The Smarter People Blog

Human Capital Analtyics thoughts, views and opinion, from SPP thought leadership and industry experts.

Old Skool Research Supports In-NO-vation

creative

After reading Dr. Gillis’ blog post In-NO-vation, I had the urge to resurrect my 1995 doctoral dissertation: The Relationship between Psychosocial Development and Divergent Production in Older Adults. Just academic words for the relationship between human development (measured as psychosocial development) and creativity (measured as divergent thinking) of adults aged 50+. So, what did I find back in the day? Overall, I found that there was no relationship between human psychosocial development, in aggregate, and creativity, but at certain stages of development, there are significant relationships.  

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In-NO-vation

In-NO-vation

Creativity is unlearned, not learned. 1,600 five year olds were tested for creativity by NASA to select innovative engineers and scientists, and 98% scored “highly creative.” These same children were tested 5 years later, at age 10, and that score dropped to 30%, and then 12% when they were 15. 200,000 adults took the same test, and only 2% came back as “creative.”

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Step 5: Make Smarter Decisions by Avoiding Illusory Correlations

Step 5: Make Smarter Decisions by Avoiding Illusory Correlations
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Do you know how stereotypes are formulated? It’s through an illusory correlation. People have a tendency to jump to conclusions about the relationship between two variables, even when no causal relationship exists. All jocks are dumb, women are not as smart as men, blonde-haired women are unintelligent...you know where this is going. Yes, these relationships may be true in some instances, but not for the majority. This mental error leads to poor decision-making.

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Scientific descriptions of human behavior

Scientific descriptions of human behavior

It is roughly accurate to characterize the enterprise of science as explaining how one billiard ball strikes another and how that one ricochets into another, and so on. But when this approach is applied to people, it can fall short, because people are goal-oriented. For example, the philosopher John Searle noted that “If you describe a car and leave out driving, you’ve left out something important.” He went on to say, “Cars are for driving; dollars for earning, spending, and saving; bathtubs for taking a bath.”

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