Hedonic tone and activation level in the mood-creativity link: Toward a dual pathway to creativity model

Carsten K. W. De Dreu*, Matthijs Baas, Bernard A. Nijstad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

619 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To understand when and why mood states influence creativity, the authors developed and tested a dual pathway to creativity model; creative fluency (number of ideas or insights) and originality (novelty) are functions of cognitive flexibility, persistence, or some combination thereof. Invoking work on arousal, psychophysiological processes, and working memory capacity, the authors argue that activating moods (e.g., angry, fearful, happy, elated) lead to more creative fluency and originality than do deactivating moods (e.g., sad, depressed, relaxed, serene). Furthermore, activating moods influence creative fluency and originality because of enhanced cognitive flexibility when tone is positive and because of enhanced persistence when tone is negative. Four studies with different mood manipulations and operationalizations of creativity (e.g., brainstorming, category inclusion tasks, gestalt completion tests) support the model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-756
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume94
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May-2008

Keywords

  • mood
  • creativity
  • cognitive flexibility
  • emotions
  • arousal
  • POSITIVE AFFECT
  • IDEA GENERATION
  • WORKING-MEMORY
  • NEGATIVE MOOD
  • ORGANIZATIONAL-BEHAVIOR
  • VISUAL INFORMATION
  • DIVERGENT THINKING
  • COGNITIVE CONTROL
  • EMOTIONAL STATES
  • REGULATORY FOCUS

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