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Emotion. 2005 Jun;5(2):226-32.

Why we sing the blues: the relation between self-reflective rumination, mood, and creativity.

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Department of Psychology, Center for Health and Behavior, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA.


Past research has shown that creative behavior is associated with a higher risk for depression. The authors hypothesized that a 3rd underlying factor, namely, self-reflective rumination, may explain the connection. This hypothesis was examined in a sample of 99 undergraduate college students, using path analysis. The authors found that self-reported past depressive symptomatology was linked to increased self-reflective rumination. Rumination, in turn, was related to current symptomatology and to self-rated creative interests and objectively measured creative fluency, originality, and elaboration. No direct link existed between currently depressed mood and either creative interest or creative behavior. These results suggest that the association between depression and creativity is solely the result of rumination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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