Scientists have found that people with autism are more likely to come up with unusually creative ideas, than ordinary people. It is known from a new research, published this month in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. This discovery is the first try to empirically link creative thinking to traits associated with autism.
According to the information of psychologists from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the University of Stirling, individuals with high autistic traits offered fewer responses when producing alternative solutions to a problem – a process called “divergent thinking” – but the answers they did give were more unique and creative.
The researchers analyzed data from 312 people who took an anonymous online questionnaire to measure their autistic traits. Also participants have been offered to take part in a series of creative tests. For example,
to test participants’ divergent thinking, the researchers would ask them to provide alternative uses for a brick or a paper clip, or come up with as many interpretations of an abstract picture as they could in one minute. Those who came up with the most unusual responses in each task were also found to have higher levels of autistic traits.
“People with autistic traits may approach creativity problems in a different way,” – comments Martin Doherty of the UEA School of Psychology – They might not run through things in the same way as someone without these traits would to get the typical ideas, but go directly to less common ones.”
The study has been welcomed by advocates as an important step toward ending misconceptions surrounding the disorder. This discovery will allow people with autism not only to develop themselves, but to find a decent job, based on implementation of unusual ideas.
“For the first time a study of autism has proven that a different view of the world can be a very positive aspect, needed in the modern world – comments the consul of “Autism-Europe”, the founder of the
“Children with autism support Foundation “Child With Future” Inna Sergienko. – Nowadays creativity is “a trend”, if it is possible to say so, and thus the ability of people with autism can be in demand in the labor market. The main thing is to teach people with autism to offer their services, and the community – to help see the benefit of services of people with special needs, which in some areas is much greater than that of ordinary people”.