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ERIC Number: EJ894358
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0175
Artists' Vulnerability to Psychopathology: Towards an Integrative Cognitive Perspective
Papworth, Mark A.; Jordan, Gabriele; Backhouse, Catherine; Evans, Nicola; Kent-Lemon, Nicola; Morris, Jennifer; Winchester, Kenneth J. G.
Journal of Creative Behavior, v42 n3 p149-163 2008
A relationship is commonly reported between high levels of artistic creativity and mental health problems (e.g., depression or psychosis), and it is now becoming clearer that the divergent cognitive style associated with creativity has commonalities with some of the processes involved in the development and maintenance of some psychological difficulties. Our aim was to investigate the nature of this cognitive style. More specifically, we considered the profile of probabilistic reasoning and associated problem solving abilities, as both of these mechanisms have been found to be integral to major forms of clinical dysfunction. We assessed levels of creative potential, mood, probabilistic reasoning, and problem solving abilities in 66 arts and 85 science undergraduate volunteers. As predicted, art students showed higher levels of creative potential and experienced lower levels of mood than their science peers. Differences in probabilistic reasoning were observed which are in keeping with the pattern reported to be present in those suffering with psychosis in that they tended to "jump to conclusions". Art students also displayed both poorer problem solving abilities and self-appraisal of their problem solving skills. Our results extend previous findings associated with the mediating role of cognitive processes in the relationship between creativity and some forms of psychopathology. Implications for the prevention and treatment of psychological difficulties in the creative are highlighted. (Contains 1 table and 3 footnotes.)
Creative Education Foundation. 48 North Pleasant Street Suite 301, Amherst, MA 01002. Tel: 508-960-0000; Fax: 413-658-0046; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Newcastle upon Tyne)
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking; Zung Self Rating Depression Scale
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A