be learned and improved. He referred to creative thinkers as people who simply learned how to play with their mind, in a way that allowed them to develop creatively. In fact, he said that the most creative people, were those who were childlike in their playful approach to creativity.

I can report that Dr. MacKinnon’s work is in complete balance with my own experience. I was regarded as of very low creativity throughout my first 25 years. However, I have been able to massively increase my creativity through learning how to use my mind more creatively and by learning to trust my creativity.

Yes, you are creative!

After over 20 years studying creative thinking, it’s my absolute belief that anyone can learn how to become extremely creative, so long as they are interested and they study creativity. In fact, that was the main reasons I created this site; To help as many people as I can, be as creative as they can.

Photo: WalknBoston