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ERIC Number: EJ1121510
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Dec
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0175
The Effects of Modafinil on Convergent and Divergent Thinking of Creativity: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Mohamed, Ahmed Dahir
Journal of Creative Behavior, v50 n4 p252-267 Dec 2016
Modafinil is a drug licensed for the treatment of narcolepsy and sleep apnea. Recently, modafinil has been reported to be used as a pharmacological cognitive enhancer by healthy individuals with no psychiatric disorders. This paper reports on a study that investigated the effects of modafinil on divergent and convergent thinking tasks of creativity. Sixty-four healthy male (n = 31) and female (n = 33) volunteers participated in a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled parallel group design study. For the convergent thinking tasks, modafinil had no significant main effect on the Group Embedded Figures Task and the Remote Associates Task (RAT). However, a median split analysis showed that modafinil participants low in creativity personality trait had significantly higher RAT scores (Mean [M] = 6.85, SD = 3.39; 95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 5.53-8.2) than those high in creativity personality trait (M = 4.27, SD = 3.0; 95% CI: 2.4-6.0). For the divergent thinking tasks, relative to placebo (M = 1.195, SD = 0.28; 95% CI: 1.0-1.3), modafinil (M = 0.77, SD = 0.37; 95% CI: 0.63-0.92) significantly reduced the performance of flexibility scores and marginally reduced the elaboration scores as measured by the Abbreviated Torrance Test for Adults (ATTA). Overall, participants on modafinil (M = 6.3, SD = 2.6; 95% CI: 5.3-7.4) had significantly lower ATTA scores relative to participants on placebo (M = 9.5, SD = 2.3; 95% CI: 8.6-10.4). These results indicate that modafinil might reduce divergent thinking of creativity in healthy individuals. They suggest that, rather than being a more general cognitive enhancer, modafinil might have negative and subtle effects on creativity. However, the results are from a small-scale trial, which tested a small number of participants. Therefore, the results need to be interpreted with caution. A replication with a large sample of participants is recommended.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Cambridge)
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Remote Associates Test; Group Embedded Figures Test; Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A