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Why do we enjoy creative tasks? Results from a multigroup randomized controlled study
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology. Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany.
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Number of Authors: 7
2016 (English)In: Thinking Skills and Creativity, ISSN 1871-1871, E-ISSN 1878-0423, Vol. 19, 188-197 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous studies have linked positive emotions with creativity, but it remains unknown why creative activities may enhance positive emotions. We tested how creative tasks influence autonomous self-expression and task absorption, and whether this in turn increases positive emotions. Data from 478 participants were divided into four language samples (English, German, Italian, and Polish) and analyzed in a series of multigroup structural equation models. The indirect effects were replicated in all samples. Creative tasks enhanced positive emotions through an increase in autonomy. However, participants who solved creative tasks also reported lower task absorption, and this has hindered their experience of positive emotions. In total, a small increase of positive emotions was recorded for creative tasks in comparison to non-creative ones. We suggest that creative activities may support autonomous functioning and enhance positive emotions, given that participants will stay sufficiently focused on the task.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 19, 188-197 p.
Keyword [en]
Creativity, Autonomy, Positive emotions, Divergent thinking, Task absorption
National Category
Psychology Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128168DOI: 10.1016/j.tsc.2015.11.002ISI: 000370242900019OAI: diva2:915082
Available from: 2016-03-29 Created: 2016-03-21 Last updated: 2016-06-22Bibliographically approved

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Bujacz, Aleksandra
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Work and organizational psychologyDepartment of Psychology
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