An article in Fast Company Design titled “No Joke: Comedians Really Are Crazier Than You,” the point is made that psychologist consider most traits which make-up creative people to be “crazy.” I think this is just evidence that psychologist are often just the gatekeepers of society, providing those in power and privilege an excuse to write off divergence as “broken.” Look, if all creative people are have traits you consider “crazy” then perhaps we need to ask ourselves: Is society really just hostile to creativity?
Also, this study shows that “cognitive disinhibition,” meaning that your mind makes lots of divergent connections to subjects at hand, is considered a “negative trait” by mainstream psychologists. Funny, in a creative firm “cognitive inhibition” is a negative trait. Actually, making distant connections between things others cannot is part of what it means to be a genius. Now genius is crazy?
Psychology should be a tool we use to understand each other and work together, not a giant beat-stick for “normality.” A part of me wonders if the entire discipline of modern psychology just arose from aristocratic parents yelling at school teachers, “Tell me what’s wrong with my child, because it certain isn’t MY fault they are like this!”
Society has yet to be hospitable toward creative, innovative, and divergent thinkers. Perhaps the problem isn’t that these traits are “crazy” but that it is just very hard to stay “sane” in a world that doesn’t want you around. We need to stand up to this kind of thinking, because it’s the real crazy.