A new study of Nobel laureates in business shows that, there are two distinct lifecycles of creativity, one that affects some people early in their careers and another that occurs often later in life. The research supports previous work of authors who found similar patterns in the arts and other sciences. We believe that what we found in this study is not limited to economics, but could be applied to creativity in general, said Bruce Weinberg, lead author of the study and professor of Economics at Ohio State University. Many people believe that creativity is solely related to youth, but it really depends on the type of creativity that is being talked about. Weinberg conducted the study with David Galenson, an Economics professor at the University of Chicago. In the study, Nobel Prize winners who did most of their innovative work early in their careers were more likely to be conceptual innovators in their later years.
These types of innovators think outside the box, defy conventional wisdom, and tend to make an effort. As said by Weinberd, conceptual innovators tend to peak early in their careers before delving into the subject's already accepted theories. Though there is another type of creativity that is experimental. These innovators accumulate knowledge throughout their careers and find innovative ways to analyze interpret and summarize their information into new ways of understanding. The years of trial and error required for key experimental innovation typically emerge late in a Nobel Prize winner's career. Reaching the creative peek early or late in your career life totally depends on your conceptual or experimental focus. For example, conceptual economists tend to use assumptions, proofs, and equations, and have a math appendix or introduction to their articles.
The researchers took a novel and empirical approach to the study, which included 31 award winners, who ranked the winners in a list from the most experimental to the most conceptual of the winners.