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Turns Out, Those Who Like Being Alone Can Be More Creative

Why taking time for solitude benefits you and your brain.

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Introverts, rejoice! New research from the University of Buffalo has found that some people who prefer to be alone have a higher tendency to be more creative.

Paul Bradbury | Getty Images

Related: Steve Jobs Systematically Cultivated His Creativity. You Can, Too

While unsociability has been viewed as a cause for concern in the past -- with anxious parents pushing shy children into playdates and afterschool programs -- this new research sheds new light on the , and why it should be reinterpreted.

"We have to understand why someone is withdrawing to understand the associated risks and benefits," says Julie Bowker, an associate professor in UB's department of . Bowker highlights that the consequences of social withdrawal aren't black and white, but dependent on underlying motivations.

According to the study, there are three reasons people withdraw: out of or , which is associated with ; those that are considered socially avoidant because they dislike social interaction; and finally, those who withdraw due to non-fearful preferences for . This last group is called "unsociable," because they enjoy spending time alone.

Bowker had 295 participants report on their motivations to withdraw, as well as score themselves on creativity, anxiety sensitivity, depressive , aggression and other factors that influence their behaviors and desires. She found that those who withdrew due to unsociability had higher tendencies toward creativity.

So if you find yourself canceling Friday night plans to read a good book or take a walk, you may just be gathering your creative juices.

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