ADHD Linked to Greater Creative Achievement

Adults with ADHD may be better at generating ideas and have more verbal originality

MONDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- Adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) attain more real-world creative achievement and have different creative styles compared to non-ADHD individuals, according to a study published in the April issue of Personality and Individual Differences.

Holly A. White, Ph.D., of the University of Memphis, and Priti Shah, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, investigated real-world creative achievement and laboratory measures of creative thinking among 30 adults with ADHD and 30 controls. The participants were tested using the Conners' adult ADHD rating scale, the Creative Achievement Questionnaire, the FourSight Thinking Profile, and the Abbreviated Torrance Test for Adults (ATTA).

The researchers found that adults with ADHD had higher levels of real-world creative achievement, displayed higher levels of original creative thinking on the verbal task of the ATTA, and displayed improved real-world creative achievement compared to those without ADHD. In the FourSight Thinking Profile comparison of creative styles, those with ADHD showed an inclination toward idea generation; whereas, those without ADHD were stronger in problem clarification and idea development.

"A better understanding of creative achievement and potential in ADHD individuals has important implications. It may be possible, for example, to identify careers that are particularly suited to the strengths and weaknesses of individuals with ADHD," the authors write.

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