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Creative = cheater

Creative = cheater

Here’s your excuse creative people! Your innovative think-out-of-the-box brains are hardwired in a way that you’re just bound to cheat.


July 27, 2011 1:58 by

“Creative people are more likely to behave in an unethical manner,” at least that’s what what came out of a joint study between Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the Harvard Business School.

Okay so it’s not so much that creative people will necessarily lie or cheat—so it’s not the ultimate excuse just yet. What the study suggests is that it’s in the way creative people think: they try to be innovative and thus start thinking about ethical loopholes. This may mean they are more prone to inflate reports and steal office supplies.

Although Kipp does wonder if this only means that ‘creative’ people do it more often because they have better imaginations to help them get away with things. So basically, it’s not that being artistic automatically makes a person heartless, just that a nimble mind has an easier time justifying its moral lapses.

To reach the results the researchers conducted five experiments, using between 71 and 111 people in each. The study found that divergent thinkers tend to find original ways to bypass moral rules, and most likely the cognitive skills that boost creativity in individuals simultaneously foster the ability to justify their underhand deeds.

Francesca Gino, associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School and co-author of the study, refers to the findings as “a first step in uncovering some of the potential dark consequences of being creative.”

But then who really needed a study to tell them that creativity had a dark side?

Hmm and now we’re wishing for the next study to come our way to be on the squares in the office…the pencil pushers can’t all be goody two-shoes right?


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