Agentivity, a resource to be reactivated

September 2022

In social sciences and philosophy, agentivity, adapted from the English "agency", is the human capacity to act on the world, things, beings, to transform or influence them (Source: Wikipedia). Two very different recent studies have indirectly highlighted its benefits.


Conducted by psychologists from the University of Cambridge and published in the journal Frontiers of Psychology, the first scientific study invites to reconsider dyslexia. According to the researchers, this disorder of the ability to read or reproduce written language would have generated a certain advantage to its carriers throughout history. Indeed, to compensate for their difficulties, individuals with dyslexia have developed an increased ability to explore their environment and to make quick decisions. Because they could not rely on the brain, which tends to reinterpret the information already recorded to anticipate the final result, their action strategy led them to observe the world with a constantly renewed acuity, thus conferring great creativity.

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On the other hand, researchers at Columbia University in New York and Stanford University have shown that face-to-face meetings produce more ideas - and more inventive ideas - than video conferencing. Published in the journal Nature, their investigation is unquestionable regardless of where it was conducted, as overall, those who worked on Zoom had 20% fewer ideas than those who met face-to-face. In The Guardian, Dr. Melanie Brucks, explains: "Visual focus is a huge component of cognitive focus. When you're focused on the screen and filtering out the rest of the environment, it affects how you approach the task. This is bad for creativity because it inhibits broader exploration." What these two studies have in common is that they demonstrate how insightful human agentivity is.

In a context where our referent models are seriously challenged, and when the technological solution does not seem so providential anymore, it is necessary not to lose our natural faculty of action. Carlin Creative's raison d'être is to activate agentivity: by anticipating behaviors and formalizing the uses of tomorrow, we deploy our gifts of exploration with our clients. We aspire to shake up preconceived ideas, exchange points of view and open the field of vision.

Together, let's create something new in a world in transition 😄

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Géraldine Bouchot
Trends & Forecasting editorial director

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