Maria Delgadillo
Flashcards 44 Flashcards
Students 1 Students
Language English
Level University
Created / Updated 11.12.2013 / 12.12.2013
Licencing No Copyright (CC0)
0 Exact answers 44 Text answers 0 Multiple-choice answers
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Creativity and Psychological Disorders

- What is creativity?

  • The ability to produce novel and valuable ideas.
  • It has to be deemed creative by other people.
  • Important aspect of our culture.

- Ernest Hemingway: American Novelist (Pulitzer & Nobel Prize). Suffered from depression (would drink so much that he would get concussions, and if you have too many concussions then you'll get depression). Was institutionalized (electroshock therapy). Committed suicide in 1961 (shotgun).

- Tennessee Williams: American Playwright. Institutionalized (suffered from depression, into drugs & alcohol).

- Leo Tolstoy: Russian Writer (wrote War & Peace: over 1,000 pages). Suffered from depression (A Confession: outlines fact that he feels miserable, no point in life, Christianity to heal).

- Sylvia Plath: American Writer. Poet (Confessional Poetry Movement). Suffered from depression. Was institutionalized. Committed suicide in 1963 (fumes of oven). 

- Jackson Pollock: American Painter (abstract). Was institutionalized (problem with drinking). Died in carwreck when drunk. 

- Vincent van Gogh: Dutch Painter (A Starry Night). Suffered from emotional problems. Was institutionalized. Cut off his ear and committed suicide in 1890.

- Kurt Cobain: American musician & singer/songwriter. Struggled with depression. Committed suicide in 1994.

- Antoni Gaudi: Spanish Architect (enormous cathedral). Didn't suffer from mental illness.

- Albert Einstein: German-born physicist (genius). Didn't suffer from mental illness. 

- Paul McCartney: English musician & singer/songwriter (The Beatles). Doesn't/didn't suffer from mental illness. 

- Steve Jobs: American Business Person (Apple products). Didn't suffer from mental illness. 

-- This link between creativity & psychological disorders is deeply embedded in western culture that we tend to think all artistic people are a little "nuts". 

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Study: Implicit Personality Theories

- What type of personality traits go together?

- In Western culture, we have implicit personality theories about artists. (creative, intense, temperamental, bizarre, and unconventional lifestyle, won't get married, sit around all day)

-Andy Warhol: American Painter.

- Grouping Variable: Western culture (Canadians) & Eastern culture (Chinese) participants.

  • All participants read same description of an artistic type (intense, moody, imaginative...)

- Dependent Variable: # of words the participants generated that are congruent with the artistic personality type (unreliable, emotional...)

- Western culture had more # of words related, so Western culture has the schema of an artist type (people that are artistic are crazy)

-BUT, the question we're most interested in: Is mental illness related to creativity? 

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Kay Redfield Jamison

- American Clinical Psychologist

- Suffers from bipolar & has written about her experiences. 

- Books:

  • An Unquiet Mind: autobiobiographical.
  • Touched With Fire: case studies of people creative & psychological disorders. Problem with study is that it was only 30 participants.

- Big advocate for lithium: pharmaceutical for mania.

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Kyaga Study

- Bigger Study: 1 million Swedish participants.

- Creative (scientists, artists, professors...) vs. Non-creative (accountants...) occupations

  • Outcome: Creative occupations have a decrease in likelihood of schizophrenia, depression, alcohol abuse, and anxiety disorder.
  • One exception: higher prevalence of bipolar

- Authors vs. Non-authors

  • Outcome: People who write are likely to have an increase in schizophrenia, depression, bipolar, anxiety disorders, alcohol abuse, and suicide.
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Silvia & Kimbrel Study

- United States

- 202 general psychology students as participants

- Measured symptoms of anxiety and depression.

- Measured Creativity using the brick task

- There was no link: More depression-less creative.

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If psychological disorders are linked to increased expressions of creativity, why would this be the case?

- The effects of mania and hypomania on cognition

- Divergent (contradictory) thinking, quick thinking, and positive mood. 

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Emily Pronin

- American Social Psychologist

- Has explored the relationship between thought speed and cognition. 


  • Independent Variable: Fast vs.Slow (statements come on screen really fast or really slow and ask the readers to read them out loud.
  • Dependent Variables: Positive Mood, Creativity, and Energy.
  • Conclusion: People thinking faster have a positive mood. 
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Treatment of Psychological Disorders

- For people suffering from psychological disorders, there are many different treatment options (mostly for depression and anxiety):

  • Psychoanalysis: Freud was one of the first to use talk therapy.
  • Humanistic Therapy: warm, friendly, interested in listening, very positive.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: changing people's mindset.
  • Biomedical Therapies: pills.