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What role do emotions play in creativity?

Ivcevic, Z., & Hoffmann, J. D. (2019). Emotions and creativity: From process to person and product. In J. C. Kaufman & R. S. Sternberg (Eds.). Cambridge Handbook of Creativity (pp. 273-295). New York: Cambridge University Press.

This chapter takes a broad view of the relationship between emotions and creativity. We define emotions as involving an experiential component (described by valence, activation and regulatory focus), as well as abilities to understand, use, and manage these experiences in the service of thinking and creative work. Creativity is defined as a process from the decision to be creative to idea generation and evaluation to product completion. Here, we describe the role of emotion states and emotion-related personality traits in creativity, the role of emotion-related abilities in creativity (e.g., emotion regulation), and emotions as effects of creativity. We end the chapter suggesting future directions in the study of emotions and creativity.

The creative process is replete with emotion—from curiosity about a new undertaking to frustration at dead ends to the joys of a completed product—and these emotions have to be regulated to support creative behavior. The present study examined links between openness to experience (personality disposition for creativity), emotion regulation ability, and peer-nominated creativity among high school students. We hypothesized a significant emotion regulation ability by openness interaction, such that emotion regulation ability would predict creativity only in individuals relatively high in openness. Furthermore, we hypothesized that the link between emotion regulation ability and openness would be mediated by persistence and passion (measured by teacher reports). Results largely supported the hypotheses. The role of emotion regulation ability in bridging the gap between creative potential and creative achievement is discussed.

Ivcevic, Z., & Hoffmann, J. D. (2017). Emotions and creativity: From states to traits and emotion abilities. In G. Feist, R. Reiter-Palmon, & J. C. Kaufman (Eds.). Cambridge Handbook of Creativity and Personality Research (pp. 187-213). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Emotions are central to the creative process, from the emotion-filled decision whether to be creative (Will people think my original ideas are silly?), to positive emotions broadening thinking, and to inevitable frustrations on the way to creative achievement. In this chapter, we consider research on affective states and traits alongside an emerging area of research on emotion abilities and creativity, specifically focusing on the emotional intelligence abilities of using emotions to aid thinking and regulating emotions. Finally, we propose a model that integrates these three areas of research and delineates the joint influence of emotion states, traits and abilities on creativity.

Ivcevic, Z., Bazhydai, M., Hoffmann, J. D., & Brackett, M. A. (2017). Creativity in the domain of emotions. In J. C. Kaufman, J. Baer, & V. Glaveanu (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Creativity Across Different Domains (pp. 525-548). New York: Cambridge University Press.

The role of emotions in the creative process is well documented. In this chapter, we distinguish emotional processes in creativity from creativity in the domain of emotions. Creativity in the domain of emotions exists when people are being creative with emotions – emotions are the object of the creative process. We describe three kinds of creativity in the domain of emotions – emotional creativity (experience of unique emotions), creative communication of emotions, and creative emotion regulation. Furthermore, we present a model in which we argue that creativity in the domain of emotions is less likely to have the same impact on society and culture as creativity in other more domains defined by education and formal gate keepers (e.g., art or science), but that it is crucial for psychological health and well-being.