CORRELATION OF CREATIVITY AND EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE: DO WE GET MORE CREATIVE BY OBSERVING DISTURBING IMAGES?
Keywords:creativity, emotion, valence, arousal, familiarity of content, reaction time
Relations between creativity, different dimensions of emotional experience (valence and arousal), familiarity of content, and reaction time were examined in this study. An experiment was conducted with 38 students from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, in which the International Affective Picture System database (IAPS) was used for construction of visual stimuli samples. Initailly, ten photographs were selected from a database, so that their valence and arousal varied systematically. Students were exposed to the photos and were asked to rate the familiarity of their content. After that, 25 superimposed visual stimuli were prepared by overlapping the ten selected photographs, and presented in the second session when the subjects were asked to generate the best title for each of them, with reaction time being recorded. Creativity of titles was assessed by calculating a coefficient of creativity that was specifically designed for research purposes. Regression analysis revealed that valence and reaction time were very good predictors of creativity (R2 = .70, F = 7.94, p < .05). Valence and creativity were in negative correlation (ß = -.62, t = -2.92, p <.05), while reaction time was a positive predictor of creativity (ß = .64, t = 3.25, p < .05). A factor analysis revealed the three factors that explained 94.51% of variance, of which two were highly loaded with creativity. Results expand insights on the role of emotional experience in creative production suggesting that their connection could be explained by valence and time - variables which underlie two relatively independent processes of creative thinking.
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