Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Creative people are more dishonest, new study shows

ThinkstockPhotos-122576150.jpg

‘Creative.’ It’s the word that we flood our CVs with, throw about at job interviews, and generally pride ourselves on being.

But what if we told you that hand in hand with being highly creative comes another personality trait and it's much darker - and not so CV-worthy.

Because new research published by the Academy of Management journal found that creativity was linked to dishonesty, as people who identify with being creative are more likely to behave dishonestly and unethically.

The paper written by Lynne C. Vincent and Maryam Kouchaki states in the abstract the following finding: “Four experiments showed that individuals with a creative identity reported higher psychological entitlement and engaged in more unethical behaviors. Additionally, when participants believed that their creativity was rare compared to common, they were more likely to lie for money.”

work creative

One of the studies involved 131 participants undertaking a two part experiment, to see how identifying with their creativity side affected their honesty.

Firstly, the subjects were set writing exercises, which identified whether they were creative - and if so, whether in an ‘entitled’ or ‘less entitled condition.’

The second part consisted of a self-marked maths test, where subjects paid themselves for every correct answer.

The study found that those who identified as entitled creatives lied about the problems they solved more – and stole six times more money than those who identified as less entitled creatives.

This, along with the other three experiments, led the researchers to conclude that rather than just being creative leading to dishonesty, it’s the sense of entitlement felt (and granted) to those creatives that led them to feel more inclined to act in such a manner.

lightbulb creative

The thinking behind it is that because creativity is societally seen as a rare quality that deserves praise and often special treatment, those unique innovators are left with a sense of entitlement, which is often reinforced by the management or influencers around them – meaning sometimes they’re let off when they’re late to the office or miss a deadline.

We have to let the creativity 'do its thing'.

Another 2012 study conducted by Francesca Gino at the Harvard Business School also concluded that more creative people are better at rationalising dishonesty, and therefore are more likely to act unethically.

So from the two sets of reasearch, it seems that the combined factors of being able to rationalise  dishonesty combined with others in society giving you a free ride on your less-than-ethical actions, leads to a more dishonest trait in you creatives to prevail.

Maybe time to rethink that CV...

Related

ThinkstockPhotos-465682085.jpg

Why and how to change career in your early thirties

615x330_Rosie.jpg

How to launch a creative start-up

rexfeatures_3969674a.jpg

Relax; watching cat videos at work is actually good for you

hero.jpg

Four simple ways to overcome mental fatigue in the workplace

o-FRIENDS-MONICA-CHANDLER-facebook.jpg

Study finds sarcastic people are brighter and more creative

069abd0a4e5f71d7d35ca9b6725718f5.jpg

Chic and creative home office designs to transform your living space

rexfeatures_3384573a.jpg

It's official: eldest siblings are smarter, nicer and more outgoing

womantweeting.jpg

Boost your career with Twitter

iphones social networking.jpg

Six things we learned about the psychological impact of Facebook

Comments

More

This Is Us star asks viewers to reach out to lost loved ones

“Tomorrow is not promised”

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Feb 2017

Inside the bar where men aren't allowed to approach women

"If a gentleman is lucky enough to be approached by a lady, he speaks to her as if he would speak to his mother”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
22 Feb 2017

Everything you need to know about growing your own vegetables

(Even if you don't have loads of space)

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Feb 2017

Calling all vino fans: are you ready for red wine ice cream?

Ice cream and red wine, together at last…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Feb 2017

Letters penned 100 years apart show unchanging attitude to abortion

"I'm in the family way again, and I'm nearly crazy..."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Feb 2017

Woman opens up about having her grandmother as her bridesmaid

“She’s my best friend”

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Feb 2017

Artist captures how mental illness feels with sketches of houses

“It belongs to our lives and we must not stigmatise it”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Feb 2017

Pair cheese and wine like a pro with this incredible interactive map

Winchester Aged Gouda with a glass of Amarone della Valpolicella, anyone?

by Moya Crockett
21 Feb 2017

Elderly woman finds £5 note worth £50k, donates it to “young people”

She’s the hero we need right now, if not the one we deserve.

by Moya Crockett
21 Feb 2017

Watch Emma Watson sing ‘Belle’ in new Beauty and the Beast clip

“There goes the baker with his tray, like always…”

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Feb 2017