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Does Solitude Enhance Creativity? A Critique of Susan Cain’s Attack on Collaboration

January 22nd, 2012

Reblogged from Creativity & Innovation:

I’ve just read a New York Times article by Susan Cain, author of the forthcoming book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. It’s the frustrated cry of a true introvert. Cain is clearly tired of everyone touting the benefits of collaboration; some people, herself included, just want to be left alone. And, she argues, those are the people who really come up with all of the great ideas. There’s a grain of truth to Cain’s claim: Psychologists who study creativity know that it …

Keith Sawyer provides interesting commentary on a recent article on what could be the overuse / overstatement of collaboration and the undervaluing of solitude (see: The Rise of the New Groupthink – I think he has some good points to make, but I also agree that there is much we can gain from working independently when the time is right. The key is determining those times when we need to come together to solve problems or develop new ideas and when it is best to find solitude and reflect independently.

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