Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
Good news for parents: Those pricey piano lessons or random toy parts littering your floors may one day lead to the next scientific breakthrough.
That's according to new Michigan State University research linking childhood participation in arts and crafts activities to patents generated and businesses launched as adults.
In the study, which is published in the most recent edition of the journal Economic Development Quarterly, the researchers defined "childhood" as up to 14 years old.
The team of multidisciplinary researchers studied a group of MSU Honors College graduates from 1990 to 1995 who majored in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, or STEM. They found of that group, those who own businesses or patents received up to eight times more exposure to the arts as children than the general public.
"The most interesting finding was the importance of sustained participation in those activities," said Rex LaMore, director of MSU's Center for Community and Economic Development. "If you started as a young child and continued in your adult years, you're more likely to be an inventor as measured by the number of patents generated, businesses formed or articles published. And that was something we were surprised to discover."
Musical training seems to be important. The researchers found 93 percent of the STEM graduates reported musical training at some point in their lives, as compared to only 34 percent of average adults, as reported by the National Endowment for the Arts. The STEM graduates also reported higher-than-average involvement in the visual arts, acting, dance and creative writing.
In addition, those who had been exposed to metal work and electronics during childhood were 42 percent more likely to own a patent than those without exposure, while those involved in architecture were 87.5 percent more likely to form a company. And children with a photography background were 30 percent more likely to have a patent.
Such activity fosters out-of-the-box thinking, the researchers said. In fact, the group reported using artistic skills - such as analogies, playing, intuition and imagination - to solve complex problems.
"The skills you learn from taking things apart and putting them back together translate into how you look at a product and how it can be improved," said Eileen Roraback, of MSU's Center for Integrative Studies in the Arts and Humanities. "And there's creative writing. In our study, a biologist working in the cancer field, who created a business, said her writing skills helped her to write business plans and win competitions."
The results of the study could be crucial to rebuilding the U.S. economy, the researchers said.
"Inventors are more likely to create high-growth, high-paying jobs in our state, and that's the kind of target we think we should be looking for," LaMore said. "So we better think about how we support artistic capacity, as well as science and math activity, so that we have these outcomes."
In addition to LaMore and Roraback, the research team included Robert Root-Bernstein, professor of physiology; John Schweitzer, professor in the Center for Community and Economic Development; James Lawton, professor of sculpture; two undergraduate students and one graduate student. Published online before print April 28, 2013, doi: 10.1177/0891242413486186 Economic Development Quarterly August 2013 vol. 27 no. 3 221-229
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Pediatrics / Children's Health category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Michigan State University. "Childhood participation in arts and crafts linked to patents generated and businesses launched as adults." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 25 Oct. 2013. Web.
7 Dec. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/267861>
Michigan State University. (2013, October 25). "Childhood participation in arts and crafts linked to patents generated and businesses launched as adults." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/267861.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2013 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.