Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Being unsocial may boost your creativity


Everyone needs an occasional break from the social ramble, but sometimes unsociability or distancing yourself from people may help improve creativity, reveals a study.

According to researchers from the University at Buffalo in New York, some people withdraw themselves due to non-fearful preferences for solitude.

Lead study author Julie Bowker said, “We have to understand why someone is withdrawing to understand the associated risks and benefits.”

These individuals enjoy spending time alone, reading or working on their computers.

Past research has consistently shown that unsociability is unrelated to negative outcomes, but the recent study claims positive outcome, creativity.

“Although unsociable youth spend more time alone than with others, we know that they spend some time with peers. They are not antisocial. They don’t initiate interaction, but also don’t appear to turn down social invitations from peers, explained the researchers.


“Therefore, they may get just enough peer interaction so that when they are alone, they are able to enjoy that solitude. They are able to think creatively and develop new ideas – like an artist in a studio or the academic in his or her office,” Bowker said.

In the study, shyness and avoidance are shown to be related negatively to creativity.

For the study, 295 participants reported on their different motivations for social withdrawal.

Other self-reported measures assessed creativity, anxiety sensitivity, depressive symptoms, aggression and the behavioral approach system (BAS), which regulates approach behaviours and desires, and the behavioral inhibition system (BIS), which regulates avoidant behaviours and desires.

Not only unsociability is related to creativity, the study findings also show that there is a positive link between shyness and anxiety sensitivity.

The research findings were published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

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