Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s article “The Creative Personality” attempts to achieve the impossible. It seeks to provide a clear definition of the creative mind. Or, more accurately, it looks at the behavior patterns of those who are creative individuals. Through this examination, there is an attempt to record those traits that would be yield a creative personality. Of course, duplicating the actions of creative people will not automatically make a person creative. That is the subtext present in this article. It seeks to show that creativity is really not a skill as much as it is a personality type.
Specifically, the article examines ten common traits found in creative people. Of course, creative people are not limited to these ten traits. However, those that do embody creativity possess many of these traits. The ten specific traits include drive and passion; loneliness; openness and sensitivity; varying degrees of rebellious and/or conservative behavior; propensity for daydreaming and fantasy; introverted or extroverted behavior; an aversion to stereotyping; a sense of both pride and humility; a mix of intelligence and naive behavior; and limitless energy.
The author points out that a creative personality is more than just a mere diversion. It is a form of living life to the fullest. (This is evidenced in the mostly positive ten attributes the author lists) This is because when people feel creative they feel truly alive. That creates a great endorsement for possessing a creative personality: it is the gateway to living life to one’s fullest. That is why it is so desirable and also so well worth studying. The Creative Personality – Page 2
These assessments are Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s and the author does provide a logical examination of the creative personality. But does this logical assessment hold up upon closer examination? Understanding the creative mind is something that has always interested me. I can see creative things on display in many venues. This has piqued my interest in learning more about the personality that begets the creative mind. This is why I selected this article. There are a number of merits to the article in the sense that it does mention many of the positive attributes of the creative mind.
However, it does ignore many of the dysfunctional aspects of creative personalities. Nihilism, misogyny, attachment disorders, and a whole host of other psychological issues plague creative people. The absence of any acknowledgement of this is glaring. In terms of being able to provide an intelligent look at the positive side of creativity, the author does a fine job. Overall, this is an article that I would recommend to others to read. It is enlightening and eye-opening. It provides a decent look at common traits and, more importantly, how these traits motivate actions.
That provides a unique sense of clarity on the subject and this clarity remains unknown to most people who enjoy examining creative work. This is essentially a very well written article. While it is limited to presenting mainly glowing aspects of the creative personality, the article does provide unique and deep insight. Bibliography Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. “The Creative Personality. ” Psychology Today, Jul/Aug 96, Article ID: 1095 Retrieved September 29, 2008 from http://www. psychologytoday. com/ articles/index. php? term=19960701-000033&page=1
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