The bias against creativity: Why people desire but reject creative ideas

Jennifer S. Mueller, Shimul Melwani, Jack A. Goncalo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

People often reject creative ideas, even when espousing creativity as a desired goal. To explain this paradox, we propose that people can hold a bias against creativity that is not necessarily overt and that is activated when people experience a motivation to reduce uncertainty. In two experiments, we manipulated uncertainty using different methods, including an uncertainty-reduction prime. The results of both experiments demonstrated the existence of a negative bias against creativity (relative to practicality) when participants experienced uncertainty. Furthermore, this bias against creativity interfered with participants' ability to recognize a creative idea. These results reveal a concealed barrier that creative actors may face as they attempt to gain acceptance for their novel ideas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-17
Number of pages5
JournalPsychological Science
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • bias
  • creativity
  • social cognition
  • stereotyped attitudes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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