You can go for a walk, dim the lights, have a glass of Scotch—all proven ways to boost your levels of creativity. But here’s something you can do without even getting up out of your chair: develop a sense of entitlement.
A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology has found that people with a sense of entitlement gave more creative responses to a problem than non-entitled people.
In one experiment, researchers had half of their 99 participants “write three reasons each for why they should demand the best in life, why they deserve more than others, and why they should get their way in life.” The other half did the opposite, writing three reasons why they should not expect to get their own way. The groups then completed two tests that are commonly used in experiments to measure relativity. First, they were given ten minutes to invent different uses for a paper clip and were scored based on the number of ideas they came up with, how many categories their answers fell into, and how novel their responses were. The second test involved drawing aliens, which were rated based on how far they diverged from real-life animals.
In both tests, the group primed to think of themselves as more entitled performed better. They came up with a greater number of uses for their paperclips, their inventions covered more categories, and their uses were novel. They drew better aliens too.
So, where does that put you? Well, perhaps it’s time to dust off the New Age idea of positive affirmations before getting down to business. Except, this time, let’s admit that we’re in it for ourselves and get a bit entitled.
Photo courtesy of flickr.