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  1. #1
    Symbolic Herald Vasilisa's Avatar
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    Default Why Experts Reject Creativity

    Why Experts Reject Creativity
    Derek Thompson
    10 Oct 2014
    The Atlantic

    Excerpt:
    In 1997, Clayton Christensen coined the term "the Innovator's Dilemma" to describe the choice companies face between incrementally improving their core business (perfecting old ideas) and embracing emerging markets that could upend their core business (investing in new ideas).

    But what if the innovator's dilemma is part of something bigger—a creator's dilemma, an innate bias against novelty?

    Indeed, it turns out that our aversion to new ideas touches more than technology companies. It affects entertainment executives deciding between new projects, managers choosing between potential projects or employees, and teachers assessing conformist versus non-conformist children. It is a bias against the new. The brain is hardwired to distrust creativity.

    * * *

    The physicist Max Planck put it best: "Science advances one funeral at a time.”

    One place to watch the funeral march of science is America's peer-review process for academic research, which allocates $40 billion each year to new ideas in medicine, engineering, and technology. Every year, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation review nearly 100,000 applications for funding. The vast majority—up to 90 percent in some years—are rejected. For many breakthrough ideas, this selection process is the difference between life and death, financial backing and financial bankruptcy.

    Knowledge doesn’t just turn us into critical thinkers. It maybe turns us into over-critical thinkers.
    What sort of proposals do NIH evaluators approve? It’s a critical question for scientists. And the answer is nobody knows. Submissions receive such widely varying treatment that the relationship between evaluators' decisions is “perilously close to rates found for Rorschach inkblot tests,” according to a 2012 review.

    A new ingenious paper raises a dangerous question: Are expert evaluators subtly biased against new ideas?

    Researchers Kevin J. Boudreau, Eva Guinan, Karim R. Lakhani, and Christoph Riedl recruited 142 world-class researchers from a leading medical school and randomly assigned them to evaluate several proposals. Sometimes, faculty were experts in the subject of the submissions they read. Often, they were experts in other fields. But in all cases, the experiment was triple-blind: Evaluators did not know submitters, submitters did not know evaluators, and evaluators did not talk to each other.

    The researchers found that new ideas—those that remixed information in surprising ways—got worse scores from everyone, but they were particularly punished by experts. "Everyone dislikes novelty,” Lakhami explained to me, but “experts tend to be over-critical of proposals in their own domain." Knowledge doesn’t just turn us into critical thinkers. It maybe turns us into over-critical thinkers. (In the real world, everybody has encountered a variety of this: A real or self-proclaimed expert who's impatient with new ideas, because they challenge his ego, piercing the armor of his expertise.)

    Experts might be particularly biased against new ideas*, but most people aren't too fond of creativity either. In fact, they can be downright hostile.

    A 1999 study found that teachers who claim to enjoy creative children don't actually enjoy any of the characteristics associated with creativity, such as non-conformity. A famous 2010 study from the University of Pennsylvania showed that ordinary people often dismiss new ideas, because their uncertainty makes us think, and thinking too hard makes us feel uncomfortable. "People often reject creative ideas even when espousing creativity as a desired goal," the researchers wrote. People are subtly prejudiced against novelty, even when they claim to be open to new ways of thinking.

    < Full Story >

    Last edited by Vasilisa; 10-19-2014 at 07:13 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Is anyone else laughing out loud while imagining the thoughts & expressions of the experts who had to evaluate & approve the proposal for conducting the "Intellectual Distance and Resource Allocation in Science" study in the first place?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vasilisa View Post
    The researchers found that new ideas—those that remixed information in surprising ways—got worse scores from everyone, but they were particularly punished by experts. "Everyone dislikes novelty,” Lakhami explained to me, but “experts tend to be over-critical of proposals in their own domain." Knowledge doesn’t just turn us into critical thinkers. It maybe turns us into over-critical thinkers. (In the real world, everybody has encountered a variety of this: A real or self-proclaimed expert who's impatient with new ideas, because they challenge his ego, piercing the armor of his expertise.)

    Experts might be particularly biased against new ideas*, but most people aren't too fond of creativity either. In fact, they can be downright hostile.
    Which is why I have always liked this quote:

    "Don't worry about people stealing an idea. If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats."

    Some people have an emotional meltdown when presented with a game-changing idea.
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  4. #4
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Default Cliched English, Jargon, and Newspeak

    Just as Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell has Newspeak to eliminate creative thought, so the New Age also has Newspeak to eliminate creative thought.

    And as a front runner of New Age we make our contribution to Newspeak on Typology Central.

    We eliminate creative thought by making it impossible to have a creative thought.

    We make it impossible to have a creative thought by using cliched English backed up by the jargon of mbti.

    Cliched English and jargon are our Newspeak that make it impossible to have a creative thought.

    With the Newspeak of cliched English and jargon we have no way of expressing a creative thought, or even experiencing a creative thought.

    In fact we make it plain we do not like or understand freshly minted English.

    And that's the way we like it.
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  5. #5
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    This makes me think of my dads favorite saying..."You gotta break out of your paradigms"
    Im out, its been fun

  6. #6
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    I'll say this is fairly true of my experience in the good ol corporate world. I've worked in corporations that likes to engage it's staff. We are all encouraged to give constructive feedback via various channels all the time. And when you do, your genius is acknowledged via a prettily worded reply like this...

    Thank you for your valuable feedback. However we in the ivory tower happen to think we are smarter, better qualified and get paid more than you so your feeback and suggestions will be considered at our next team bonding event at a five star resort. We really appreciate you justifying our company sponsored holiday in the tropics. We'll be sure to showcase the best and brightest idea's in a newsletter so you can get warm fuzzies from your eminently superior colleagues in the billion dollar GooglePlex.

    Can you feel the love?

  7. #7
    Male johnnyyukon's Avatar
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    This new idea of rejecting creativity to stay comfortable makes me uncomfortable
    I've had this ice cream bar, since I was a child!

    Each thought's completely warped
    I'm like a walkin', talkin', ouija board.

  8. #8
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    The gatekeepers of the scientific journals, sometimes it's just 1 person, decide what gets published and these gatekeepers have personal biases and agendas. If he's a climate change believer, he's not going to let a skeptical perspective get published. This is especially true of medical research that looks at alternative treatments. The editors at these journals and professional societies won't kill their cash cow; they'll defend the established protocols and bash alternative ideas without even looking at them. I don't think it's fear of novelty; it's pure greed.

    For instance, in 1976, the American Cancer Society 'quacklisted' 58 methods for treating cancer. They didn't investigate 24 of the methods and none of the methods were tested in a double blind study.
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.
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    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Well, I can surely gropinate you that you wont groodle me ferheebling my narbelgrads. I'd ginshap my lefticated flagon.

  10. #10
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyyukon View Post
    This new idea of rejecting creativity to stay comfortable makes me uncomfortable
    Creativity is now merely the content of the internet. And being merely content, creativity had become visible. And becoming visible in the new medium of the internet, the naive take a point of view (POV) about creativity. And some accept creativity and some reject creativity.

    But while we are busy accepting or rejecting creativity the internet is stealthily changing not only the way we see the world, but the way we experience the world.
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