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Fake it till you make it

Can pretending to be creative actually make you more creative?

Fake it till you make it

It appears that the old adage, “fake it ’till you make it”, has more truth behind it than we previously thought.

Creativity is a slightly elusive trait, many people believe that unless you’re born with it, creativity is difficult to come by. Having this trait however, is being continuously demanded of us, and not just as a measure of personality, but a key to success in life and in business.

But can we learn to be more creative?

A new study by researchers at the University of Maryland found that the power of persuasion can be a great creativity booster. According to two different experiments published in journal PLOS ONE, having the confidence to believe in your own creativity, can dramatically increase creative output and performance.

The researchers began by ‘priming’ two groups of students, made up of more than 200 undergraduates, majoring in various arts or science subjects.

One group was told to imagine themselves as stereotypically creative, in a professional manner, and the other group were asked to imagine themselves as stereotypically rigid, or “by-the-book”.

Both groups were then asked to take part in a number of activities and complete various tasks that measured creativity.

A control group was used to compare the two, completing the same tasks and activities, but operating as themselves.

According to the findings, having the ability to think outside the box is less of a static personality trait and more of a state of mind. Those who imagined themselves as being creatively inclined out-performed those who regarded themselves as less so.

So not only did thinking outside the box boost creativity, it also proved that thinking the opposite can impeded and prevent creativity.

 

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