What Is the Relationship Between Intelligence and Creativity?

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The relationship between intelligence and creativity is not fully understood, although recent research suggests that intelligent people naturally crave higher levels of creativity. Research also suggests that intelligence and creativity overlap, meaning that intelligent individuals have a high capacity for creativity, and vice versa. This is somewhat counter to previous ideas that suggested creativity raises intelligence levels.

According to intelligence models, creativity enhances, or even highlights, intelligence but does not significantly raise it. An article featured in "Psychology Today" furthers this idea in its assertion that those who are creative are more adept at language, science, artistic interpretation and technology, all of which are associated with higher levels of intelligence.

There is also research that supports a correlation between high levels of creativity and those with IQs of 120 or higher. Psychologists warn, however, that those who have high convergent intelligence, which applies to problems for which there is one correct answer, do not always have high levels of divergent intelligence, which is the ability to think outside the box in order to generate multiple possible solutions. Creative intelligence, however, relies not on prolific results but on profound ones.

It takes only a nominal amount of creativity to capitalize on intelligence. Psychologists warn that the lack of a correlation between convergent and divergent intelligence is not necessarily indicative of a lack of a relationship between intelligence and creativity.