Does Creativity Come From Nature or Nurture?

Hal Gregersen: Four-year-olds everywhere in the world are successful innovators. They ask lots of questions.  They observe like anthropologists.  And that means everyone - you and I - we have more creative capacity than we think. 

 

Does Creativity Come From Nature or Nurture?

People often ask me whether innovation or creativity is nature or nurture.  Are we born with it or not?  And the answer is, both.  There are five or six studies of genetically identical twins that are separated at birth.  They grew up in different family environments.  They’re tested for creativity when they become adults and about one-third of their creativity or innovation skills are indeed sourced from their genetics – their DNA.  The other two-thirds, though, come from the world we grow up in and the world we work in.  


So if I want to be creative, I can.  One way of thinking about this is four-year-olds.  Four-year-olds everywhere in the world are successful innovators. They ask lots of questions.  They observe like anthropologists.  They talk to just about anybody.  They totally think differently.  They do the things that innovators do. 

How many of us were once four years old?  And the answer is we all were.  And that means everyone - you and I - we have more creative capacity than we think. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Live on Monday: Does the US need one billion people?

What would happen if you tripled the US population? Join Matthew Yglesias and Charles Duhigg at 1pm ET on Monday, September 28.

Should you grow a beard? Here's how women perceive bearded men

Whether or not women think beards are sexy has to do with "moral disgust"

Photo Credit: Frank Marino / Unsplash
Sex & Relationships
  • A new study found that women perceive men with facial hair to be more attractive as well as physically and socially dominant.
  • Women tend to associate more masculine faces with physical strength, social assertiveness, and formidability.
  • Women who display higher levels of "moral disgust," or feelings of repugnance toward taboo behaviors, are more likely to prefer hairy faces.
Keep reading Show less

Learn innovation with 3-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn

Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in America with three Michelin stars, joins Big Think Live.

Big Think LIVE

Having been exposed to mavericks in the French culinary world at a young age, three-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn made it her mission to cook in a way that is not only delicious and elegant, but also expressive, memorable, and true to her experience.

Keep reading Show less

Ultracold gas exhibits bizarre quantum behavior

New experiments find weird quantum activity in supercold gas.

Credit: Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • Experiments on an ultracold gas show strange quantum behavior.
  • The observations point to applications in quantum computing.
  • The find may also advance chaos theory and explain the butterfly effect.
  • Keep reading Show less

    3 cognitive biases perpetuating racism at work — and how to overcome them

    Researchers say that moral self-licensing occurs "because good deeds make people feel secure in their moral self-regard."

    Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash
    Personal Growth

    Books about race and anti-racism have dominated bestseller lists in the past few months, bringing to prominence authors including Ibram Kendi, Ijeoma Oluo, Reni Eddo-Lodge, and Robin DiAngelo.

    Keep reading Show less
    Scroll down to load more…
    Quantcast