Research examines relationship between autism and creativity

Aug 17, 2015

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By University of East Anglia

New research has found that people with high levels of autistic traits are more likely to produce unusually creative ideas.

Psychologists from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and University of Stirling examined the relationship between autistic-like traits and creativity. While they found that people with high autistic traits produced fewer responses when generating alternative solutions to a problem – known as ‘divergent thinking’ – the responses they did produce were more original and creative. It is the first study to find a link between autistic traits and the creative thinking processes.

The research, published today in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, looked at people who may not have a diagnosis of autism but who have high levels of behaviours and thought processes typically associated with the condition. This builds on previous research suggesting there may be advantages to having some traits associated with autism without necessarily meeting criteria for diagnosis.

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2 comments on “Research examines relationship between autism and creativity

  • I have a book of Stephen Wiltshire’s drawings; they’re wonderful.

    I subscribe to the idea that they’re the product of an untramelled mind and imagination.

    “Nature cannot be fooled.”, and can compensate in the most extraordinary, life enhancing and beautiful ways.

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