Creativity and Imagination: Facts and Stats

In a society that worships productivity and everyone tries to “get more done”, the role of creativity and imagination seems to be diminishing. Here are some creativity statistics and facts to establish its importance.

General Creativity Facts and Stats

How do you feel about your creative abilities and imagination? Here’s a look at global studies and stats to give context:

1. 75% of people think they are not living up to their creative potential.

2. Daydreaming at work or school could be a sign that you’re smart and creative. It can light connections across a series of interacting brain regions.

But don’t worry if you’re not great at imagination.

2. A study by Sophie von Stumm found that strength of imagination isn’t related to creativity or learning.

3. 72% of people have creative insights in the shower as per a 2014 Kaufman study.

Creativity At Work

Creativity in business returned “37,90,00,000” Google results as of April 2021. Here are more business-related stats showing how organizations have been increasingly valuing innovation at work.

1. Creativity is revered in business and professional settings:

2. Yet a Gallup survey of 16,500 employees found that merely 35% of workers are given a chance to stay creative at work only a few times a year, or even less often.

Further, only 8% of employees “strongly agreed” that they were allowed risks at work that could lead to important new products, services, or solutions.

If as an organization, you’re wondering what kind of tools you need to invest in to encourage creativity in employees, you’ll be happy reading the next research finding.

3. You don’t need to invest in specialized tools for spurring creativity. For the right employees, even everyday non-specific tech can help in the generation of ideas as per an empirical study findings from Dorit Nevo (an associate professor in the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute).

No wonder, rock bands say this all the time. “Their sound” is not in the guitar amplifiers and pedals — it’s in their “hands.”

Developing Creativity

If employers are crazy about getting you to act creatively, how can you get some of that good thing going for you? Of course, having more time to think and just unfocusing are counterintuitively going to help. But here’s what the research has found:

1. IOWA State University found that playing video games like Minecraft can increase your creativity under certain conditions. So don’t undermine the role of games that foster “creative freedom.”

Note that if you ask the people playing games to “be creative”, then it doesn’t work. You’ve in a way limited their options while playing.

The next alternative might work better for you if proactively working on a problem is what you want.

2. Anytime you’re stuck in the normal mode of thinking, just “sleep over it.”

A study at Harvard Medical School conducted by psychologist Deidre Barrett, PhD, found that dreams may contribute to creativity and problem-solving.

3. Finally, to improve your creative output, there are four skill sets that you can try to work on as per creativity researcher, Jonathan Plucker:

  • Capturing: preserving new ideas as they occur, 
  • Challenging: taking on difficult tasks, 
  • Broadening: seeking knowledge and skills outside one’s current areas of expertise,
  • Surrounding: seeking out new stimuli or combinations of stimuli.

10 Other Creativity Statistics and Facts

  1. Studies suggest that creative breakthroughs are often the result of dedication, perseverance, and hard work. Past research has identified a “10,000 hour rule” — stating that it generally takes about 10,000 hours of dedicated work to become a expert in a given domain. Studies suggest that achieving a creative breakthrough is no different. (Source – Forbes)

2. It’s a myth that only highly intelligent people are creative. Research shows that once you get beyond an I.Q. of about 120, which is just a little above average, intelligence and creativity are not at all related. (Source – Copyblogger)

3. Creative output was found to improve by about 60% when walking (either indoors or out), versus sitting. So, if you’re looking to boost your creativity, try going for a short walk – or a long one. (Source – positivepsychology)

4. The American Journal of Public Health, found that ‘creative engagement can decrease anxiety, stress, and mood disturbances. Their explanation was that allowing ourselves truly creative expression enables us to focus on ‘the holistic person’ and that through creativity, expression, and imagination we ‘find our identity. (Source – lawgazette)

5. Individuals are more creative than groups. Group dynamics can actually diminish overall creativity by stifling certain voices while amplifying others. (Source – tandfonline)

6. One study found that people think of more creative ideas when they believe they are interacting with someone at a greater physical distance because this activates higher-construal thought processes (big-picture focus and abstract thinking). (Source – sciencedirect)

7. Creativity is combining facts no one else has connected before.” – Prof. Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, 1995 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine Founding member of the ERC Scientific Council

8. About 38.3 million Americans and 30 percent of the American workforce identify themselves with the creative class. This number has increased by more than 10 percent in the past 20 years. (Source – Wikipedia)

9. A recent study, written by the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, determined that daydreaming is actually paramount to boosting our creativity. However, with our constant exposure to technology, we are lessening the likelihood of this boosting occurring. 

10. Creative people tend to be smart, but research has shown that having a very high IQ is not necessarily correlated with higher levels of creative achievement—personality traits are important, too. (Source – VeryWellMind)

Final Thoughts

Now it’s time for you to put these creativity statistics to use. Cite them early and as often as you need to get back some space in your life for some of that daydreaming and unfocusing on work. If you still need help, here’s an article on how to get your creative juices flowing.

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