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ADHD Can Lead to More Creativity

Posted by Savannah Patton | December 19, 2018 | Comments (0)

According to science, those with ADHD thrive in creative situations more than others. People with ADHD tendencies may be more valuable in fields where innovation and non-traditional approaches are needed like marketing, product design, technology and computer engineering.

A study at the University of Michigan examined how students with and without ADHD performed creative tasks such as inventing a new example of a common category, like a fruit.

The results showed that the non-ADHD participants modeled their creations after common fruits like slightly tweaking an apple or strawberry. While the participants with ADHD created unique fruits that were very original and shared almost no resemblance with common fruits.

The author of the study, Holly White says that these results show that those with ADHD tend to be more flexible when faced with tasks that require making something new. People with ADHD are less likely to rely on examples from the world than those without.

Individuals with ADHD may be less prone to design fixation, which is the tendency to get stuck in a rut or stick closely to what already exists when creating a new product, White says.

“This has implications for creative design and problem-solving in the real world when the goal is to create or invent something new,” White says.

If you or a client is struggling to focus with ADHD, try thinking about the task in a more creative way, or even switching to a more creative task for a bit of a break! It’s key to understand how peoples’ minds work and how to restructure a task in an effective way to get the best outcome out of your coaching clients. Ask creative, open-ended questions, try exercises that involve innovation and finding new ways to solve problems.

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Savannah Patton

Savannah Patton is the ICF Communications Assistant and a freelance writer for Kentucky Sports Radio. She graduated in May 2016 from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor's degree in Integrated Strategic Communications with a focus in Public Relations.

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

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