Are People with Very Different Parents More Creative? Some Preliminary Studies

Abstract

We report on preliminary tests of the hypothesis that creativity is correlated with degree of difference between one’s parents. The rationale is that different parental worldviews (1) require reconciliation/honing such that the child develops a more complex worldview, and (2) accustom the child to thinking things through for him/herself. Initial evidence from studies of creative thinking, creative personality traits, and parental differences are consistent with this hypothesis. This is the case for both direct measures of creative thinking, and for indirect, trait-based measures of creativity. We are testing the parental differences hypothesis using DAWN, a Kohonen-type neural network model of how an integrated ‘worldview’ emerges as patterns of associations, or indexical relations, across inputs, or icons. Parental input is simulated by exposing DAWN to the outputs of ‘parent networks’ of varying degrees of similarity. The correlation between similarity of ‘parent’ networks and creativity of DAWN’s outputs is being assessed.


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