Are neurotics really more creative? Neuroticism's interaction with mortality salience in determining creative interest

Huimin Xu, Merrie L Brucks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Some research on creativity has linked higher levels of neuroticism with greater creative achievement, whereas existential psychology sees the neurotic as incapable of channeling anxiety through creativity. The current research examines how levels of neuroticism affect individuals' creative responses in coping with existential threats. Drawing from terror management theory and creativity research, this research conceptualizes creative endeavors as a means to ameliorate existential anxiety that possesses varying degrees of appeal to different individuals. All three experiments found an interaction between levels of neuroticism and mortality salience in determining levels of creative interest, with neuroticism either measured or primed. Specifically, mortality salience is less likely to boost creative interest among more neurotic individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-99
Number of pages12
JournalBasic and Applied Social Psychology
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011

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Creativity
Mortality
Research
Existentialism
Anxiety
Neuroticism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this

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