How Creativity Might Be Tied to Sanity and Madness Alike
Having a creative mind may correlate with both sanity and madness, debunking the popular notions that creative people tend toward having a mental illness.
What's the Latest?
Having a creative mind may correlate with both sanity and madness, debunking the popular notion that creative people tend toward mental instability. While tales of Vincent Van Gogh--and more recent video of Michael Jackson--indulge our romantic notion that genius is inherently unstable, "[t]here are people who are mentally ill and are creative, but the opposite is much more common," says psychologist Arne Dietrich of the American University of Beirut. "So the link is actually negative, not positive." The vast majority of creative people are not mentally ill, and the great majority of mentally ill people are not geniuses.
What's the Big Idea?
A "mad-genius paradox" has been proposed by creativity scholar Dean Keith Simonton of the University of California at Davis. According to Simonton, one's view of how creativity relates to mental illness depends on how you slice the pie. On the whole, creative people actually have lower incidences of mental illness than non-creative people. Of those who are considered creative, however, the individuals who make the most significant and original contributions to their field--the "geniuses"--could tend toward having higher rates of mental illness than those who offer fewer creative contributions.
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Civil discourse has fallen to an all time low.
The question that the American populace needs to ask itself now is: how do we fix it?
Discursive fundamentals need to be taught to preserve free expression
In their findings the authors state:
upholding First Amendment ideals.
Talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner
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It's interesting to note the authors found that:
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Here are some statistics on differing viewpoints according to political party:
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Here are some guidelines for civic discourse that might come in handy:
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Civic discourse in the divisive age
dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants,
the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and
putting our democracy in peril.
Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from
immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security,
become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate.
The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from
re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to
building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us."
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