Submitted by New_Rush4189 t3_yd636j in askscience

I have read that creativity is the ability to perceive something in a novel manner and thus create something new out of it while intelligence is the ability to acquire knowledge and utilise it accordingly. This means you can be intelligent without being creative but how can this be since high fluid intelligence is related to solving novel problems independent of previously acquired knowledge isn't this just creativity?



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Sufficient_Map_8034 t1_itqb91j wrote

Fluid intelligence is usually measured by the ability to solve problems, reason non-verbally, recognise patterns, and perform mathematics.

It doesn't directly have anything to do with 'acquiring knowledge and utilising it accordingly'. In fact it's quite the opposite because your description sounds a lot like practical abilities which is different to theoretical abilities like intelligence. It is also difficult to define what knowledge and utilisation is intelligent for a given situation. It depends on the aim of the individual.

Creativity is the ability and action of making something new.

>This means you can be intelligent without being creative

It's pretty much impossible to be intelligent without being able to create new things/ideas. Society's traditional perspective of creativity can be separated from intelligence though, implying it arises as a personality trait, but the simple definition of being able to create novel stuff is not separate to intelligence


BigPoppaFitz84 t1_itv0ay0 wrote

You know, I like your discussion of creativity. I never considered myself creative.. I can solve problems like a mfer, but can't even draw a stick figure that's in proportion, have no ability to paint anything but a solid color.. but I suppose I am discounting the mechanical problem solving I've done to perform a task when I don't have the appropriate tool, or fix something with parts that were not otherwise intended for the purpose. I guess someone could easily look at my McGuyver skills and say it is creativity.


ffenliv t1_itx2xe2 wrote

I also wouldn't entirely conflate the ability to draw with creativity. Drawing, painting and other things like them are also physical skills that require training in addition to the creative aspect.


ShitPostGuy t1_itslzc6 wrote

Fluid intelligence is a term created in the 1950s in the field of psychometry which is a controversial branch of psychology focused an attaching quantifiable measurements to psychological characteristics. It’s controversial because it’s based entirely on correlation and there is no way to demonstrate that the characteristics are actually caused by the thing being measured.

Fluid intelligence is one half of a theory of intelligence put forward in the 60s which posited that general intelligence can be reduced into two subcategories: fluid intelligence which is the ability to solve novel problems and crystalized intelligence which is the capacity to store and execute known solutions to a problem.

Creativity is not a part of that model.


BananaBananaBa t1_ituuqu1 wrote

Any references for the fact that psychometrics are only correlational and it is controversial because of that?


ShitPostGuy t1_ituyrok wrote

It’s definitionally correlational since you cannot (ethically) make changes in someone’s brain and test the resulting changes in their personality/cognition to prove causation. One can only say things like “there is correlation between the trait of impulsivity, as measured by personality test xyz, and lower activity levels in the prefrontal cortex.”

As for it being controversial, a quick Google search will get you a host of articles.


BananaBananaBa t1_itx7r6f wrote

psychometrics is a much larger concept than needing change in the brain for an interventional investigation of causation. Also, "correlational" is a very old concept. I went through the papers that you listed here, and you are right about exploratory factor analysis being as good as reading tea leaves. I mean, its as bad as p-values and the confidence intervals. But there is much more modern work. You should check out COSMIN consensus work.


MinnieShoof t1_itta7f0 wrote

I'd never heard those two words put together in Term™ with a capital T terminology. But, like most things that involve reinventing the wheel - it (seems like)/is just something we already know, quantified under different adverbs so the speaker sounds like they're saying something different when they say the things we all already know.


warg99 t1_itrw6uj wrote

I think you are making some great points and open up for an interesting discussion.

The way i see it is like this. Feel free to critisize or develope my ideas, id be happy to discuss this subject.

Fluid intelligence refers to the potential capacity for manipulation of information using cognitive working memory tools within the psyche (The psyche being the abstract realm in which we percive ourselves to live from). The psyches working memory is highly connected with functions such as perception, consciousness and long term memory, all playing a role in fluid intelligence potential.

Creativity is the ability to infer realistic abstractions upon a perception. It is the capacity for realising relationships and arrangments that fulfill a real purpose to whatever context in which it (creativity) is being used.

To me it appears that one (fluid intelligence) refers to the real cognitive functionality and one (creativity) refers to the reach of cognitive working memory processes. In creative people fluid intelligence will be of great use, since it allows for greater association and linking between abstract concepts. However in non creative people, fluid intelligence still performs its function of processing information in sofisticated representations allowing for a deeper understanding of whatever they are trying to comprehend.

An argument which can be made is that a high fluid intelligence perhaps can perform the function of creativity to a limited extent. Since it allows for greater representability of perceptions making it easier to discover relationships. The difference then being that relationships are discoverd, rather than inferd.


New_Rush4189 OP t1_itsul72 wrote

Yes i think you are on similar thoughts with me. When i looked at the definition of fluid intelligence it seemed the ability to abstract general rules from specific cases so that they could be applied more broadly to unfamiliar ones. Creativity is sometimes described as 'seeing something in a new way' but this is the same as abstracting and realising your object can be viewed in a more general way which allows you to apply it flexibly.


dumpster_fire404 t1_itqo1s6 wrote

Fluid intelligence is kind of an iffy concept in psychology. There are definitions, but the measuring methods are still under dispute. It's hard to discern fluid intelligence from everything else, especially what we call aptitudes. Basically, take it with a grain of salt, we're still working on it.


zero989 t1_itqynfu wrote

(High) Fluid intelligence is measured by how much complexity can be dealt with in terms of patterns, sequences of elements, and depth to said elements and patterns (learn faster, learn more, learn what others can't).

Creativity is something else. It's related to consciousness, and altering it. When that happens, differing thought patterns emerge. Mental dispositions (disorders) are probably the strongest cases for this as well as drugs such as alcohol or psychedelics (discoverer of DNA strand). The risk is insanity at the extremes.

For just lower grades of creativity, personality features matter. Divergent thinking comes to mind as well.

In the brain they are also opposites, high intelligence means efficient networks. Highly creative persons have more of the opposite.

Getting them both is rare. Most smart people are just intelligent.


Fresh_Damage1782 t1_itrdyk2 wrote

You describe intelligence and creativity as opposites? What aspect of intelligence do we even mean by "intelligence" in this regard? Logic/mathematical? Linguistic? Musicality?

I'd put creativity as another intelligence, and rarely do I see any negative correlation between creativity and other types of intelligence. To me, creativity represents the ability to look at things in new ways, or to create something new from known concepts. Be it an abstract tool or a tangible one. Or in the sense of the question, the logical person would find the best way to solve a the pussle, the creative person would realise the pussle isn't square.

What do you mean by creativity?


zero989 t1_itrh7th wrote

In the brain, as far as neural pathways go, creative people have less efficient pathways, smart people have mostly efficient pathways.

It's any aspect of intelligence, the brain can generalize, mostly.

Creativity can be the combination of things not ever considered, it can also be how something is viewed or even what is viewed.

For example intelligence can be considered low in dimensions. It's straight forward computation. Creativity ups the dimensions per se. It allows a wider view or more dimensions of what is being looked at. One starts to see what others can't. Hence the quote: "talent hits a target others miss, genius hits a target no one else can see."

High creativity cannot exist without consciousness, and it's amplification and altering thereof.


ShitPostGuy t1_itsknnf wrote

That’s an incredible claim.

Like, so you have any credible sources for the position the creative people have less efficient neural pathways?


pondrthis t1_ituckde wrote

They certainly won't. We do not have the technology to measure "neural pathways" to this level of detail. The technology used correlates fMRI activation (which is already suspicious in general due to finding differences of differences in extremely low SNR data, then being analyzed poorly in many cases as pointed out in the famous dead-salmon study) to diffusion fiber tracking MRI to determine how nerve fibers connect activation sites. These are measured at the millimeter scale due to the limitations of both diffusion and functional MRI. In other words, they track whole nerve bundles, not individual neurons.

IIRC, there is some evidence that people with severe neurological disabilities (some kinds of ASD being one example) can have MS-like nerve fiber issues without the decrease in myelination associated with MS.

Source: I was an MR research engineer until about 5 years ago, did my research in one of the largest MRI research institutes in the world. This wasn't my area of expertise, but I worked closely with the people doing this.


zero989 t1_itv18ep wrote

"diffusion tensor tractography"

"Based on their IQ test scores, all subjects were divided into general and high intelligence groups and significantly higher global efficiencies were found in the networks of the latter group. Moreover, we showed significant correlations between IQ scores and network properties across all subjects while controlling for age and gender. Specifically, higher intelligence scores corresponded to a shorter characteristic path length and a higher global efficiency of the networks, indicating a more efficient parallel information transfer in the brain. The results were consistently observed not only in the binary but also in the weighted networks, which together provide convergent evidence for our hypothesis. Our findings suggest that the efficiency of brain structural organization may be an important biological basis for intelligence."

Fractional anisotropy used for tissue integrity also has the opposite pattern as far as intelligence vs creativity goes.

"These findings suggest that Big C creativity is associated with more “random” rather than more “efficient” global network functional architecture, with condition-dependent variations in local clustering and efficiency. Large condition-dependent correlations between global and local clustering measures deserve further examination in exceptionally creative and other groups to more fully characterize the functional topology of brain networks most relevant to creativity. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)"

"“Exceptional creativity was associated with more random connectivity at the global scale – a pattern that is less ‘efficient’ but would appear helpful in linking distant brain nodes to each other"

"“In terms of brain connectivity, while everyone else is stuck in a three-hour layover at a major airport, the highly creatives take private planes directly to a distant destination,” Anderson said. “This more random connectivity may be less efficient much of the time, but the architecture enables brain activity to ‘take a road less traveled’ and make novel connections"

There's also:

The Cambridge Handbook of the Neuroscience of Creativity (2018) Rex E. Jung (Editor), Oshin Vartanian (Editor)

Less travel among the network(s) pathway is better for intelligence

More travel among the network(s) path is better for creativity

Don't get why this is so shocking


crypto-meth t1_itrg54z wrote

The only physical difference is the neurological pathways that develop over the course of development, but both intelligence and creativity arise from our relatively high functioning prefrontal cortex.

The real difference is the creative's pathways are not derived or favored by the survival functionality of abstract thought.

General intelligence provides a measurable survival enhancement and artistic creativity is the result of not needing to use all available resources to survive.


TuzalaW t1_ituzvag wrote

I once heard a story about an elderly couple using public transit. They got dropped off a long walk away from their ultimate destination, too far to walk comfortably. They noticed a pizza place across the street so they ordered a pizza to be delivered to their destination, then caught a free ride with the pizza guy. Perhaps their experience had informed them, but I still count this as a dynamic/fluid way to solve a basic problem.