Dr. Shelley Carson: “If we filter less, we will be more creative”
EADA was pleased to welcome Harvard professor and researcher Shelley Carson, a world-renowned authority on neurocreativity. Dr. Carson’s presentation, ‘Creativity and Out of the Box Thinking’ was focused on a concept that she analyses in depth in her book Your Creative Brain. “The box symbolizes the normal way we usually think by filtering so stiffly the information we receive from abroad,” she explained. “If we filter less, we will be more creative.” Dr. Carson calls this the “cognitive disinhibition theory of creativity”. “If we use less filters, we will receive more information, and, consequently, we will act more uninhibitedly,” she said. “We will have more abilities to process and link all this information which will let us come up with creative ideas”.
If we use less filters, we will receive more information and, consequently, we will act more uninhibitedly
To develop these creative skills, we must do specific exercises, such as engaging in activities with creative people and collaborating in creative projects inspired by natural surroundings. Dr. Carson claimed that “all the external information we receive is useful to reach great ideas and to enhance our creative side”. However, she reminded us that “we need some filters, because if we don’t [have them], we will feel overwhelmed by reality perception”. This is the case of patients diagnosed with psychosis, who are not able to distinguish between reality and illusion.
From personal life to the business world
Dr. Carson emphasised the importance of developing creative skills in today’s global business world. “Nowadays [these skills are] necessary to survive and thrive in the current climate of rapid changes,” she confirmed.
For Dr. Carson, the importance of creative skills is not limited to individuals, but they can also be vital to companies, which are in a constant state of adaptation. “These skills can help improve the products or services [that the company offers] to the customers or, even, to face global challenges,” she pointed out.
Nowadays creative skills are necessary to survive and thrive in the current climate of rapid changes
Finally, Shelley Carson suggested that out of the box thinking could be useful when facing the current economic recession in countries such as Spain: “On one hand, companies should search for new ways to do things, to reach strategic decisions which let them reduce costs and optimize processes,” she said. “On the other hand, people who have lost their job have an excellent opportunity to learn new things and to discover new directions.”
In the following video, Carson shares her view on thinking out of the box: