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Fake News: Left Brain/Right Brain and Creativity

Posted by Artisan on May 4, 2017 11:00:00 AM
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You are the office weirdo. Your analytical coworkers just don’t get your creative vision. It can be a serious bummer.

This is what can happen when you’re the solo creative staffer in a job made up of mainly non-creative professionals.

Imagine if you were the only Graphic Designer in a software engineering firm. Or if you were the single Copywriter stuck in an office filled with… statisticians. Awful, right?

If you are the lone creative staffer in a “normal” office environment, at times, you are going to feel like a square peg in a round hole. But you must realize that your creative value is tremendously important to your organization. In fact, you’re incredibly important because, literally, there’s no one else to take your place.

On the flip-side, it turns out that you may not be that different after all – you may just be misunderstood.

Right Brain Thinkers – Unite! – With Left Brain Thinkers

We’ve all heard the left brain/right brain concept. The left side of your cerebrum controls logical thought function. Scientists, computer programmers and mathematicians are left-brain.

Picasso and Dali were right-brained thinkers. From Bob Dylan to Lady Gaga, it was always assumed that the most creative individuals in our society made art from the right side of their brain.

Wrong.

A few years ago, Psychology Today cited a study that dispelled the left brain/right brain myth. That’s right – they called it a “myth.” Today, we might call it “fake news,” because it turns out both sides of the brain are engaged in the creative process. This means there’s a little creativity lurking in every boring nerd; you just need to know where to find it.  

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The study noted that the left/right brain idea came from an oversimplification of the brain’s processes. Just ask any neurologist – the inner workings of the human brain are still mostly a mystery. Today, we know that the brain uses both sides to process thought. (Image credit)

Where you use both brains

Music is one example. Playing an instrument requires repetitive muscle memory, scale and hand movement memorization, which are left brain functions. But the emotional connection to the tune, along with improvisation and songwriting, are all right brain functions.

The same holds true with computer programming. Creating the perfect code requires creative problem-solving – and this is not an oxymoron. Creativity coupled with coding confidence makes for the perfect developer.

Learning is tied to rote memorization (left brain) and emotion about the subject you’re studying (right brain). If you think you’re making a logical decision, like determining whether to purchase a car, subtle influences, such as how the car feels when you sit in the driver’s seat, elicit emotion.

Cheer Up Creatives

So the next time you’re feeling like the odd creative round peg in an office full of squares, remember that the person sitting next to you is more like you than you may think. 

Keep the colorful post it notes and desk knick knacks going though. We won't make you give those up.

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