Adults with attention deficit disorder more creative

March 13th, 2011 - 12:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 13 (IANS) People who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more creative, says a new study.

Adults with ADHD enjoyed more creative achievement than those who didn’t have the disorder. Its symptoms include inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.

“For the same reason that ADHD might create problems, like distraction, it can also allow an openness to new ideas,” says Holly White, assistant professor of cognitive psychology at Eckerd College in Florida, and study co-author.

“Not being completely focused on a task lets the mind make associations that might not have happened otherwise,” the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences reports.

White and Priti Shah at the University of Michigan gave 60 college students - half of them with ADHD - a series of tests measuring creativity across 10 domains. The ADHD group scored higher across the board, according to an Eckerd College statement.

The ADHD group showed more of a preference for brainstorming and generating ideas than the non-ADHD group, which preferred refining and clarifying ideas.

The study is a follow-up to one done in 2006, which focused on lab measures of creativity and found that ADHD individuals show better performance on tests of creative divergent thinking.

“We didn’t know if that would translate into real-life achievement,” says Shah. “The current study suggests that it does.”

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