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New research " Is being unsociable the secret to creativity? "

November 26, 2017 Home Family,Social Networks

New research published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences examines three different kinds of social withdrawal and finds that one of them correlates with higher creativity.

When people choose to be alone, they most often do so for one of three reasons: they are shy, they dislike interacting with other people, or they enjoy spending time alone.

Traditionally, psychologists have named these three categories as shyness, avoidance, and unsociability. And new research aims to see whether all of these three categories are associated with negative psychological outcomes.

Many of us tend to think of solitude as something undesirable, and some studies confirm that too much loneliness is detrimental to your health. But the new research — led by Julie Bowker, an associate professor at the University of Buffalo’s Department of Psychology in New York — finds positive associations with one specific form of social withdrawal.

Not all loneliness is bad, ‘motivation matters’
Speaking about these negative associations with loneliness, Bowker says, “When people think about the costs associated with social withdrawal, oftentimes they adopt a developmental perspective.”

“During childhood and adolescence, the idea is that if you’re removing yourself too much from your peers, then you’re missing out on positive interactions like receiving social support, developing social skills, and other benefits of interacting with your peers.”

“This may be why there has been such an emphasis on the negative effects of avoiding and withdrawing from peers,” Bowker continues.

Referring to her study, Bowker says, “Motivation matters […] We have to understand why someone is withdrawing to understand the associated risks and benefits.”

To do so, the team asked 295 participants to fill in a series of questionnaires that asked about their motivation for wanting to be alone, and their creativity, sensitivity to anxiety, predisposition to depression, aggression, and social anhedonia — that is, lacking pleasure in social activities.

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