Creativity, mood, and the examined life: Self-reflective rumination boosts creativity, brooding breeds dysphoria

Paul Verhaeghen, Jutta Joormann, Shelley N. Aikman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Past research has shown that creative behavior is associated with a higher risk for depression; our own previous work has shown that rumination lies at the heart of the connection. In a sample of 244 college students, we used path analysis to examine how 2 types of self-focused rumination-brooding and self-reflective pondering-might relate differentially to creativity and dysphoria/depression. The rumination measures intercorrelated but were found to have different consequences: Brooding was linked only to dysphoria (with more brooding or depressive rumination leading to worse mood), whereas selfreflective pondering was linked only to creativity. Thus, how one examines life-with a focus on mood or brooding versus a more reflective focus-might determine whether one slumps into depression or jumps into creative endeavors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-218
Number of pages8
JournalPsychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2014

Keywords

  • Creativity
  • Depression
  • Dysphoria
  • Rumination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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