The Fear of Creativity

Posted on September 6, 2011


Whenever Chris Ripley, the APD/MD and afternoon drive host at X107.5, X-treme Radio in Las Vegas, had a really off the wall idea he would walk in to my office and start the conversation with this disclaimer, “Remember, the mind is like a parachute. It works best when it’s open.”

Now the results of a new study, which will be detailed in an upcoming article in the journal “Psychological Science” show that in general people react negatively to creativity.

A preview of the article posted at says creative ideas often trigger feelings of uncertainty that make people uncomfortable.

Many participants in the study who claim to want to be around creative ideas tended to associate creativity with words like “vomit,” “poison” and “agony.”

Even having factual evidence of why an idea will work doesn’t do much to alleviate people’s discomfort.

That’s why truly innovative ideas are often passed over in favor of doing the same old thing again.

So the next time you want to pitch a creative, out-of-the-box idea to someone warm them up first.

Help them get that mental parachute open, they are going to need it.