Based on the instrumental account of emotion regulation (Tamir, 2005), the current research seeks to offer a novel perspective to theemotions–creativity debate by investigating the instrumental value of trait-consistent emotions in creativity. We hypothesize that emotionssuch as worry (vs. happy) are trait-consistent experiences for individuals higher on trait neuroticism and experiencing these emotions can facilitate performance in a creativity task. In 3 studies, we found support for our hypothesis. First, individuals higher in neuroticism had a greater preference for recalling worrisome (vs. happy) events in anticipation of performing a creativity task (Study 1). Moreover, when induced to recall a worrisome (vs. happy) event, individuals higher in neuroticism came up with more creative design (Study 2) and more flexible uses of a brick (Study 3) when the task was a cognitively demanding one. Further, Study 3 offers preliminary support that increased intrinsic task enjoyment and motivation mediates the relationship between trait-consistent emotion regulation and creative performance. These findings offer a new perspective to the controversy concerning the emotions–creativity relationship and further demonstrate the role of instrumentalemotion regulation in the domain of creative performance.
Creativity, Emotional Regulation, Emotions, Instrumentality, Neuroticism
Cognition and Perception | Social Psychology
American Psychological Association
LEUNG, Angela K.-Y., LIOU, Shyhnan, QIU, Lin, KWAN, Letty Y. Y., CHIU, Chi-Yue, & YONG, Jose C..(2014). The Role of Instrumental Emotion Regulation in the Emotions-Creativity Link: How Worries Render Individuals with High Neuroticism more Creative. Emotion, 14(5), 846-856.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/1555