Beauty out of affliction?..

“Feeling and longing are the motive forces behind all human endeavors and human creations.”

— Albert Einstein

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“What is required of us is that we love the difficult and learn to deal with it. In the difficult are the friendly forces, the hands that work on us. Right in the difficult we must have our joys, our happiness, our dreams: there against the depth of this background, they stand out, there for the first time we see how beautiful they are.”

— Rainer Maria Rilke

What is the relationship between emotional pain and creative thought and action?

In Brave New World, Aldous Huxley imagined a dystopian future in which psychological hardship had effectively become a thing of the past, a society where humans were conditioned to expect nothing less than full-time joy. Negative emotions became totally unnecessary because they melted away whenever you swallowed a delicious, ubiquitous, and consequence-free substance, called soma.

If annihilating all the pains of life were really as easy as taking a soma tablet would you do it?

And if so, how do you think this might affect your creative output?

Soma may be closer to reality than many people realize. With skyrocketing antidepressant use, and accumulating evidence that these psychiatric drugs may be doing more harm than good overall, it’s reasonable to ask ourselves whether they may be blunting creativity along with emotional pain.

While psychological pain can cause all manner of suffering, it can also be an important driver of human creativity. Distress can be functional; we are often moved to create because we need to feel better, to improve the quality of our lives and the lives of people around us.

Psychological theories reason that negative emotion can enhance creativity in several ways. Most importantly, distressing feelings allow for the release of energy into work: The sublimation of anxieties into creative production is considered one of the healthiest possible ways of coping with pain.

Emotional difficulties also provide an important well of content, an endless source of material to be exploited. Because of this, the hypothetical elimination of psychic pain would effectively narrow the range of human creativity; of art and science; of beauty and truth. In Huxley’s world, only savages appreciated the emotional complexity of Shakespeare, a forgotten poet.

Sheer persistence in the face of emotional adversity is also probably a key component to creativity. Especially creative people are often forced to deal with regular disapproval, both external and internal, for their divergent thinking. For some, this can lead to intense dissatisfaction with the self and sustained creative stagnation. For others, the capacity to endure repeated rejections and self-questioning can unleash creative flow.

Recent scientific research into the emotion-creativity link gives us more clues: When negative emotions are severe they tend to block creativity (as well as concentrationmotivation, and much else), but when they are only moderate, bad moods (like good moods) are associated with increased creativity. Feeling negative often leads to a more critical/analytical mindset, helping us to see when a strategy is not working and in need of revision. [2]

According to another line of research, whether we feel positive or negative may actually be less important for creative achievement than whether that emotion comes with heightened arousal or not. So, boosts in creativity may be more likely to occur when experiencing high arousal emotions, like anger or hurt (or enthusiasm), and less likely to occur when experiencing low arousal emotions, like despair (or relaxation).

There is also research suggesting that people are most creative when they are able to experience both positive and negative emotions and they feel supported by people around them. In other words, having a wide-ranging emotional life—including painful experiences—in the context of dependable relationships is probably the best combination for fostering creativity

Because the emotional dark side has inspired some of humanity’s most impressive creations, we should think about potential consequences before attempting to eliminate pain instead of cope with it.

Over and over, we see beauty develop out of affliction. Could anyone possibly imagine what modern music might sound like if the blues had never existed? [3] Any song—any genre—rooted in the blues, including jazz, rock’n’roll, punk, pop, soul, funk, and hip-hop, would never have existed in Huxley’s unidimensional world.

American music has origins in psychological pain and injustice, with endless examples of spectacular achievement in spite of—or due to—adversity. Billie Holiday grew up in the severest poverty and struggled with constant racism and sexism throughout her life, experiences which informed and enhanced the profundity of her vocal performances. James Brown grew up in similar circumstances, and his unique legacy has as much to do with educating his audience about sheer persistence through hardship as it does with his conception of an entirely new form of music. When Patti Smith sang, “Those who have suffered/Understand suffering/And thereby extend their hand,” she was expressing the heavy undersoul of rock’n’roll.

(source: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/limitless/201306/pain-and-poiesis)

Loneliness…

I didn’t know i was beautiful, i mean as a kid i was terribly shy and no beauty, even in junior high i was an ugly duckling at least that is how i felt. Looking back now i can see i was becoming beautiful but i didn’t know it, i was insecure and my family made me feel like i was “usual”, “nothing special”.  I never had much friends and always felt that there was something wrong with me, which made me feel insecure. I would only get hit on by guys that were only interested in my exterior and flirting…

It took me years to realize that I am beautiful…not just on the outside but on the inside as well, which is more important. Everyday I am told I am beautiful wether its from a coworker or total stranger and the compliments don’t come just from men. I catch women stare at me, some even come up to me on the street and say “ I am not gay or anything, but you are really beautiful”. I do not think that is purely physical, I am very intelligent and kind, and people say it “shines through”.  Sometimes I look in the mirror and I just don’t see it. I know I am not ugly but I do not see what they are seeing. And the part about always being suspicious of a man’s intentions is true. It takes me a long time to to trust someone as I have put my heart and feelings out there for close people to have it stomped on.  I am not writing this to get sympathy, I just want to find answers as to why this happens and find a way to avoid the loneliness…

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To start my research I decided to find out what the word “loneliness” mean, here is the wikipedia description: “ Loneliness is a complex and usually unpleasant emotional response to isolation or lack of companionship. Loneliness typically includes anxious feelings about a lack of connectedness or communality with other beings, both in the present and extending into the future. As such, loneliness can be felt even when surrounded by other people. The causes of loneliness are varied and include social, mental, emotional, and spiritual factors”

 Then I went to google and read forum conversations from different sites for hours as to what people say. And here are some quotes:

“Nobody ever asks me out. Perhaps I should leave the bag on my head when I am about town” – CottonCandle, San Francisco

“Before I got together with my current S.O., I haven’t been on a date in 5 years” – Kitty Katia, Las Vegas

“I wouldn’t call them lonely. I do think there’s something to it in the sense that most guys are intimidated to approach certain girls. Ironically I think most assume that since they look great, they must already be with someone.” – R Marquez, San Francisco

“It’s absolutely true about the guys being afraid to approach. I usually need to give a CLEAR green light for any guy to hit on me” & “I’ve always told my guy friends… the big secret is really hot women are EASIER to tie down than average ones, because most guys think they can’t and don’t even try” – Sabrina Maree, West Hollywood

“Yeah, some guys don’t believe that I am attracted to them, even when I clearly am hitting on them. One guy put me through a serious of tests, like having friends question me as to if I was truly interested and why… But I mean, what the hell could my motive be? Wasn’t like he had money I could be after! WTH? But that’s weird to me how they won’t believe…” – Ararity, NY

I even found couple comments from man, here is one that struck me: “It seems to me the more beautiful they are the more evil and stuck on themselves they are. They say they are lonely because they can’t have what they want, they’re greedy, superficial and snotty. They think that a has to be wealthy or a supermodel to even talk to them. If you look at a beautiful woman they get an attitude like what are you looking at…” – thomasedwin

Yes, there are women like that, sadly man like Thomasedwin get burned and lose trust in women. First of all it depends on the definition of “beauty”, I believe beauty can be shown not only in physical attributes but mostly it is characteristics that can be seen with our subconsciousness  we just need to learn how to recognize it. I believe most of us met people that might not be beautiful when we first look at them, but the moment we start to communicate and look at them more closely, we notice that they are the most amazing people and all of a sudden we get really attracted to that person. So yes, I believe beauty can be “shining through” from inside.

But lets get back to the physically beautiful women.

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She is beautiful? She is ambitious, goals, and prestige for herself… yet men only confront her for sex or don’t confront her at all? Women gossip about her and make for any moment to make her fall. She has done nothing wrong to anybody. She just wants to be loved, appreciated and taken seriously in the relationship. Why is the road for such woman is so hard? Why is true love and true friends so hard to obtain?And what must she do to keep her self-esteem from crumbling?

Beautiful women often suffer from self-esteem issues because they aren’t sure who they would be without their looks. For example, they have to constantly wonder if a man is with them only because of their looks, and they don’t feel valued or seen for who they are. Men approach them constantly but these women know it’s because of their appearance so they almost feel insulted, because they feel the guy is blind to who they are and just seeing them as an object. Men will admire her physically but do not bother to want to know her mind, why? It is perceived as a hard work for a lot of men. Many men will not want to even attempt to handle such woman, so they will opt for the easiest route possible and only want to have sex with her, then disappear and never even realize that this person is a marvelous, genuine person whom would be ideal for them.

The truth is that many men find beautiful women intimidating, my classmate (male) recently said, “Lina, we are more intimidated by beautiful woman, than by smart woman. To be with a beautiful woman, a man has to have no self-esteem issues and be very confident”.  I have to agree, otherwise the door to insecurity opens up pretty wide and relationship crumbles, sometimes before even starting. All man really needs is to be calm, self assured and totally genuinely love and trust his woman.

As for women, it is envy, she has it all as far as they can see, they want it and don’t have “the gift” so what do they do? Gossip about her and secretly wish she would fail at something or be lowered somehow.

However, to the beautiful but lonely women out there, you absolutely must keep your self-esteem, self value and realize that you have real value to someone, that someday you “prince” will arrive, love and trust you genuinely, deeply, totally and sweep you off your feet to the romantic love life you always dreamed about in your lonely hours, it can and it will happen to you, time is the master here. There is a man out there that who will see you value, your qualities and not be at all intimidated by you, in fact it will be complete opposite, it will be a case of “total crazy emotional attraction” to you. Someday it all will happen.

 

women in glasses… nerdy or sexy…

I have been wearing glasses for the past 6 years, and i always felt shy about wearing them, mainly because somehow they made me feel… vulnerable, i guess… 

But recently i realized that in fashion “nerdy” look is very much in, especially for the last couple of years. so it made me think, which is better, more fashionable and attracts attention: contacts or glasses?

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Awhile ago, women that wore glasses were perceived as “boring” and “no fun”.  “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses” (Dorothy Parker). However, “seldom” isn’t “never.” So, i decided to research and see what men think about women wearing glasses, is it attractive or “boring”. Here are some comments from men:

  • “As much as they’re attracted to women without glasses. The glasses don’t make the difference, their personality and the rest of their appearance does. 
    The problem is that some women wearing glasses have given up on finding anyone, so they don’t put any effort in their appearance anymore. Thus the issue here is not the glasses, but the general attitude of these women.” 
  • “haha i have glasses and i think i look so weird with them and all the girls laugh at me for it lol. but i’m a guy and i do think glasses are sexy and attractive because they bring all the attention to a girls eyes and face and when you pay attention to her eyes you also notice all of the beauty in her face. so my answer is a girl with glasses is definitely a plus. hope this helps, Good Luck :)”
  •  
    “Depends on the woman. It definitely depends on the style per woman if she can pull it off or not.
    It definitely can help boost appearance, especially to hide shaded eyes from too little sleep.
    That said, its not really a turn off or a turn on so much as it is an accessory that can make or break an outfit or a look. “
  • “Depends. its more about whose behind the glasses to me though…”
  • “I honestly believe that women who wear glasses are extremely attractive. Of course, this doesn’t mean that I find women who do not wear glasses any less attractive, it’s just something about women with glasses. I think it has to do with the studious and brainy look. The look of an intelligent and sophisticated woman who I could have long and serious talks with or team up with as a study buddy. And maybe it has something to do with the fact that a lot of girls who wear glasses are the nice, reserved type who may work at a charity when not having a prolonged Saturday afternoon study session at a library. Some of these girls tend to be a little on the prudish side and are often ignored by other guys because they are “boring.” I have always had a soft spot in my heart for such women. I guess it has a lot to do with me being old fashioned and wanting that “nice girl” that I could be affectionate it with unconditionally and have that affection returned in kind. As well as being best friends to each other. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule and I am quite aware that there are many girls who wear glasses that are not smart nor kind. And it seems as if the secret is out as more bad boys are pursuing women who wear glasses and more bad women are donning glasses to ensnare nice guys and break their hearts. For those of you women who wear glasses but think that no guy will ever like you because you do, I just want you to know that you are wrong. I’m positive proof of that. Women who wear glasses aren’t attractive? Only someone dense would believe that. ” (source:http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Like-Girls-Who-Wear-Glasses/1659874)

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I think as a whole, people wearing glasses are so in place in our society that we do not see them as a detractor to one’s own beauty and awesomeness, male or female, that for someone to wear glasses doesn’t make one stand out in a way to place them in a social clique the way people used to label people who did. I think staying true to yourself and what makes you comfortable that is what makes people attractive and “sexy”.  And it does not matter if you wear contacts or glasses. Society changes its mind and fashion a lot and we need to learn how to love ourselves for who we are and how to be comfortable in our own skin, without trying to please and fit in its “frame”

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P.S. Women opinion on man wearing glasses 🙂

“Who would have thought geek would be chic? According to studies by the University of Stockholm, women are more attracted to men who wear glasses than those who don’t. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out why — they appear intelligent. And, if a man is intelligent, it means he’ll more than likely mentally stimulate his woman. Many women will tell you there’s nothing quite like a witty, smart conversation to impress them.
The lure of intelligence has also got to do with biology. Researchers in New Mexico gave 400 Vietnam War veterans extensive mental tests and later (weirdly enough) asked them to provide sperm samples. The results showed that the men who scored the highest in the intelligence tests also had the highest counts of healthy sperm. Hmm, now you have a reason to trade your contact lenses for eyeglasses.”

Read more: http://www.askmen.com/dating/heidi_300/350b_the-surprising-things-that-attract-her.html#ixzz2apeR99OD

Can you fall in love with the city?

For the last week i have been spending some time in Kiev, Ukraine. 

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And i started to realize that i fall in love with this city years ago, but realizing it now. It is an amazing city, now i understand what Sarah Jessica Parker meant in “Sex in the City” series about falling in love with the City (in her case New York, in my case – Kiev).

Kiev is not the greatest City in the world, there are much bigger and better build cities, with probably more things to offer, but for me Kiev – is home. I love to breathe here, i love the sky, just walking in the evening or early morning and breathe… I love rain here, especially in summer, when you think the day would be sunny and you do not take an umbrella, and than in the middle of the day a cloud comes and just pours… I feel happy than… I feel like i want to jump in every puddle (and i actually do that sometimes) and get as wet and dirty as i possibly can, walking in the rain, but totally happy. Green parks… just walking through them makes me calm and gives me the feeling of happiness… Watching people, life and emotions on their faces, the way they run to work or somewhere they need to get… I enjoy every moment here… And it gives me the greatest satisfaction and feeling of happiness…

So, can you really fall in love with the City?

“A great city is not to be confounded with a populous one. ” – Aristotle

“Maybe mistakes are what make our fate. Without them, what would shape our lives? Maybe if we had never veered off course we wouldn’t fall in love, have babies or be who we are. After all, things change. So do cities. People come into your life and they go. But it’s comforting to know that the ones you love are always in your heart, and if you’re very lucky, a plane ride away.” (Carrie Bradshaw)

 

 

Intuition, is it a gift or just an algorithm created by our brain?..

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Intuition, some people think it is a gift, especially women 🙂 some think it is the a trick of our hearts, or a soul speaking, or God is putting an answer in our hearts to our questions, others think it is just an algorithm that our brain records like a “tape recorder” and in the right moment we “feel” intuitively… Anyway, i believe there is no definitive answer to such question, each person will believe in whatever suits them… but it is definitely interesting to read about different research and different opinions… Here are some articles and some quotes that interested me, and i though they might interest someone else that has such a curious mind like me 🙂

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Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without inference and/or the use of reason. “The word ‘intuition’ comes from the Latin word ‘intueri’ which is usually translated as ‘to look inside’ or ‘to contemplate’.” Intuition provides us with beliefs that we cannot justify in every case. For this reason, it has been the subject of study in psychology, as well as a topic of interest in the supernatural. The “right brain” is popularly associated with intuitive processes such as aesthetic abilities. 

In Carl Jung‘s theory of the ego, described in 1921 in Psychological Types, intuition was an “irrational function”, opposed most directly by sensation, and opposed less strongly by the “rational functions” of thinking and feeling. Jung defined intuition as “perception via the unconscious”: using sense-perception only as a starting point, to bring forth ideas, images, possibilities, ways out of a blocked situation, by a process that is mostly unconscious.

Jung said that a person in whom intuition was dominant, an “intuitive type”, acted not on the basis of rational judgment but on sheer intensity of perception. An extraverted intuitive type, “the natural champion of all minorities with a future”, orients to new and promising but unproven possibilities, often leaving to chase after a new possibility before old ventures have borne fruit, oblivious to his or her own welfare in the constant pursuit of change. An introverted intuitive type orients by images from the unconscious, ever exploring the psychic world of the archetypes, seeking to perceive the meaning of events, but often having no interest in playing a role in those events and not seeing any connection between the contents of the psychic world and him- or herself. Jung thought that extraverted intuitive types were likely entrepreneurs, speculators, cultural revolutionaries, often undone by a desire to escape every situation before it becomes settled and constraining—even repeatedly leaving lovers for the sake of new romantic possibilities. His introverted intuitive types were likely mystics, prophets, or cranks, struggling with a tension between protecting their visions from influence by others and making their ideas comprehensible and reasonably persuasive to others—a necessity for those visions to bear real fruit.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), first published in 1944, attempted to provide an empirical method of identifying a person’s dominant ego function, in terms of Carl Jung’s theory. Beginning in the 1960s, scientists performed studies to see if MBTI results were consistent with the assumed theory that Jungian functions exist and conflict in such a way that one of them must be dominant and the others suppressed. Every study has found that instead of people’s MBTI scores clustering around two opposite poles, such as intuition vs. sensation, with few people scoring in the middle, people’s scores actually cluster around the middle of each scale in a bell curve. This suggests that the Jungian polarities do not exist. Most contemporary psychological research questions the existence of Jungian functions and the MBTI’s ability to tell which function is dominant.

In more-recent psychology, intuition can encompass the ability to know valid solutions to problems and decision making. For example, the recognition primed decision (RPD) model explains how people can make relatively fast decisions without having to compare options. Gary Klein found that under time pressure, high stakes, and changing parameters, experts used their base of experience to identify similar situations and intuitively choose feasible solutions. Thus, the RPD model is a blend of intuition and analysis. The intuition is the pattern-matching process that quickly suggests feasible courses of action. The analysis is the mental simulation, a conscious and deliberate review of the courses of action. According to the renowned neuropsychologist and neurobiologist Roger Wolcott Sperry though, intuition is a right-brain activity while factual and mathematical analysis is a left-brain activity.

The reliability of one’s intuition depends greatly on past knowledge and occurrences in a specific area. For example, someone who has had more experiences with children will tend to have a better instinct or intuition about what they should do in certain situations with them. This is not to say that one with a great amount of experience is always going to have an accurate intuition (because some can be biased); however, the chances of it being more reliable are definitely amplified.

Intuition is commonly discussed in writings of spiritual thought. Contextually, there is often an idea of a transcendent and more qualitative mind of one’s spirit towards which a person strives, or towards which consciousness evolves. Typically, intuition is regarded as a conscious commonality between earthly knowledge and the higher spiritual knowledge and appears as flashes of illumination. It is asserted that by definition intuition cannot be judged by logical reasoning.

Thomas Merton discussed variations of intuition in a series of essays. In describing aesthetic intuition he asserted that the artist has a subjective identification with an object that is both heightened and intensified and thereby “sees” the object’s spiritual reality. In discussing Zen meditation he asserted that a direct intuition is derived through a “struggle against conceptual knowledge.” An end result is “the existent knows existence, or ‘isness,’ while completely losing sight of itself as a ‘knowing subject.'”

Rudolf Steiner postulated that intuition is the third of three stages of higher knowledge, coming after imagination and inspiration, and is characterized by a state of immediate and complete experience of, or even union with, the object of knowledge without loss of the subject’s individual ego.

Dismissing the notion that intuitive impulses arise supernaturally, one is left to assume they originate with the many innate human senses. Remnants of perception, such as a movement occurring out of the “corner of your eye” or subtle sound that would normally be ignored as background noise, could occur simultaneously. While these events could be filtered as irrelevant by the mind, their coincidental synchronicity could lead to sudden assumptions about one’s surroundings, such as the feeling of being watched or followed.

Intuitive abilities were quantitatively tested at Yale University in the 1970s. While studying nonverbal communication, researchers noted that some subjects were able to read nonverbal facial cues before reinforcement occurred. In employing a similar design, they noted that highly intuitive subjects made decisions quickly but could not identify their rationale. Their level of accuracy, however, did not differ from that of nonintuitive subjects.

Law enforcement officers often claim to observe suspects and immediately “know” that they possess a weapon or illicit narcotic substances. Often unable to articulate why they reacted or what prompted them at the time of the event, they sometimes retrospectively can plot their actions based upon what had been clear and present danger signals. Such examples liken intuition to “gut feelings” and when viable illustrate preconscious activity.

Intuition is a combination of historical (empirical) data, deep and heightened observation, and an ability to cut through the thickness of surface reality. Intuition is like a slow motion machine that captures data instantaneously and hits you like a ton of bricks. Intuition is a knowing, a sensing that is beyond the conscious understanding — a gut feeling. Intuition is not pseudo-science.
– Abella Arthur

Intuition (is) perception via the unconscious
– Carl Gustav Jung

INTUITION may be defined as understanding or knowing without conscious recourse to thought, observation or reason. Some see this unmediated process as somehow mystical while others describe intuition as being a response to unconscious cues or implicitly apprehended prior learning.
– Dr. Jason Gallate & Ms Shannan Keen BA

 

 

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Inspiration: Sunflower

 

 

 

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Yesterday, driving with friends outside the city (Kiev, Ukraine) i saw a beautiful sunflower field, and i just had to stop and take some pictures 🙂

SPIRITUAL MEANING OF THE SUNFLOWER

Sunflower has been adopted as a symbol of happiness, strength, a love of the sun & sunlight and because it is said to always turn its face to the sun it is considered by some to be a symbol of faith. Some believe that the sunflower represents a constant search for light, or enlightenment. The Chinese believe sunflowers symbolize long life and good luck.

IN GREEK MYTHOLOGY
 
There are lots of variations on the Greek Myth Origin Story about the Sunflower. This is the Greek Myth of Clytie (also Clytia) which supposedly tells how the sunflower came into existence. In fact, the original story of Clytie, the water nymph, was not actually about the sunflower at all but a flower named ‘Turnsole.’ It seems that more modern tellings of the story have substituted the turnsole for sunflower. Some versions of the story name the heliotrope or a marigold as the flower. Nevertheless, the Greek myth is a charming tale and fits the sunflower beautifully.

Clytie, the water nymph, was in love with Apollo, the Sun God. She would stare up at Apollo, hoping he would glance her way. But Apollo was in love with someone else and never did favor Clytie with his gaze. When Clytie realised that Apollo was never going to return her love, she sank into a depression and would not eat or drink for nine days but just stare with sorrow at her unrequited love. The other Gods felt sorry for Clytie and they transformed her into a beautiful sunflower which always followed the path of the sun. Note: In the 3rd century BC, Apollo became known as and referred to as ‘Apollo Helios.’

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How do artists differ from bank officers?

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What are creative people like? Various creativity researchers tend to converge on the same conclusion: creative people are complex. Creative people have a great deal of physical energy, but often need their rest. They tend to be both introverted and extroverted at the same darn time. And perhaps most strikingly, their high levels of openness to experience and sensitivity expose them to great suffering and pain as well as intense joy and euphoria.

Consider a hot off the press study just published in Creativity Research Journal. Edward Necka and Teresa Hlawacz recruited 60 visual artists and 60 bank officers in Poland, and administered a variety of tests of temperament and divergent thinking (one component of creativity requiring the ability to generate many different possibilities). How did the artists differ from the bank officers?

Bank officers were about as good at divergent thinking as the general population, whereas artists were amazingly good at flexibly generating original pictures and words. In fact, they were almost at ceiling! What about temperament? This is where things get really interesting. On the whole, artists didn’t substantially differ from bank tellers in their temperament. To get to the bottom of this finding, the researchers looked at the relationships between the various measures within each group.

Surprisingly, consistent relationships between divergent thinking and temperament were found only in the sample of artists. Among bank tellers, temperament was not related to divergent thinking. But among the artists, those scoring higher on the tests of divergent thinking tended to display higher levels of the following

  • Briskness (“quick responding to stimuli, high tempo of activity, and the ability to switch between actions”)
  • Endurance (“an ability to behave efficiently and appropriately in spite of intense external stimulation or regardless of the necessity to pay attention during prolonged periods of time”)
  • Activity (“the generalized tendency to initiate numerous activities that lead to, or provoke, rich external stimulation; it is conceived as the basic regulator of the need for stimulation”).

What’s more, artists who scored higher in divergent thinking also scored lower in emotional reactivity. This might not be surprising, considering the ability to do well on a decontextualized, timed test requires a cool head. When all of the temperamental factors were considered at the same time, activity remained the best positive predictor of divergent thinking, and emotional reactivity remained the best negative predictor of divergent thinking.

What’s going on here? Why was temperament related to divergent thinking among the artists but not the bank officers? One possibility is that the bank officers were more intimidated by the demands of the divergent thinking tests than the artists, who might be more comfortable expressing their wacky ideas.

Another possibility is that the bank officers shun creativity. Would you rather have an efficient accountant or a creative accountant? If you’d like to stay out of jail, I hope you chose efficient! So perhaps the diminished value bank officers place on creativity (at least, the kind of creativity artists embrace) may have influenced their tests scores on both the temperament measures as well as the divergent thinking measures.

Regardless of why artists seem to differ from bank officers, I think these results highlight a more general point about creativity: the interconnectedness of temperament and creative production. As the researchers speculate,

               “temperament works as the foundations for development and expression of one’s                     creative potential. People scoring high on activity tend to have many diverse                           experiences that may be used as a substrate for divergent thinking and creative                     activity.”

Which takes us back to the complexity issue. I believe creative people are less afraid of displaying seemingly contradictory traits and behaviors if they think it will increase their chances of making an immensely creative connection. Which is why I think tolerance for ambiguity, complexity, engagement, openness to experience, and self-expression are all so essential to creative production in any field of human endeavor.

(source article:http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/2013/06/15/how-do-artists-differ-from-bank-officers/)

 

Men and Women gauge risk differently..Whose strategy is better depends on what is at stake

I have been traveling recently, and had a very long layover in Frankfurt, where i stumbled across a very interesting magazine called: ” Scientific american mind: behavior, brain science, insights”. there i found a lot of very interesting and educational articles that is written in a very understanding for nonscientific mind person 🙂

So here is one of the articles i decided to share today:

“Men and Women Gauge Risk Differently, whose strategy is better depends on what is at stake”

Small gains now or big rewards later? The conundrum plagues every decision we make, wether we are investing or dieting. Now researchers find that men and women use different strategies to make such choices.

Researchers use gambling to understand what we do when immediate rewards pitted against long term gains. Most of the games find no major differences in how men and women play. An experimental setup called the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), however, finds consistent – and large – differences between the behavior of men and women: men are better at figuring out the strategy that reaps the bigger payoff.

Players are giving 4 decks of cards, and they choose one card at a time from any deck they want. Each card has a win or loss amount on it, and each deck has its own unique payout pattern. Two of the decks contain cards that dole out large or frequent rewards, but consistently choosing cards from these decks leads to loses in the long run. The other two decks provide a modest amount of cash per win but less loss over time, so they offer long term gains for both players who pick from them the most frequently. These patterns are carefully obscured so that the winning strategy is not obvious.

A review published in February in Behavioral Brain Research finds that men focus on the big picture, watching the their total earnings and quickly homing in on which of the decks will lead to gains the long run. Women focus on details such as the frequencies of wins, missing the overall impact each deck has on their total balance. Sensitive to losses, women tend to switch to different deck as soon as they are pinged with a setback, making it more difficult for them to identify the prize deck.

The strategies reflect underlying differences in activation in the orbitofrontal  cortex, a region involved in decision making and the associated expectation of positive or negative consequences. During the task women have more activity in the medial part of this region, involved in regular patterns and immediate reward, whereas men preferentially engage the top, dorsal area, implicated in irregular patterns and long-term reward.

“When people think women make errors in these tasks, it’s more that they are gathering information”, says lead author Ruud van den Bos, a neurologist at Utrecht University in Netherlands. Women’s detailed exploration makes them more  attuned to changes. If, for example, the rules of wins and losses for the decks were switched midtask, women would clue in to the new patterns more quickly than men. Van den Bos says the IGT happens to be designed so that long term strategy is best, but in decisions where knowing the details counts, women may have advantage.

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Because real decisions are more complex than lab games, van den Bos emphasizes that neither strategy is inherently better; both are necessary and useful in daily life. He also points out that the IGT some women perform like men, and visa versa. The dividing line is often blurry when it comes to female- and male-typical behaviors. ” By disentangling the biological from the societal, we can understand how differences can be turned into advantages,” van den Bos says.  (article by Luciana Gravotta)