Thursday, May 31, 2007

Conservative Creativity?

Mixing Memory has a piece on a paper asking whether conservatives are less creative and while it's certainly not a definitive study, the results are intriguing, as are the questions raised at the same time. The results seem to follow people's instinct in saying that there is some correlation between conservativism and creativity.

Food for thought:
  1. What does "creativity" actually measure? I think there's a difference somewhere between open to new viewpoints or attitudes, and to new means or methods for achieving those viewpoints/objectives. Hence, a conservative may be creative in coming up with new ways of doing the same thing - is that still creativity?

  2. This is only correlation of course. The next logical question is whether conservatism leads to a lack of creativity, or whether it stems from it. (Or, indeed, both.)

  3. Is creativity necessarily a good thing, especially in the context of policy? Too much change - the treadwheel of progress - can lead to unforeseen consquences, so maybe the really important question is how we strike a balance between conservatism and creation.

[update: stumbled across some slides discussing what creativity might be.]

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