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Thread: Collaboration Kills Creativity, According to Science

  1. #1

    Default Collaboration Kills Creativity, According to Science

    NOV 25, 2017

    It's impossible to think "out of the box" when you're stuck inside a box with a bunch of other people.

    The notion that collaboration makes people more creative has become conventional wisdom in the business world. Here's a typical example:

    "Collaboration has recently emerged as the defining characteristic of creativity and growth in nearly all sectors and industries. The singular genius who works alone is a myth of yesterday."

    Despite this kind of corporate-speak truthiness, there is substantial scientific evidence that collaboration, rather than sparking creativity, results in group-think and mediocrity. What does result in creativity? Simple: solitude.

    According to a study recently published in the Elselvier journal, the character traits of "shyness, avoidance, [and] unsociability," while generally seen as undesirable, are positively associated with creativity.

    Furthermore, intelligent people are happier when they have less social interaction, even with their friends, according to a national survey of 15,000 respondents aged 18 to 28 and quoted in the Washington Post:

    "The more social interactions with close friends a person has, the greater their self-reported happiness. But there was one big exception. For more intelligent people, these correlations were diminished or even reversed. More intelligent individuals were actually less satisfied with life if they socialized with their friends more frequently." (Emphasis mine)

    In other words, far from being a "myth of yesterday," the "singular genius who works alone" is much more likely to be creative than the person who seeks interaction and "collaboration." Forcing creative people to "collaborate" simply blunts their creativity.

    According to an article in the Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, there are

    "two ways in which solitude can facilitate creativity--first, by stimulating imaginative involvement in multiple realities and, second, by 'trying on' alternative identities, leading, perhaps, to self-transformation... by separating us from our usual social and physical environments, solitude can remove those people and objects that define and confirm our identities. The people we see and the places we frequent reinforce our identities as students, parents, police officers, or whomever.... By extracting us from our customary social and physical contexts (or at least altering our experience of them), solitude facilitates self-examination, reconceptualization of the self, and coming to terms with change."

    Put another way, being around other people keeps keep creative people from thinking new thoughts. Indeed, there are few experiences more mind-numbing for a creative person than being forced to interact with dullards on a daily basis.

    Even if your office is full of geniuses, they'll be less creative en-masse than if they can work and think alone. In short, it's difficult and maybe even impossible to "think out of the box" when you're literally inside a box (i.e. an open plan office) that's full of other people.
    The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.

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  3. #2


    Good article

    collaboration, rather than sparking creativity, results in group-think and mediocrity.
    Yep. This is one of the major problems with modern "education."

    "Okay class, instead of teaching you today [or better yet, SingTFU and letting you read], get in groups and pretend to do something."
    "The program of liberalism, ...if condensed into a single word, would have to read: property..."

    -Ludwig von Mises

    "Patriotism, not nationalism, should inspire the citizen. The ethnic nationalist who wants a linguistically and culturally uniform nation is akin to the racist who is intolerant toward those who look (and behave) differently. The patriot is a "diversitarian"; he is pleased, indeed proud of the variety within the borders of his country; he looks for loyalty from all citizens. And he looks up and down, not left and right."

    -Erik Maria Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

    "All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

    -H. L. Mencken

  4. #3


    I recall some corporate "collaboration" bull$#@! I attended years ago, that simulated an air crash survival situation.

    "Collaboration" resulted in everybody dying.

    When I asserted myself as the "captain", we all survived.

    This horse$#@! is as big a lie as "diversity is strength".

  5. #4


    Excellent OP. Every time I've been *forced* into a collaborative assignment I inevitably wind up doing my share outside of the group and then bringing it back to meetings because "collaboration" is so unproductive. I've always done best when in control of all the "moving parts" of a project.
    Quote Originally Posted by Torchbearer
    what works can never be discussed online. there is only one language the government understands, and until the people start speaking it by the magazine full... things will remain the same.
    Hear/buy my music here "government is the enemy of liberty"-RPEphesians 6:12 (KJV)//I sell stuff here go buy nao!

  6. #5


    Collaboration Kills . Most Certainly . There is a reason I am Chief .

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