The Voice of Professional Design

Posted Saturday, 7 April 2012

Making up is easy to do.

By David Mellonie, for the Design Institute of Australia

Making up is easy to do.

Study shows that creative people might also be creative with the truth.

If you’re proud to consider yourself ‘creative’, then you might not be quite so happy with a new study that claims to have found that creativity can fuel dishonesty – and vice versa.

A series of studies conducted by Americans Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School and Dan Ariely of Duke University, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found a positive correlation between creativity and unethical behavior in ninety-nine employees at an anonymous American advertising agency.

Now, there might be some who would suggest that surveying an advertising agency for unethical behavior is a bit like asking merchant bankers whether they’re interested in making money, but questionable methodology aside, the authors of the paper say that ‘The more creativity required on the job, the more unethical behaviour was self-reported.’

So could graphic designers carve out a more lucrative career path as master forgers?

Should product designers lay aside the mouse and take up the jemmy?

That’s drawing a rather long bow, but the researchers do suggest that creative types seem to find it easier than most to invent reasons to justify why their unethical behaviour isn’t really that bad.

Perhaps that’s part of the reason why rock stars, film stars and other ‘creative types’ seem to have their personality defects and dummy spits indulged by those who should know much better.

If you’d like to investigate your own creative foibles a little more, you can read the original article in full here.


(Image courtesy of and Andrea Fuentes.)

Return to the news list

Laminex Blum Brickworks

The national newsletter of the DIA, currently produced quarterly and distributed FREE to all DIA members. View current issue

Design is not about decorating functional forms - it is about creating forms that accord with the character of the object and that show new technologies to advantage.

Peter Behrens.

Find us on Facebook