Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Maybe very high intelligence IS (nearly-) always creative - although high IQ test scores are not


I have been thinking lately that it seems possible that very high intelligence is always (or almost always) creative - despite that people with very high IQ scores are not always creative.

It is a matter of definitions.


Very high intelligence is clearly not the same thing as scoring very high on IQ tests - thus it is possible that all those people who really are creative are actually intelligent (if general intelligence - or 'g' - could be validly measured).

(For example, very few - some but very few - women are genuinely creative - and this is a much smaller proportion than the women who score very highly on IQ testing - at least modern IQ testing.)


And we need also to look-at the definition of creative.

People of recognized high creativity are only a - probably small - proportion of genuinely creative people; because some very creative people are working in areas where the general public has little or no interest, and the subjects may not be useful or profitable in a particular society. Therefore their genuine creativity is not recognized.

This applies to people like the high-IQ prodigy William Sidis - - who is popularly supposed to have 'burned-out' and wasted his life - but who was actually very creative in fields that were not given recognition.

Another example would be Grady M Towers, who had an ultra-high IQ but worked as a night watchman. his creativity was in the form of some superb essays written for high-IQ societies.


Given that it is possible for high levels of creativity (such as that of Sidis) to be unknown or invisible for many years - it is reasonable to suppose that some very highly intelligent people are highly creative in domains that are never known to other people - for example in private, unpublished, destroyed journals.


Furthermore, creativity requires luck, as well as ability - so that some very creative people are simply unlucky, and never make the achievements of which they are capable.

Putting all this together - the deficiencies of IQ tests in measuring general intelligence plus the limited ability for us to recognize genuine creativity -  it is certainly possible that highly intelligent people are always creative - indeed are driven to be creative.

And conversely, that many (or almost all) of the supposed examples of unintelligent people being creative, or creative people being unintelligent, are due to misclassification. As when a creative achievement is actually (knowingly or unconsciously) stolen from the work of a truly creative person; or when a low score on an IQ test has simply failed to measure real intelligence.

In other words maybe very high intelligence just is the creative personality - could we but measure intelligence and creativity validly.



Bruce Charlton said...

Comment from Bob Williams

The studies I have seen show that the correlation between creativity and
IQ is low (below 0.20). This low correlation is most likely due to
significant differences between the brains of highly creative people and
highly intelligent ones. Part of the problem lies in how creativity is
defined. Artistic creativity may or may not be the same thing as
scientific creativity. Jensen argued that the latter is most likely
high in very bright people. So, the two cases need to be considered

Rex Jung has studied creativity by comparing two measures of it with
brain scans. His two measures are fluency and an index of self-reported
recognition (awards, etc.) from others. He found that highly creative
people show differences in white matter tracts and in gray matter
activity. FA (fractional anisotropy) was higher in creative people than
in others. These findings suggest that there is a trade-off, at least
for artistic creativity, such that the optimum brain configuration for
high creativity is sometimes opposite to the optimum for high intelligence.

Bruce Charlton said...

@BW - Yes, it is these kind of results I am challenging. I am, in particular very skeptical about the measures of 'creativity' and the assumption that it is to be found - with a normal-ish distribution - in any population one might care to study. On the contrary, I think most populations ought to score zero for creativity.

Luqman said...

Ultimately this analysis wants for a concrete definition of and ability to quantify creativity that ironically, probably requires the application of creativity to reach. I think the next step has to involve actual large scale study of creative people. The easiest subjects would likely be those that are artistically creative because they are comparatively quite visible as is the nature of their application of creativity. The pitfalls here are obvious but I think it's something that's actually possible to study as opposed to creativity in technical fields. Creativity should imply imagination and not necessarily an ability to be profound (most works by even the best artists are not in fact profound) so even if one ends up with a lot of "poseurs" some kind of picture would probably emerge.

Bruce Charlton said...

@L - I don't think it is right to rush to empirical study until I understand what I am trying to do and what I am looking for - and I am not yet at that stage.