Does Neuroticism Breed Creativity? Study Says ‘Yes’

In any case, if you’re neurotic, don’t dismiss it as a failing – on the contrary, it might be intimately linked to your creativity. Pollyanna types may be the ones at a disadvantage. “Cheerful, happy-go-lucky people by definition do not brood about problems and so must be at a disadvantage when problem-solving compared to a more neurotic person,” says Perkins. “We have a useful sanity check for our theory because it is easy to observe that many geniuses seem to have a brooding, unhappy tendency that hints they are fairly high on the neuroticism spectrum. For example, think of the life stories of Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Vincent Van Gogh, Kurt Cobain, etc. Perhaps the link between creativity and neuroticism was summed up most succinctly of all by John Lennon when he said: ‘Genius is pain.’”

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