Why people with ADHD may be more creative

3-10-2019 kate kelly
Image credit: Kate Kelly

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is typically described by the problems it presents. It is known as a neurological disorder, marked by distractibility, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, which begins in childhood and persists in adults. And, indeed, ADHD may have negative consequences for academic achievement, employment performance, and social relationships.

But ADHD may also bring with it an advantage: the ability to think more creatively. Three aspects of creative cognition are divergent thinkingconceptual expansion and overcoming knowledge constraints. Divergent thinking, or the ability to think of many ideas from a single starting point, is a critical part of creative thinking. Previous research has established that individuals with ADHD are exceptionally good at divergent thinking tasks, such as inventing creative new uses for everyday objects, and brainstorming new features for an innovative cell phone device. In a new study, college students with ADHD scored higher than non-ADHD peers on two tasks that tapped conceptual expansion and the ability to overcome knowledge constraints.

Related article:  Mad genius and genes: Are highly creative people more likely to suffer mental illness?

At first glance, non-conformity and conceptual expansion may not sound very impressive. But, in the context of creative innovation, a small change may unlock a breakthrough.

Read full, original post: The Creativity of ADHD

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