Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Emotion. 2014 Oct;14(5):846-56. doi: 10.1037/a0036965. Epub 2014 May 26.

The role of instrumental emotion regulation in the emotions-creativity link: how worries render individuals with high neuroticism more creative.

Author information

1
School of Social Sciences, Singapore Management University.
2
Institute of Creative Industries Design, National Cheng Kung University.
3
Division of Psychology, Nanyang Technological University.
4
Sun Yat-Sen Business School, Sun Yat-Sen University.
5
Division of Strategy, Management, and Organization, Nanyang Technological University.

Abstract

Based on the instrumental account of emotion regulation (Tamir, 2005), the current research seeks to offer a novel perspective to the emotions-creativity debate by investigating the instrumental value of trait-consistent emotions in creativity. We hypothesize that emotions such 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 instrumental emotion regulation in the domain of creative performance.

PMID:
24866525
DOI:
10.1037/a0036965
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Psychological Association
Loading ...
Support Center