Good ideas can not be forced - but the right environment also facilitates good ideas. Photo: Rebekkaw,
Reading aloud It can make you rich or famous: the right idea at the right time can change a person's life. Many famous scientists, entrepreneurs, musicians or painters owe their success to such inspiring ideas. Others have climbed the ladder of success through their lives with a series of ever-new spiritual innovations. But what were the prerequisites for these successes? Can these be brought about purposefully? Is creativity perhaps even plannable? Psychologists and brain researchers have searched for answers and found a number of factors that are necessary for creativity to arise. Although artists and other creative people sometimes talk about gut feelings when they talk about their work, it is true that creativity comes into being. In no way does this mean that there is a realm of creativity in the brain, as the Graz brain researcher Andreas Fink explains in an article in the September issue of the journal "bild der wissenschaft". "It's always an interaction of several centers, " says Fink. This was shown by brain scans of volunteers whose brain activity measured Fink and his colleagues in solving creative tasks.

The speed with which the brain works has a great influence: measurements of the brain waves showed that a rather slow brain rhythm is helpful for creative processes. These so-called alpha waves are measurable, for example, in people who indulge in daydreams with their eyes closed. However, that does not mean that notorious daydreamer are creative, Fink explains: "Creative people are more capable of swiftly switching between low and high activation."

This is exactly what happens when you work creatively. According to the findings of psychologists, this typically takes place in several stages in which, in addition to daydreaming, phases of extreme concentration occur in which intelligence is in particular demand: it begins with a preparatory phase, which finally follows the actual creative realization. This is followed by a phase for the evaluation of the collected ideas. The final step is the development phase, in which a strategy for the implementation of the idea is developed.

This typical sequence shows that without intelligence there is no creativity - a connection that psychologists have confirmed in tests. For example, in experiments, the intelligence quotient was related to a high degree to creativity and vice versa. display

But external factors also determine whether creative potential can develop. Studies of the careers of Nobel laureates and other successful scientists and entrepreneurs have shown that those who grow up in an intellectually stimulating environment have a greater chance of developing creative potential. This often begins in preschool age, as the Leipzig pedagogue Hans-Georg Mehlhorn has recognized: Together with his wife Gerlinde, he has created a network of private kindergartens, preschools and elementary schools that are committed to the creative promotion of children. Singing, dancing and music are included, as well as theater and creative writing, several foreign languages, computer science and scientific phenomena. This promotion works: The grades at the Mehlhorn schools are above average, and also in intelligence tests, the success can be read. "Here, our students score much better than most of their peers, " Mehlhorn explains in an interview with "bild der wissenschaft".

In addition to early promotion, experience is another factor in creativity. This is impressively demonstrated by a team of German and Swedish psychologists as early as the 1990s in a study with violinists from the Berlin Hochschule der Künste: the most successful of the students had started playing the violin the earliest, according to the analysis. At the age of twenty some already had an experience of 10, 000 hours on the violin. Natural talents who master it without practice do not exist.

However, the list of factors that must be fulfilled to create creativity is far from over: personality also has a great influence on the fact that good ideas can be created and implemented. Personalities that combine strong opposites have proved to be ideal: serenity and tranquility meet in them with unbridled energy, worldly wisdom with natural naivety, discipline and a sense of responsibility for the child's play instinct.

But some creative people also suffer from these contrasts, and some break it. The cliché of genius and madness that are close together is sometimes true. But the moments in which the creative mind discharges itself in dazzling ideas can become the highest enjoyment for the creative mind. "Flow" is the feeling and state of mind of absolute concentration, to which many who have experienced it once again, draws it back again and again.

Finally, creativity is fueled by the current environment in which a person lives. There have been many cities in history known for their creative minds: Florence of the 15th and 16th centuries or Paris and Vienna around 1900 were as much places as Silicon Valley in California, where in the 1980s and 1990s milestones of computer technology were set. Creative people can be far more successful if they are surrounded by a network of collaborators who implement and spread their ideas. The ingenious mind in the quiet little room must not be left alone, otherwise the success will be lost.

ddp / Ulrich Dewald

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