Research has found that ADHD adults experienced more creative achievement compared to non ADHD adults. According to statistics, ADHD adults make up 4.1% of the U.S. adult population.
The study is a follow-up to previous research, which focused on laboratory measures of creativity and found that ADHD adults show better performance on tests of creative divergent thinking. The researchers did not know if that would translate into real-life achievement but their study suggests that it does.
Results indicated that ADHD adults exhibited higher levels of original creative thinking on the verbal task of the ATTA (using a standardized measure of creativity) as well as higher levels of real-world creative achievement, in comparison to adults without ADHD.
For the same reasons that ADHD can cause problems, such as distraction, it could also allow openness to fresh ideas. Not staying totally focused on a task enables the mind to make associations which may not have normally happened.
The researchers gave 60 college students, 50% of them had ADHD, several tests measuring creativity across 10 areas. The ADHD students scored higher all around. The ADHD students demonstrated more of a inclination to brainstorm and generate ideas compared to the non-ADHD students, who favored refining and clarifying ideas.