Conceptual expansion and creative imagery as a function of psychoticism

Consciousness and Cognition 14 (3):520-534 (2005)
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The ability to be creative is often considered a unique characteristic of conscious beings and many efforts have been directed at demonstrating a relationship between creativity and the personality construct of psychoticism. The present study sought to investigate this link explicitly by focusing on discrete facets of creative cognition, namely the originality/novelty dimension and the practicality/usefulness dimension. Based on Eysenck’s conceptualisation of psychoticism as being characterised by an overinclusive cognitive style, it was expected that higher levels of psychoticism would accompany a greater degree of conceptual expansion and elevated levels of originality in creative imagery, but would be unrelated to the practicality/usefulness of an idea. These hypotheses were confirmed in 80 healthy participants who were contrasted based on their EPQ psychoticism scale scores. Our findings suggest that the link between psychoticism and creativity is based on associative thinking and broader but weak top-down activation patterns rather than on goal-related thinking



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