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People often reject creative ideas, even when espousing creativity as a desired goal. To explain this paradox, we propose that people can hold a bias against creativity that is not necessarily overt and that is activated when people experience a motivation to reduce uncertainty. In two experiments, we manipulated uncertainty using different methods, including an uncertainty-reduction prime. The results of both experiments demonstrated the existence of a negative bias against creativity (relative to practicality) when participants experienced uncertainty. Furthermore, this bias against creativity interfered with participants’ ability to recognize a creative idea. These results reveal a concealed barrier that creative actors may face as they attempt to gain acceptance for their novel ideas.
creativity, bias, stereotyped attitudes, social cognition
Mueller, J. S., Melwani, S., & Goncalo, J. A. (2012). The Bias Against Creativity: Why People Desire but Reject Creative Ideas. Psychological Science, 23 (1), 13-17. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797611421018
Date Posted: 27 November 2017
This document has been peer reviewed.