Psychology
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Individual Differences in Cognitive Flexibility and Working Memory Capacity Predict Creative Performance

Ivonne J. Figueroa

Major Professor: James Thompson

Committee Members: Tim Curby, Robert Youmans

David King Hall, Arch Lab
July 21, 2017, 11:00 AM to 01:00 PM

Abstract:

Tests of divergent and convergent thinking are the most commonly used measures of creative performance, and general executive functioning (i.e., cognitive ability) is found to be a precursor of creative thought. Less clear are what specific cognitive abilities predict creative performance, and whether creative individuals as determined by tests of divergent and convergent thinking in fact generate creative products. In this dissertation, I test exploratory model of creativity to determine relationships between five constructs: cognitive flexibility and working memory capacity, divergent and convergent thinking, and creative production. 214  participants recruited from George Mason University’s psychology subject pool (SONA) performed 15 cognitive and creative tasks. In keeping with recent analysis utilized to test hypotheses between individual differences and creativity, a latent variable analysis was conducted to help uncover any nuanced relationships between the constructs. Implications are discussed. 

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