- Creativity under the gun
- How threat features and personal characteristics motivate creative responding
- Award date
- 12 September 2017
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
The goal of the present dissertation is to examine how threats influence creativity. Notwithstanding the value of creative solutions in response to threats, the effects of threats on creativity remain poorly understood. Past work has shown that threats can both increase and decrease creativity, without providing convincing reasons why. In this dissertation, it is proposed that creativity is about being motivated to realize goals that matter. Integrating the motivated focus account of creativity and theories on human threat management systems, the current work predicted that 1) people facing threats can be creative in threat-relevant domain through threat-induced motivated focus; and that 2) creativity under threats is highly specific and responsive to the particular features of threats (e.g., the direction of threats), situation resources (e.g., available time to react), and dispositional variables (e.g., dispositional threat sensitivity). In four empirical chapters, this general principle was tested using both intrapersonal (e.g., health threats) and interpersonal threats (e.g., violent assaults) with regards to the full cycle of creative problem solving, from the inclusive processing of information, through the generation of defense tactics, to the evaluation and selection of threat responses for implementation. Results show that threats do not have a generalized impact on creativity. Rather, they selectively enhance creativity that is relevant and functional in managing the specific threat at hand. Moreover, it is the motivated focus on coping with the specific threat that
drives the enhancing effect of threats on threat-relevant creativity.
- Kurt Lewin Institute dissertation series 2017-05.
Thesis (complete) (Embargo up to and including 12 September 2019)
Chapter 2: The effect of threat on cognitive inclusiveness: Generic narrowing or domain-specific broadening? (Embargo up to and including 12 September 2019)
Chapter 3: Creative defense ideation under threat: The role of threat features and threat sensitivity (Embargo up to and including 12 September 2019)
Chapter 4: Threat direction and time pressure affect creative threat-responding (Embargo up to and including 12 September 2019)
Chapter 5: Imminent threat and the selection of creative responses: The mediating role of perceived effectiveness (Embargo up to and including 12 September 2019)
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