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Psychol Sci. 2015 Sep;26(9):1461-8. doi: 10.1177/0956797615591863. Epub 2015 Jul 23.

Creativity and Memory: Effects of an Episodic-Specificity Induction on Divergent Thinking.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Harvard University Center for Brain Science, Harvard University madore@fas.harvard.edu.
2
School of Psychology, The University of Auckland Centre for Brain Research, The University of Auckland.
3
Department of Psychology, Harvard University Center for Brain Science, Harvard University.

Abstract

People produce more episodic details when imagining future events and solving means-end problems after receiving an episodic-specificity induction-brief training in recollecting details of a recent event-than after receiving a control induction not focused on episodic retrieval. Here we show for the first time that an episodic-specificity induction also enhances divergent creative thinking. In Experiment 1, participants exhibited a selective boost on a divergent-thinking task (generating unusual uses of common objects) after a specificity induction compared with a control induction; by contrast, performance following the two inductions was similar on an object association task thought to involve little divergent thinking. In Experiment 2, we replicated the specificity-induction effect on divergent thinking using a different control induction, and also found that participants performed similarly on a convergent-thinking task following the two inductions. These experiments provide novel evidence that episodic memory is involved in divergent creative thinking.

KEYWORDS:

convergent thinking; creativity; divergent thinking; episodic memory; episodic-specificity induction; imagination

PMID:
26205963
PMCID:
PMC4567456
DOI:
10.1177/0956797615591863
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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