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Section 3: Willingness and ability to go beyond (and challenge) social rules

Your score in this section:                    

Scoring key:


76– 100         

People who scored in the 76-100 range have few problems going beyond social rules. Of course it must be noted that people who go beyond social rules all the time get locked up in mental institutions, and those who go beyond social rules a lot of the time, are usually so self centered that they cannot see other perspectives and points of view. Hence, these people are not very creative. Creative people walk a fine line, not between madness and sanity, as many people believe, but between being bold enough to think and do the things other people avoid doing, and acting, well, totally normal and conventional. Highly creative people don’t dress and look and act strangely. Instead, they look, act, smell and are like everyone else. The difference is that when they need to access their creativity they can dress and look and act strangely, and it would not bother them at all. Like actors or actresses playing a role, they can become somebody else when they need to, and then effortlessly slip back into their own body and mind.


Being able to go beyond social rules is an important part of creativity. If you can’t go beyond social rules, you’re like a football player who is limiting yourself to play on only half a field, while your opponents use the entire field. Who has the advantage? Who’s going to score more goals? Who’s going to be more creative? Remember, it’s your choice.



People who scored in the 51-75 range can go beyond social rules at times, but they probably aren’t ready to think and do everything legal yet. They are still stopping themselves, less than most people, true, but they are still handicapping themselves, still playing on less than a full field.


This area of the test measures to a large degree how much you want to be accepted. It measures how concerned you are with the opinion of others and much you let those opinions influence you. When you need creativity you’ve got to be able to look at everything, not just see what everyone can see. You’ve got to be able to also see what they don’t see and that usually means going beyond the invisible barriers where other people stop. People in this range are close, you’ve followed the rabbit all right, but you’re standing over the rabbit hole, afraid to plunge. Maybe you’re waiting for the right circumstances or person. Remember, the treasure you seek lies behind the door you’re afraid to open.



People who scored in the 30-50 range can go beyond social rules occasionally, but for the most part they have accepted to follow a vast, complex, invisible set of social rules. That’s the easiest way, because that’s what everyone else is doing.


People who scored in this range usually want others to think well of them. They want to be liked and they don’t want to do anything that can cause them to be criticized or singled out. Culture plays a role here, in that many East Asian cultures stress not going against social rules more than do other countries, yet it’s always a personal question, our culture puts pressure on us to conform, but we don’t have to. The creative attitude says that you don’t have to abide by social rules all the times. People in this group have up to now accepted to go along with the norms and with what society advises rather than rebel. They may think of themselves as rebels, and in their social circles, and with their friends, they may appear to be, but when you put them with other groups, they look a lot different.


Under 30

People who scored under 30 in this section will have a difficult time going beyond social rules. It is true that everyone trespasses social rules at times, usually when necessary and when it is in their interest, but people who scored under thirty here generally avoid going beyond social rules as much as possible.


People who scored in this range worry about their images and about what people think of them. They have a certain image that they want to project and their actions will be coordinated to protect that image. People here usually do not like to appear foolish or silly and may devote significant time to defending their positions. A lot of people in this range are fast. They tend to make rapid judgments and they also use assumptions.


You probably need to remind yourself more often that your way of looking at something is only one way of many and to consciously look for other ways, not with the idea of proving that your way was the best  but actually to consider other ways as equally valuable.

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