The article below has only recently been brought to my attention. It claims that Catholics are less creative. I guess Leonardo, Titian, Tintoretto, Canaletto, Vivaldi, Monteverdi, Puccini etc don’t count. The claim is too silly for me to look at the article in detail so I will content myself with making one general point: There is no such thing as a general factor of creativity. It’s all domain-specific, and usually VERY domain specific. Great painters don’t make great composers and vice versa. I, for instance, have a small gift for writing publishable (and published) academic journal articles but I couldn’t write a novel for nuts. So the article below purports to examine something that does not exist. You can speak of creativity in a narrowly-defined field only. Overall creativity does not exist.

Cross-national Comparisons of Catholic-Protestant Creativity Differences


It has been argued that personality factors associated with authoritarianism-dogmatism are antithetical to creativity. This study attempts to determine if these findings can be demonstrated in real or naturally occurring groups and if they are affected by socio-political contexts. The groups compared are matched samples of Roman Catholic and Protestant students from the United States, Northern Ireland, Eire and Scotland. Psychological evidence of relatively high authoritarianism in Roman Catholics and sociological indications of relatively low creative production by Roman Catholics lead to the general hypothesis that Catholic students will perform less well on mental ability tests of creativity factors.

A two-way analysis of variance design (country v. religion) is employed to test the hypotheses. The results indicate that there are large and statistically significant differences between Catholic and Protestant students in the U.S. and Northern Ireland. Catholic students in these countries evidenced less originality, ideational fluency and spontaneous flexibility than Protestants. There were generally no differences between the groups in Eire and Scotland. It is concluded that the antithesis of dogmatism-authoritarianism to creativity can be demonstrated in naturally occurring groups and that these differences are affected by the socio-political contexts in which the groups exist.

British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, Volume 10, Issue 2, pages 132–137, June 1971

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don’t forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here. For what it’s worth, I am an atheist of Protestant background

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