Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Creativity = immorality

File this under "how to become more like a sociopath," this Scientific American article discusses how being creative (and even thinking more creatively) makes you more likely to cross moral boundaries:

In a recent paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers at Harvard and Duke Universities demonstrate that creativity can lead people to behave unethically. In five studies, the authors show that creative individuals are more likely to be dishonest, and that individuals induced to think creatively were more likely to be dishonest. Importantly, they showed that this effect is not explained by any tendency for creative people to be more intelligent, but rather that creativity leads people to more easily come up with justifications for their unscrupulous actions.
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The authors hypothesized that it is creativity which causes unethical behavior by allowing people the means to justify their misdeeds, but it is hard to say for certain whether this is correct given the correlational nature of the study. It could just as easily be true, after all, that unethical behavior leads people to be more creative, or that there is something else which causes both creativity and dishonesty, such as intelligence. To explore this, the authors set up an experiment in which participants were induced into a creative mindset and then given the opportunity to cheat.  [It did.]
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In addition, the researchers had guessed that creativity would lead to unethical behavior because it enabled people to more easily come up with justifications for their actions. Research has previously shown that whenever people do something which might be perceived as bad, they tend to reduce the ‘badness’ of this behavior by finding some justification for their corrupt behavior. As an example, if you find yourself being less than honest on your taxes, you may justify this by telling yourself that this is something everyone does, or that it doesn’t really hurt anyone.

The craziest part about this is the final experiment, that basically shows that one of the primary reasons why people don't cheat is that they can't come up with their own justifications for their behavior and that once you provide a readymade justification for them, they are much more likely to cheat:

So, if creativity leads to dishonesty primarily by assisting in coming up with justifications for dishonest behavior a creative mindset should not influence people’s likelihood of cheating if they already have some justification in mind. To test this idea, the researchers provided ‘justifications’ for some participants by allowing them to roll the die multiple times, but telling them that only the first roll counted. It turns out that one way of increasing the ease with which people can come up with justifications is by allowing them to observe something which almost happened, but didn’t. In this case, rolling a six on the second roll after rolling a lower number on the first, critical roll should give people a leg up on justifying their dishonest behavior.

It was found that when asked to roll the die once, people not primed with creativity were relatively honest. Individuals primed with creativity, on the other hand, behaved much more dishonestly, reporting much higher die rolls on average. Further, this effect disappeared when people rolled the die multiple times. That is, when people were provided with help to think up justifications, creativity had no effect on cheating. This pattern of results seems to confirm that creativity helps people to think up justifications for dishonest behavior.

These studies demonstrate that there is indeed a dark side to creativity. Perhaps, given this information, it should come as no surprise that the best and brightest in many fields are frequently caught in all manner of immoral transgressions.

Now empaths who want to acquire the skills of a sociopath have yet another avenue to pursue in cultivating an ability to be morally blind -- creativity.  According to the article, all sorts of activities can get you in that cheating frame of mind, even something as simple as arranging the words sky, is, why, blue, and the, into the sentence, “the sky is blue”.  This may also be why showbusiness is so cutthroat.

81 comments:

  1. I routinely rationalize things most people would consider off-base, sometimes to throw them for a whirl, other times because it's fun to show a logic-flow between Point A to Point B.

    But really, it's usually on the whim, whatever I'm doing. I usually only come up with reasons if I have to, which usually entails confrontation.

    I'm definitely a creative person, and always have been. Original? I wouldn't go that far, but definitely past average.

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  2. Howling at the moon is a mixed activity: it shows a part of self compassion, and a part of sad pride; it is very lonely, but must be made in groups. Many a different howling can be listened to in SW, but all of them have something in common; they say “I’m ruthless, I’m aggressive, I’m one of the pack” so they look for the attention of the pack, they are a social manifestation; the name of the pack is “sociopaths” but it could be anyone; the name is the pack’s last concern, the grounds on which the name is given or taken aren’t even remotely important. What counts is the feeling of belonging; it’s quite remarkable, indeed, that such a feeling should be derived from the habit of leaving comments on a blog. I for one doubt very much it should be really so: need of belonging you can perceive of course, but only need, no satisfaction: men’s howling is a lot lonelier than wolf’s, because in fact it’s the crying of a werewolf: no man, no animal, nothing deserving a serious name.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. José's time is upJune 13, 2012 at 3:09 AM

      Why do YOU come here then, José?

      Delete
    2. “I’m ruthless, I’m aggressive, I’m one of the pack”
      seriously?!

      Delete
    3. Everyone needs to belong in a group, Jose. An on line group is a community, too. Man is a social creature, as are dogs and wolves. That is how God made us. In prior times, families and neighborhoods were much closer. Now, the internet has provided a different sort of community, as a possibility for people. There is nothing weak or weird about it imo. Not all of us are sociopaths. Most of us are independent thinkers. I think that is the tie that binds us, more than anything else imo

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    4. Monica if you are walking through your fire to heal, does it take a lifetime ?

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    5. jose, who is howling at the moon?

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    6. Anon 6:03
      I don't know lol

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    7. What constitutes a pack? Must they all be in close proximity together like a pack of cigarettes? What is the minimum distance that must not be breached before a lone wolf is no longer part of the pack? What about electronic cigarettes? Are they just as much part of a pack as enames on a blog?

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    8. A pack has probably changed as society and technology have changed

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    9. cocoa bean..edamames? Like vegetables on a blog?

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    10. This person is either on drugs or experiencing a manic episode

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  3. This place is more fun when you don't read the article, and just jump to the comments.

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  4. Impulse control? What, I can't possibly regret what is *my* choice. Who gives a fuck i did that, i don't care if i am the one who was making the decision, no one put a gun to my head.

    I just want what I want and in the moment create stories that fit. It makes sense given blah blah blah bullshit. So what, I'll get burned, it's MY life and let's see how I can make this work.

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    Replies
    1. I thought everyone does that. Don't they? Don't regular people do what the hell they want?

      Delete
    2. I don't know, you think doing the same impulsive, compulsive thing over an over knowing the end but letting yourself do it a hundred times anyway is "normal" ?? Because *I* want it and why not I'm entitled to do what the fuck I want even though it effects the other?

      I ask people how i can get away with the compulsion and they say I like to lie to myself. I didn't understand it because I'm not lying if I creatively justify the reason in my head. I can persuade myself, so I'm entitled . It's about perception and I just made it all work in order to justify the impulse.

      Do normal people do that?

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    3. Bipolars high on the dopamine do it. Their behavior is creative and impulsive. They can make a fart form out of anything.

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    4. http://www.breggin.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=187

      I'm going to go off my meds based on this article.

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    5. Ok but doing so might not make a difference because you have developed habitual thinking patterns.

      But maybe the thinking will be different with your brain less foggy.

      You can always go back on them. Good Luck.

      Delete
  5. How creative of the researchers to come up with such a studie.
    How much do they earn a year for their bullshit?

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    Replies
    1. Universities and teaching hospitals fund the studies. These are people in the mental health field. It's lucrative for the industry to justify giving meds to creative people.

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    2. You just made that up to hear yourself talk.

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  6. "The authors hypothesized that it is creativity which causes unethical behavior by allowing people the means to justify their misdeeds"

    Bullshit. People that engage in unethical behavior do so because they're unethical, not because they're creative. They don't need creativity to rationalize their behavior, they probably know it's wrong. What they need creativity for is to rationalize it to other people if they get caught. This doesn't necessarily correlate to their unethical motivations though.

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  7. Second false assumption is that people are inherently honest or initially honest to begin with. False. People are inherently selfish and do what they believe is best for them.

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  8. Wow, you mean there is a dark side in being a creative thinker like narcissists and sociopaths? I don't think the
    majority of these people will agree with that. But, yes,
    the article is correct.

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  9. Creativity doesn't cause unethical behavior but creative people can certainly be unethical.

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  10. Sociopaths don't need to rationalize or justify their immoral or amoral behavior. Creative people are just better able to see past bullshit pseudo-morality and not get caught up with acting "moral" for the wrong reasons, like vanity or auto-pilot conformity. This article brings up a huge problem with morality and peoples (mis)understanding of it, which is rigid black and white thinking, as if a certain action is always 100% of the time WRONG no matter what the circumstances. This type of defective thinking can be very dangerous when a person decides they will let a thousand innocents starve because stealing from the greedy rich person who has more money than they can spend in a life time would be wrong because it is still "stealing," or when someone refuses to save a group of abused innocent children because to do so they would have to take the life of the abuser. I'm creative so I could go on and on with examples but I'll conclude with this, this study is built on multiple faulty premises and seems like nothing more than agenda-based pseudo-science that is becoming all too common today. Its as if science is being converted into religion, "we can PROVE our beliefs and anything else we want to with a faulty experiment/study, even if its not actually valid." I bet ME is one of those psychopathic elitists, or working for them, and this blog is based on a sociopath promotion agenda.

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  11. I think this blog is a covert setup to draw aspies out into the open for profiling.

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  12. Good crack ?? ^

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  13. If anyone's getting bored, there still is some stuff about Mee left to discuss in previous blog post, lol

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  14. I'm always bored :(

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  15. I'd rather talk crap about Jose or Zhawq

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  16. Someone is getting hotter.

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  17. I got something interesting for you bored types. My Goth friend had an experience the other night. He was trying to send energy to one of my other friends, a Satanist. He sent energy to her left cheek( while they were texting). She said she felt it on her left cheek. He had not told her where he was going to send it, obviously.

    At the same time, he was sipping on a large glass of wine. All of a sudden, the girl said that she felt high, and had to get off. Meanwhile, he had lost his buzz.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pics or it didn't happened. Could it be that her phone was warm because it was in her pocket and she placed it near her left cheek to talk? And she could have bin high before, who knows what these satanists might be using.
      Sorry, I'm just too sceptical :)

      Delete
    2. Mee, go back to doing Dexter work

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    3. If by Dexter work you mean being unsure about myself, confused and searching for answers, then I have to say that I'm on it :)

      Do you really believe what you wrote about super powers? :/

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    4. A MILLION percent :D

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    5. I hope you don't drive a car Monica

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    6. I do, but I am a bad driver because I am afraid I am going to get killed at any minute.

      Delete
  18. How to Heal a PDJune 13, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    For anyone who loves someone with a PD, you must discern what that person is capable of, relationship-wise. I am speaking to Monica, in particular. Is your mother capable of empathy? If not, it would be foolish of you to expect anything less. She is an "as is" garment, such as when you go to a clothing sale. There may be designer item but it is in hot pink with the zipper broken. If you get it, don't expect it to be light blue. Capiche?

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  19. Why should we talk about excuses for our actions, if we only accept the moral code we ourselves create for our personal benefit? AN action should never have AN excuse, but none, or many, depending on demand: the excuse should change with the listeners, the time and the place where it is given; it should serve the sole and unique purpose of protecting the subject. Excuses shouldn’t be tailored by the sociopaths for the sociopaths themselves, they should be meant for others, partners, society, etc; if we really need to convince ourselves that we have a sufficient reason to act cruelly or slyly or treacherously that’s because we have a guilty conscience, and in that case, sorry, we are not sociopaths (assuming, as a concession to the deeply flawed logic predominant here that a sociopath is a person who among other personality traits never feels any remorse, something I don’t believe for a moment).

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    Replies
    1. Whoa, that kind of made sense. Who are you, and what have you done with Jose's body?

      Delete
    2. Sorry to break it to you buddy, but if the part of the brain that deals with those "feelings".. is empty. Where would you like the person to get said "emotions" out of their ass ?

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    3. LOL V You are a riot.

      Delete
  20. Why don't you believe sociopaths can't feel remorse? And you denied the existence of conscience a few posts back, so why talk about guilty consciences now?

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  21. Replies
    1. Themes you're completely wonderful. Thank you <3

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    2. Themes for SW RegularsJune 13, 2012 at 11:03 AM

      Awww Haven. You made my day <3

      Delete
    3. Attention TCO

      I recently found you on a few other blogs, and you talk A LOT. So why not here ? what is your angle ? Why so random here ?

      Delete
    4. At least I know how to post correctly

      Delete
  22. Diff mask diff blog. Are you really that dumb ?

    ReplyDelete
  23. How To Heal a PDJune 13, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    1. Forget ALL you learned from traditional Psych. You need to get in touch with your own perceptual and observation capabilities. You don't need a professional, once you have your own compass. You may need a friend to whom you can run ideas by. However, you don't need labels for yourself or others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How To Heal a PDJune 13, 2012 at 4:17 PM

      2. A PD is a distortion of your self from the reality of what is the HUMAN condition of everyone's self. Stay away from "survivor groups", 12th step groups(unless you need to stop an actual addiction which is killing you, groups for your PD such as co-dependents Anon etc

      These groups seem as if they will make you better, but will make you more entrenched in the PD, as it is a group think. Even AA is a group think, but can be needed when one cannot stop drinking.

      Delete
    2. How To Heal a PDJune 13, 2012 at 4:32 PM

      3. I can just speak to certain personal routes I take, here. I don't think the necessary change can happen without God, as the degree of entrapment a person has by the constructs of the PD are too great to overcome by any other method, bar none. This is my personal opinion and experience.

      I think one needs an external frame of reference, as well, in which one can learn what it means to be a healthy human being. If one has a PD, one's early life was fraught with poor teaching, most likely. One must overcome this with some sort of didactic method. The Bible is my choice. It has a realistic view of man. Man is not idealized as is the case with Eastern religions, for example imho.

      Delete
    3. Hey you Healy, have you ever had a PD?

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    4. BTW, god is a fairy tale told by people that need a comforting bed time story and the end of their life. Are you saying that atheists and non-theists can't heal from their PDs because they don't believe in a god? You're a failure of your own delusion.

      Delete
    5. How to Heal a PDJune 13, 2012 at 6:03 PM

      Yes, I have a PD. If someone's way is working for them, I have no qualms with it. I hope anyone who has a PD finds relief. I don't believe in the bull that is spouted by the traditional ways put forth to heal emotional problems. They never helped me or anyone I have seen. One must look elsewhere, when this happens. I have no quarrel with you, Haven. I have no quarrel with anyone. *I* just want to heal and take anyone else with me, who wants to find a true, deep, and heartfelt way to heal, once and for all.

      If this is not your bag, so be it. No problems from me, Haven. Peace.

      Delete
    6. I have a lot of hope when it comes to healing personality disorders (for those that want to), but I hope I don't sound like you. I like to think I'm pretty realistic about how it can be accomplished. You have a mad sense distortion and putting down very valid paths that help people.

      Delete
    7. How to Heal a PDJune 13, 2012 at 6:44 PM

      Well, intelligent people can disagree on things, Haven!

      Delete
    8. I think HTHAPD has a valid point. Healing might be unrealistic, but managing a pd well enough for a decent life might be achievable.

      Delete
    9. (I wonder, will this comment make it through the spam filter?)

      Who are you, and what PD do you have, HTHAPD? I used to think that you were Monica, but your writing style does not bear a strong resemblance to hers. In fact, you kinda sound like me. :P

      But I'm not willing to dismiss conventional therapeutic methods, as I have not experienced any since I was a kid forced to see a shrink by my mother and high school. Back then, I was too busy trying to manipulate her to give her a decent chance.

      Why do you consider traditional therapy to be ineffective?

      Delete
  24. And what the fuck are morals? Why dont you give us some valid morals. There are only a few to be honest, the rest are made up by religions and other propagandists.

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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Middle Finger
      What are you talking about? Do you have a valid question or do you want to spout Bullshit?

      Delete
    2. take stealing for instance. why wouldnt i steal from some asshole?

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  25. Monica, maybe I'm just stoned, but I kind of like you lately. You seem more confident and calm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Less whiny at least. Hi Medusa. How've you been?

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    2. Thanks Medusa. That means a lot!

      Delete
    3. Hi Haven. Just got back from seeing the fam. It was good times.

      And you? You've been missing all the fun in the forum.

      Delete
  26. Since when are justification and creativity the same thing? Generally when i hear someone justify their actions its either truthful or an obvious attempt to save face similar to a child. Any idiot can come up with a bull sh* reason to do anything.

    The idea that lack of creativity in some way produces morality is so friggin ridiculous I cant think about it without getting cancer. As if the world is lacking in non-creative jerkovs. I think the study mixed up creativity and lack of integrity.

    More likely is the study was taking forever and when presented with a way out the subjects took it hoping they gave the answer the idiot researcher was looking for.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I came here because I got curious and googled psychopaths + creativity...these comments are kind of mind-boggling to me. I've never seen a comment thread anywhere else resemble this even sort of. I almost can't believe it's not some kind of fake. Like...do you really all monitor each other and spend time analyzing writing styles to see who might be writing under another name? Do you constantly keep track of each other's stories across different threads and mentally note when there might be possible contradictions you can pounce on later?

    I can only conclude you do... In a way, I guess I shouldn't be surprised; that's very much the way my psychopath mother interacts socially. Still, this is so weird to me how utterly bizarre this comment thread is when compared to what I typically see on blogs/articles/forums/etc. Exchange support and friendliness for criticism and hyper-intense scrutiny and this is what you get, I guess.

    The interesting thing to me is that the snarkiness also causes the thread to lose its cohesion, essentially creating that psychopathic chaos that always eventually unfolds. I'm ambivalent on some of the woo-woo New Age stuff, but this seems like a good example of how the path of being connected causes higher levels of organization, whereas being disjointed and out of sync destabilizes things. Virtually none of the comments even relate to the original article, for one thing. And there's little coherent flow from one comment to the next within sub-threads, much more than "normal" internet as I've seen it. So strange.

    TL;DR: This overtired passerby who thinks way too much finds the comments fascinating.

    ReplyDelete

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