Isolation: the optimum environment for creativity? the relationship between the experience of ostracism and creativity

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University of Alabama Libraries

Creativity is a social construct affected by personality, intelligence, motivation, historical context, and environment, among other variables. Ostracism is a form of social rejection that has been shown to negatively affect cognitive processes. The present study tested whether there was a causal relationship between the experience of ostracism and subsequent creativity. Participants in the present study were either included or excluded during a game of Cyberball, and then were in one of three social conditions (social: expectation for future social interaction with a confederate, coaction with a confederate: no expectation for future social interaction; or solo task completion: no confederate present) while they completed two tasks of creativity (drawing and writing). Multivariate analysis of the drawing task ratings revealed a significant Cyberball x social condition x drawing apprehension interaction; participants in the Cyberball-excluded/solo condition received the highest ratings on complexity, but only when they were high in drawing apprehension. Additionally, Cyberball-included/social condition, participants high in drawing apprehension received much higher ratings of drawing complexity than participants low in drawing apprehension. The implications of these findings are discussed, as well as directions for future research.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Psychology, Social psychology