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[ Volume 24 Number 2 October 2014 ]
   
   Ambivalent Emotional States: The Underlying Source of All Creativity?
  Simon A Moss and Samuel G. Wilson
   Wilson_242-8_.pdf (288.8K), Down : 2, 2014-10-27 10:35:12
Abstract :
Over the last 30 years, researchers have uncovered a burgeoning number of conditions, practices, and traits that foster creativity. Nevertheless, as this paper demonstrates, these antecedents to creativity may be effective primarily because they evoke ambivalent emotional states—positive and negative feelings, experienced either simultaneously or in close succession. To establish this possibility, this paper summarizes the evidence that such mixed feelings, instead of positive or negative emotions in isolation, tend to improve creativity. Second, this paper explores the possibility that antecedents to creativity, as derived from a comprehensive analysis of past research, can be divided into six themes. These themes include a capacity to contemplate, as well as reconcile, contradictory perspectives, a sensitivity to overarching patterns, a feeling of psychological safety, a willingness to violate norms, an orientation to quantity rather than precision, and confidence. Each of these themes corresponds to a specific mechanism or theory and has been shown to evoke ambivalent emotional states. Third, the theories that explain the benefits of ambivalent emotional states are reviewed, with an emphasis on personality systems interaction theory. Finally, this paper delineates the strategies and initiatives that can be implemented to induce ambivalent emotional states and ultimately improve the creativity of individuals.

Key words : Ambivalent emotional states, Creativity, Flexible thinking, Intrinsic motivation, Self-efficacy

   

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