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Pers Individ Dif. 2012 Sep;53-334(4):480-485.

Differential effects of cognitive inhibition and intelligence on creativity.

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Department of Psychology, University of Graz, Austria.


There are different conceptions about how cognitive inhibition is related to creativity. Creativity has either been associated with effective inhibition, or with disinhibition, or with an adaptive engagement of inhibition. In this study, we examined the relationship of cognitive inhibition, assessed by means of the random motor generation task, with different measures of creativity. We also analyzed whether this relation is mediated by intelligence. We generally found a positive correlation of inhibition and creativity measures. Moreover, latent variable analyses indicate that inhibition may primarily promote the fluency of ideas, whereas intelligence specifically promotes the originality of ideas. These findings support the notion that creative thought involves executive processes and may help to better understand the differential role of inhibition and intelligence in creativity.

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