Our brains associate eccentricity and creativity in musicians, painters, writers, and other artists.
New research demonstrates that an artist’s eccentricity, even in realms irrelevant to the medium of expression, can enhance our perception of the artist’s work. In our minds, eccentricity and creativity go together like, well, Bjork and swans. Just as generating a creative idea requires deviating from conventional modes of thought, quirkiness involves deviation from conventional social behavior. If you ignore the rules in one domain, you may also ignore them in another. Once we form a stereotype of the erratic artist, we may see those who fit the stereotype more snugly as being better artists.