Science of Creativity 

Cutting-edge research illuminating creativity

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Benefits of creativity: the evidence

There is a lot of hot air surrounding creativity in society today, but we are guided by valid quantifiable research. Here are just some of the many studies demonstrating the often life-changing value of engaging in regular creative thought and behaviour.

Personal growth

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In a published study it was found that people who engage regularly in “everyday creativity” report significantly higher ratings of “personal growth". [1]


Mood

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A large experiment discovered that doing everyday creative activities causes positive emotions the following day. (The opposite – positive emotion causing increased creativity the following day – wasn’t found to be necessarily present.) [4]


Brain function

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MRI scans show that doing creative art changes the brain, increasing connectivity in the “Default Mode Network”, which is key to imaginative thought. [2]


Health

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Research at the Mayo Clinic has found that people who engage in artistic pursuits like drawing, painting and sculpting may delay cognitive decline in very old age by “protecting neurons” and stimulat[ing] growth of new neurons “. [5]


Anxiety

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Research shows that doing even a brief period of creative activity, like clay modelling or collage making, significantly decreases levels of anxiety. [3]


Self-esteem

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Contradicting a widespread idea about creative types being depressed or even seriously mentally ill, one published study found a strong correlation between the level of a person’s creative output and their reported level of self-esteem. [6]


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A gap in scientific knowledge

 
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While lots of research has therefore demonstrated the immense value of creativity, there has been something seriously missing the theoretical understanding of the phenomenon. There has never, in fact, been a “grand theory” of creativity. Biology has Darwinism. Physics has relativity. Economics has Marxism, Keynesianism and Monetarism, among others. Creativity? Nothing remotely as all-encompassing and powerful.

Some so-called theories of creativity did seem to solve parts of the puzzle, but nothing even claimed to explain the big picture.

That is, until Michael set his mind to solving this great mystery.

The big theory

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A long time ago in library far, far away, Michael’s journey began. Combining his own personal obsession with creativity, an anthropological understanding of the human mind and imagination, and the latest cognitive science, he spent over a decade of painstaking research trying to crack the problem. At last he developed the first complete theory of creativity - Generator Theory. 

It is this theory which has for the first time described the formal cognitive and conceptual rules of creativity - in other words, its “grammar”.

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Putting the theory into practice

From this theory came a practical method - namely, Kleytro™, the world’s first mind-body system for increasing anyone's creative intelligence.

Kleytro is analogous to yoga or a martial art. It comprises the principles of Generator Theory with Michael’s idea generation technique of Createmics™, which operates purely at the cognitive level, along with a number of practical methods drawn from cutting-edge science on the one hand and ancient cultural wisdom on the other.

By undergoing the different levels of the Kleytro system you are guided through a journey from simpler and easier exercises to more sophisticated and difficult ones, all the while increasing your powers of creative thought.

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Research behind Kleytro

Kleytro is a constantly evolving system. While certain principles and processes remain constant, having been used by mankind for tens of thousands of years, the system also responds to what the research tells us works. At present it is supported by 34 separate studies published in peer reviewed scientific journals.

For example, research has found that inducing a relaxed physical and psychological state facilitates creative thinking [7]; a study showed that walking has a similar effect [8]; and another study discovered that when you imagine trying to solve a problem in a “faraway place” you do better than when you imagine solving the same problem in a nearby familiar place [9].

All of these findings and many more are incorporated practically into the Kleytro system.

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References 

[1] Ivcevic, Z. (2007). “Artistic and Everyday Creativity: An Act-Frequency Approach.” In Journal of Creative Behavior, Volume 41, Number 4, pp. 271-290.

[2] Bolwerk, A., Mack-Andrick, J., Lang, F.R., Dörfler, A. and Maihöfner, C. (2014). “How Art Changes Your Brain: Differential Effects of Visual Art Production and Cognitive Art Evaluation on Functional Brain Connectivity.” In PLOS ONE 9(12): e116548.

[3] Sandmire, D.A., Roberts Gorham, S. Rankin, N.E. and Grimm, D.R. (2012). In Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, Volume 29, 2012 - Issue 2.

[4] Conner, T.S., DeYoung, C.G. Silvia, P.J. (2016). “Everyday creative activity as a path to flourishing.” In The Journal of Positive Psychology, Volume 13, 2018 - Issue 2, pages 181-189.

[5] Roberts, R.O., Cha, R.H., Mielke, M.M., Geda, Y.E., Boeve, B.F., Machulda, M.M., Knopman, D.S. and Petersen, R.C. (2015). “Risk and protective factors for cognitive impairment in persons 85 years and older.” In Neurology, 84(18), 1854-61. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001537.

[6] Goldsmith, R.E. and Matherly, T.A. (1988). “Creativity and Self-Esteem: A Multiple Operationalization Validity Study.” In The Journal of Psychology Interdisciplinary and Applied, Volume 122, 1988 - Issue 1. Pages 47-56. Published online: 04 Nov 2012.

[7] Haarmann, H.J., Timothy, G., Smaliy, A. and Dien, J. (2012). “Remote Associates Test and Alpha Brain Waves.” In The Journal of Problem Solving Vol. 4 : Issue 2 , Article 5.

[8] Oppezzo, M. and Schwartz, D. (2014). “Give your ideas some legs: the positive effect of walking on creative thinking”In Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 40(4) pp. 1142-52.

[9] Jia, L., Hirt, E.R. and Karpen, S.C. (2009). “Lessons from a Faraway land: The effect of spatial distance on creative cognition”. In Social Psychology, Volume 45, Issue 5, pp. 1127-1131.

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