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  • Aviva Nirenberg

are people with adhd more creative?



There are a plethora of CEOS, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, and scientists with ADHD. Personally and professionally, I've seen ADHD ingenuity at its best - from the employee who solves the unsolvable problem at the workplace, to the student that teaches his Calculus professor an out-of-the-box approach, or the resourceful kid who mixed cake batter with power tools and sliced a block of cheese with a credit card. (Don't tell his Mom.) The terms "ADHD superpowers" and the "gift of ADHD" aren't just a way to put a positive spin on ADHD.


Now, scientific research supports what we've witnessed anecdotally. A study of creativity in college students asked students to create a unique fruit. Results revealed that those without ADHD invented fruits very similar to existing fruits while those with ADHD created more original fruits that were not representative of any known fruits. Another study among adolescents, a group with ADHD was compared to a group without ADHD peers in toy invention. Once again, the group with ADHD was less constrained by ideas of already existing toys and produced novel, innovative toys.


What is the explanation for these findings? The challenges of ADHD distraction and impulsivity in the right context are transformed to a distinct advantage allowing the wandering mind to be open to a broader range of possibilities and to also embrace new ideas without fear.

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