Creativity without biases

Biases. We all have them.

We deal with them, we silence them, but there’s no denying how much they affect our creative judgment.

Our creative journey is always filled with highs and lows — days when we feel the flow; someday nothing inspires us. Some days we hate everything around us and there are some days when everything around us inspires us.

We have bundles of stuff we go through each day – some intrigues and some inspires. Biases have the power to shape our judgment, make us see things in a new light, and can set the tone for our entire line of work.

There is a Wikipedia page for biases. Attentional bias, lesser-is-better bias, pro-innovation bias, belief bias, choice-supportive bias, confirmation bias, curse of knowledge bias, hindsight bias, illusion of control bias omission bias, optimism bias, pessimism bias, reactive devaluation bias, selective perception bias, survivorship bias, triviality bias, actor-observer bias, group attribution error, and projection bias.

Expressing a creative concept on a blank paper calls forth a mysterious meeting point for all our deep-rooted biases. Our biases – born from our constant aim for self-actualization remind us of our past while we try to create something new in the premise of something unknown and new.

These biases dismiss the distinctively new idea from being birthed or shaped on the blank page. A self-serving bias which is basically “The tendency to claim more responsibility for successes than failures” often stops us from creating more ideas that we fear might fail.

Our past shores up all the experiences and validates a new idea against various standards it has set. The standards of perfection, of being safe, of being culturally/socially right, of seeing the idea through its completion, of being the first of its kind.

History sets the context for the present. Unfortunately it also sets context to ideas that we work on and those that we don’t. While our creativity and art belong to the future, our past is already setting context to it.

Blank paper is where this confluence lies.

A number of mental processes of retrieval, association, synthesis, transformation, analogical transfer go into a creative process. Retrieval of what we have seen, earned, learned. Not that we can dismiss it. But we can reorient our ideas to see that they stand to be real and minus the flavors of our mind’s biases.

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