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Are angry people more creative than sad people?

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Anecdotes and introspective reports from eminent scientists and artists aside, a systematic test of the putative creativity-enhancing effect of anger is missing. This article fills this void with three experiments examining creativity as a function of anger (vs. sad or mood-neutral controls). Combining insights from the literatures on creativity and on mood and information processing the authors predicted that anger (vs. sadness and mood-neutral control) triggers a less systematic and structured approach to the creativity task, and leads to initially higher levels of creativity (as manifested in original ideation and creative insights). Following work on resource depletion, the authors further predicted that anger more than sadness depletes resources and that, therefore, creative performance should decline over time more for angry than for sad people. Results supported predictions. Implications for creativity, information processing, and resource depletion are discussed.

Source: Creative Production of Angry People Peaks Early On, Decreases over Time, and is Relatively Unstructured from Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

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About Eric Barker