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Do scarcity and abundance play roles in human creativity? 


The above article is entitled “Scarcity, not abundance, enhances consumer creativity, study says”. In this short synopsis, the connections between scarcity, abundance and creativity are discussed. In class we define scarcity as the one specific answer, response, or result we desire. We also define abundance as a large range of valid or relevant answers, responses, or results.

The article uses these terms in relation to consumer creativity. We often rely heavily on technology that can produce knowledge abundantly and easily rather than using our own minds to store information or solve problems. I know I am personally guilty of having the, “Oh I’ll just google it,” attitude. In the moment we tend not to think about how this abundance is affecting us long term; it feels more productive to have the needed fact or solution instantly. In today’s society there seems to be constant pressure to be more productive. So we think, “faster must be better right?”

According to the article, this type of mindset is stunting our world’s creative growth. To amplify the situation’s seriousness, the article also points out that the kindergarten to third grade age range was found to be greatly affected in a recent study using Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking. Parents often have the mindset that the more they can provide for the children the better off they are. However, when it comes to scarcity and abundance in terms of children’s creative growth, perhaps this isn’t the case. Creative thinking skills are lost due to the abundance of readily available information – often found through technology – and young children lose the ability to develop essential creative thinking skills.

The conclusion drawn in the article emphasizes that we must not be fearful consumers. Scarcity is not necessarily a bad thing. Eliminating some of the abundance in our society can help maintain and hopefully open up new paths in our creative world. As consumers we should try to model our view of scarcity and abundance in relation to creativity in a similar way to our networks class. Appreciating scarcity when it leads to the specific answer we need or forces us to be creative, while also appreciating the abundance of information available to us when we need a variety of information relating to our search. If we are forced to search within ourselves, instead of always turning to surfing the web, we have the potential to grow as individuals as well as within our social networks.


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