Wish You Were More Creative? Here's a Deceptive Little Trick

Study experts say original ideas go hand-in-hand with being untruthful

The next time you’re hoping to get the creative juices flowing, channel Pinnochio?

According to research published in the journal Psychological Science, there is a direct link between creativity and dishonesty. During part one of the experiment, which was conducted by professors at two prestigious business schools, study volunteers were asked to solve a series of math problems and then to grade their own accuracy.

In part two, participants were presented with sets of like-words and asked to come up with an additional related word for each group. The purpose of this “remote associates” task was to evaluate their creative thinking.

And here’s what the researchers discovered — nearly 60 percent of the people cheated on their grade in part one (naturally, giving themselves a higher score) and the majority of these cheaters came up with more linked words than the truthful people. Additional data indicated that being unethical “may encourage subsequent creativity by priming participants to be less constrained by rules.”

“Our research raises the possibility that one of the reasons why dishonesty seems so widespread in today's society is that by acting dishonestly we become more creative,” stated lead researcher Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School. But, as reported by Science Daily, “this creativity may allow us to come up with original justifications for our immoral behavior and make us likely to keep crossing ethical boundaries."

Which is why this goody-two shoes will not be going down Insincerity Street anytime soon.

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