Personality and creativity: the Dual Pathway to Creativity model and a research agenda
Social and Personality Psychology Compass
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
To better understand the relation between personality traits and creativity, we invoke the Dual-Pathway to Creativity model
(DPCM) that identifies two pathways to creative outcomes: (1) flexible processing of information (cognitive flexibility) and
(2) persistent probing, and systematically and incrementally combining elements and possibilities (cognitive persistence).
DPCM further proposes that dispositional or situational variables may influence creativity through either their effects on
flexibility or persistence. Here, we propose the idea that approach-related traits (e.g., openness to experience, extraversion,
positive affectivity, and power-motivation) may lead to greater creativity because they link to enhanced cognitive flexibility,
whereas avoidance-related traits (e.g., negative affectivity and neuroticism) under the right circumstances may lead to greater
creativity because they link to enhanced cognitive persistence. Empirical support for this proposition is discussed, and a
research agenda for future work on personality and creativity is set.
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