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Working memory benefits creative insight, musical improvisation, and original ideation through maintained task-focused attention.
Pers Soc Psychol Bull 2012; 38(5):656-69PS

Abstract

Anecdotes from creative eminences suggest that executive control plays an important role in creativity, but scientific evidence is sparse. Invoking the Dual Pathway to Creativity Model, the authors hypothesize that working memory capacity (WMC) relates to creative performance because it enables persistent, focused, and systematic combining of elements and possibilities (persistence). Study 1 indeed showed that under cognitive load, participants performed worse on a creative insight task. Study 2 revealed positive associations between time-on-task and creativity among individuals high but not low in WMC, even after controlling for general intelligence. Study 3 revealed that across trials, semiprofessional cellists performed increasingly more creative improvisations when they had high rather than low WMC. Study 4 showed that WMC predicts original ideation because it allows persistent (rather than flexible) processing. The authors conclude that WMC benefits creativity because it enables the individual to maintain attention focused on the task and prevents undesirable mind wandering.

Authors+Show Affiliations

University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. c.k.w.dedreu@uva.nlNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

22301457

Citation

De Dreu, Carsten K W., et al. "Working Memory Benefits Creative Insight, Musical Improvisation, and Original Ideation Through Maintained Task-focused Attention." Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, vol. 38, no. 5, 2012, pp. 656-69.
De Dreu CK, Nijstad BA, Baas M, et al. Working memory benefits creative insight, musical improvisation, and original ideation through maintained task-focused attention. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2012;38(5):656-69.
De Dreu, C. K., Nijstad, B. A., Baas, M., Wolsink, I., & Roskes, M. (2012). Working memory benefits creative insight, musical improvisation, and original ideation through maintained task-focused attention. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 38(5), pp. 656-69. doi:10.1177/0146167211435795.
De Dreu CK, et al. Working Memory Benefits Creative Insight, Musical Improvisation, and Original Ideation Through Maintained Task-focused Attention. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2012;38(5):656-69. PubMed PMID: 22301457.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Working memory benefits creative insight, musical improvisation, and original ideation through maintained task-focused attention. AU - De Dreu,Carsten K W, AU - Nijstad,Bernard A, AU - Baas,Matthijs, AU - Wolsink,Inge, AU - Roskes,Marieke, Y1 - 2012/02/02/ PY - 2012/2/4/entrez PY - 2012/2/4/pubmed PY - 2012/8/7/medline SP - 656 EP - 69 JF - Personality & social psychology bulletin JO - Pers Soc Psychol Bull VL - 38 IS - 5 N2 - Anecdotes from creative eminences suggest that executive control plays an important role in creativity, but scientific evidence is sparse. Invoking the Dual Pathway to Creativity Model, the authors hypothesize that working memory capacity (WMC) relates to creative performance because it enables persistent, focused, and systematic combining of elements and possibilities (persistence). Study 1 indeed showed that under cognitive load, participants performed worse on a creative insight task. Study 2 revealed positive associations between time-on-task and creativity among individuals high but not low in WMC, even after controlling for general intelligence. Study 3 revealed that across trials, semiprofessional cellists performed increasingly more creative improvisations when they had high rather than low WMC. Study 4 showed that WMC predicts original ideation because it allows persistent (rather than flexible) processing. The authors conclude that WMC benefits creativity because it enables the individual to maintain attention focused on the task and prevents undesirable mind wandering. SN - 1552-7433 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22301457/Working_memory_benefits_creative_insight_musical_improvisation_and_original_ideation_through_maintained_task_focused_attention_ L2 - http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0146167211435795?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -