The Link Between Creativity and Eccentricity

By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. on Psych Central:

It’s common knowledge that creatives can be eccentric. We’ve seen this throughout history. Even Plato and Aristotle observed odd behaviors among playwrights and poets, writes Harvard University researcher Shelley Carson, author of Your Creative Brain: Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity and Innovation in Your Life, in the May/June 2011 issue of Scientific American.

She gave several examples of creatives’ strange behaviors:

“Albert Einstein picked up cigarette butts off the street to get tobacco for his pipe; Howard Hughes spent entire days on a chair in the middle of the supposedly germ-free zone of his Beverly Hills Hotel suite; the composer Robert Schumann believed that his musical compositions were dictated to him by Beethoven and other deceased luminaries from their tombs; and Charles Dickens is said to have fended off imaginary urchins with his umbrella as he walked the streets of London.”

But what’s most compelling is that research has corroborated the connection between creativity and eccentricity. And it starts, interestingly enough, with schizotypal personality, a milder version of schizotypal personality disorder.

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