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Creativity and Older Adults

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 1 February 1992



In times of rapid change, organizations need employees who combine creativity with wide knowledge and experience. But many organizations base their personnel policies on the myth that, in early adulthood, the brain begins to decay and decline irreversibly – making age and creativity incompatible. Many older adults internalize an equally negative view of their own mental powers. Such ageist misconceptions block off many older adults from work which they could perform excellently. Examines the superseded research which supported this pessimistic prognosis for older adults, together with recent work which indicates that the human brain remains plastic throughout life. Outlines an action plan for developing and maintaining lifelong creativity. Describes the characteristics of intelligent failures since creative behaviour entails risk taking and some inevitable failures. Given opportunity and motivation, adults can master new subjects, acquire new skills, learn to behave more creatively at any age.



Shearring, H.A. (1992), "Creativity and Older Adults", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 11-16.




Copyright © 1992, MCB UP Limited

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