The contributions of creative cognition and schizotypal symptoms to creative achievement
Armstrong, David Craig
Master of Arts
Schizotypal personality disorder
Creation (Literary, artistic, etc.) Psychological aspects
Mental illness and creativity
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While previous research suggests people with sub-clinical levels of schizophrenic symptoms achieve a greater number of creative accomplishments, the cognitive reasons for higher proportions of creativity in this population are poorly understood. The contention that there is a creative cognitive advantage in schizotypy has received mixed support. It was hypothesized that accounting for complex relationships between (1) creative cognition abilities (moderated relationships), and (2) creative cognition and schizotypy variables (mediated, moderated, and curvilinear relationships) would significantly increase the ability to predict creative accomplishment and provide a more accurate survey of the schizotypic creative cognitive advantage. One hundred and fourteen participants completed a creative problem solving measure, measures of cognitive creative abilities (Remote Associates Test, a divergent thinking task, and a deductive reasoning task) and measures of positive and negative symptoms of schizotypy (Perceptual Aberration, Magical Ideation, Social Anhedonia and Physical Anhedonia). Regression analyses supported the conception of a multi-stage process in which creative cognition variables interact with each other to predict creative accomplishment. There was no evidence of a creative cognitive advantage in schizotypy: people high in schizotypy performing the same or worse than people reporting few schizotypic symptoms on measures of creative cognition and accomplishment. As no mediator or moderator effects were observed, the independence of cognitive creativity and schizotypy suggests that if schizotypics are indeed more creative than normal controls it is because of factors other than the cognitive ones surveyed in this investigation.