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The effect on creativity of individual differences in affective processing and day-to-day affective experiences

Christopher R Long, University of Massachusetts Amherst


The relation between creativity and mood has been often studied, but much less is known about the relation between creativity and more stable individual differences in affective processing. Four major dimensions of affective processing have been identified in previous research: namely, attention to affect, affective clarity, affective expression, and intensity of affect (Gohm & Clore, 2002). In the initial phase of this study, 163 participants completed measures of these four dimensions and of the traits from McCrae & Costa's (e.g., 1999) five-factor model of personality. Then, for each of the next seven days, participants made daily ratings of their feelings and recorded the amount of time they devoted to 11 specific activities (e.g., watching television, sleeping, conversing). Lastly, in a one-hour laboratory session, participants completed drawing, writing, advertisement, and science tasks developed by Lubart & Sternberg (1995). Later, judges rated participants' work on these tasks with respect to creativity. Attention to affect and the five-factor trait of openness were predictive of judges' ratings of participant creativity and of the amount of time participants devoted to creative activities in their daily lives. In contrast, affective clarity and conscientiousness were negatively related to the creativity ratings. Whereas participants' daily feelings were not predictive of the creativity ratings, the amount of time participants devoted to creativity-related activities (e.g., drawing, decorating, keeping a journal) during the week was positively related to the creativity ratings.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Long, Christopher R, "The effect on creativity of individual differences in affective processing and day-to-day affective experiences" (2003). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3110526.