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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Adobe study reveals massive creativity gaps, but not in gender or age | Jolie O'Dell, VentureBeat

According to this article:
Whether you’re able to be creative or not has little to do with how old you are or whether you’re female or male, but it might depend heavily on where you live, how your boss treats you, and how you were educated.
O'Dell reports on a huge survey by Adobe that found significant gaps in
creativity, but, she writes, "those gaps might not be where you expect to find them." Of the 5,000 people surveyed, 25 percent said they are "living up to their creative potential."

But, the survey found, age and gender had little to do with creativity or lack of it. Instead, the environmental factors of location, education and work had had a bigger impact.

Hmmm. O'Dell says those finding might be unexpected. They're not to me. For example, the biggest barrier to creativity in the United States might be at work:
In the survey, 75 percent of respondents said they have been experiencing more and more pressure from superiors to be productive rather than creative in the workplace, even though their jobs require at least some measure of creativity. This kind of bottom line-focused emphasis on producing rather than creating leads to — no surprise — less creativity at work.
And in education:
... not whether you had a “good” or “expensive” or “public” education, but whether you were encouraged to develop your creativity starting at an early age and continuing throughout your school years.
Finally, O'Dell writes, "access to creativity-boosting tools can be important to expressing your creative urges." I guess that's the "location" factor. The survey researchers reported that 40 percent of the people responding said they do not have the tools they need to be creative.

I'm sure the lack of tools has some impact, but as O'Dell noted:
Of course, an emphasis on tools for creativity is what you’d expect from a company like Adobe.
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