Publication Type

Journal Article

Version

Postprint

Publication Date

5-2012

Abstract

Creativity is a highly sought after skill. To inspire people’s creativity, prescriptive advice in the form of metaphors abound: We are encouraged to think outside the box, to consider the problem on one hand, then on the other hand, and to put two and two together to achieve creative breakthroughs. These metaphors suggest a connection between concrete bodily experiences and creative cognition. Inspired by recent advances on body-mind linkages under the emerging vernacular of embodied cognition, we explored for the first time whether enacting metaphors for creativity enhances creative problem-solving. In five studies, findings revealed that both physically and psychologically embodying creative metaphors promote fluency, flexibility, and/or originality in problem-solving. Going beyond prior research that focused primarily on the kind of embodiment that primes preexisting knowledge, we provide the first evidence that embodiment can also activate cognitive processes conducive for generating previously unknown ideas and connections.

Keywords

creativity, cognitive processes, mental models

Discipline

Cognitive Psychology | Personality and Social Contexts

Research Areas

Psychology

Publication

Psychological Science

Volume

23

Issue

5

First Page

502

Last Page

509

ISSN

0956-7976

Identifier

10.1177/0956797611429801

Publisher

SAGE

Copyright Owner and License

Authors

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://doi.org/10.1177/0956797611429801

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