Creativity is an upside to ADHD

Mar 11, 2011

Parents who believe that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder makes their kids more creative got a little more scientific support recently.

A new study in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences found adults with enjoyed more creative achievement than those who didn't have the disorder.

"For the same reason that ADHD might create problems, like distraction, it can also allow an openness to new ideas," says Holly White, assistant professor of cognitive psychology at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida and co-author of the paper. "Not being completely focused on a task lets the mind make associations that might not have happened otherwise."

White and Priti Shah at the University of Michigan gave 60 college students – half of them with ADHD – a series of tests measuring creativity across 10 domains. The ADHD group scored higher across the board. The ADHD group showed more of a preference for brainstorming and generating ideas than the non-ADHD group, which preferred refining and clarifying ideas.

The study is a follow-up to one done in 2006, which focused on laboratory measures of creativity and found that ADHD individuals show better performance on tests of creative divergent thinking. "We didn't know if that would translate into real-life achievement," says Shah. "The current study suggests that it does."

Explore further: A blood test for suicide?

Provided by Dick Jones Communications

4 /5 (3 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Better ADHD screening is developed

Jul 25, 2006

U.S. researchers say they have improved screening techniques for Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder among substance users.

Adult ADHD linked with dopamine levels

Aug 09, 2007

Adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder have a reduced response to the drug Ritalin, U.S. government scientists have found.

US survey: 1 in 10 kids has ADHD, awareness cited

Nov 10, 2010

(AP) -- A government survey says 1 in 10 U.S. children has ADHD, a sizable increase from a few years earlier that researchers think might be explained by growing awareness and better screening.

Recommended for you

A blood test for suicide?

3 hours ago

Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered a chemical alteration in a single human gene linked to stress reactions that, if confirmed in larger studies, could give doctors a simple blood test to reliably predict a ...

Could summer camp be the key to world peace?

18 hours ago

According to findings from a new study by University of Chicago Booth School of Business Professor Jane Risen, and Chicago Booth doctoral student Juliana Schroeder, it may at least be a start.

Gender disparities in cognition will not diminish

Jul 28, 2014

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, investigated the extent to which improvements in living conditions and educational opportunities over a person's life affect cognitive abilities and th ...

User comments : 0