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  • Writer's picturekathybeekman

Don't Give Up

By Carol Fennell, Professional Artist

Don’t Give up on your crazy idea! Many of the best ideas are ridiculed before they are appreciated. History shows that many discoveries and ideas were rejected before being accepted. Galileo was condemned for sharing astronomical discoveries because of a conflict with Catholic theology. Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian physician was put in an insane asylum in the 19th century, because he believed that infections were spread by germs on doctors' hands. Resistance to unconventional or new ideas has psychological motives, and continues into modern day.

A study of psychologists at Cornell University discovered that humans have a bias against less conventional ideas. Studies going back to the 1950s have shown people to be prone to conforming to popular opinions and perspectives. Whatever non-conforming tendencies we have as children are usually driven out of us by repetitional learning. This rote learning may counteract our more curious, exploratory and creative ways of thinking. Kaufman and Gregoire wrote, "teachers have been found to display a clear preference for students who show less creativity."

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