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On the enhancement of creativity by alcohol: pharmacology or expectation?
Am J Psychol. 1994 Summer; 107(2):173-206.AJ

Abstract

Creative individuals may use psychoactive drugs to enhance their ability to produce creative works, but it is difficult to differentiate the pharmacological effects from other influences. Part of the problem is that creativity defies any simple definition, making it hard to determine when or how much creativity is evident. The other major obstacle is that life circumstances are confounded with the propensity to use drugs (including alcohol), so the causal relation of drugs to creativity is uncertain. We examined this question by an experiment in which subjects were asked to creatively combine pictures of wildflowers that were implicitly organized around a set of three dimensions: color, shape, and number. Pharmacological and expected effects of alcohol were dissociated in the experiment by using the balanced placebo design (BPD). The results showed no pharmacological effect of alcohol on the creative combinations that subjects produced. However, the novelty and structural recombination of the wildflower arrangements were enhanced when subjects thought they had consumed alcohol, whether or not they had actually done so. Implications for measuring creativity and the possible motivation to use drugs for creative effect are discussed.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Research Institute on Addictions, Buffalo, NY.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Clinical Trial
Controlled Clinical Trial
Journal Article
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

8067507

Citation

Lapp, W M., et al. "On the Enhancement of Creativity By Alcohol: Pharmacology or Expectation?" The American Journal of Psychology, vol. 107, no. 2, 1994, pp. 173-206.
Lapp WM, Collins RL, Izzo CV. On the enhancement of creativity by alcohol: pharmacology or expectation? Am J Psychol. 1994;107(2):173-206.
Lapp, W. M., Collins, R. L., & Izzo, C. V. (1994). On the enhancement of creativity by alcohol: pharmacology or expectation? The American Journal of Psychology, 107(2), 173-206.
Lapp WM, Collins RL, Izzo CV. On the Enhancement of Creativity By Alcohol: Pharmacology or Expectation. Am J Psychol. 1994;107(2):173-206. PubMed PMID: 8067507.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - On the enhancement of creativity by alcohol: pharmacology or expectation? AU - Lapp,W M, AU - Collins,R L, AU - Izzo,C V, PY - 1994/1/1/pubmed PY - 1994/1/1/medline PY - 1994/1/1/entrez SP - 173 EP - 206 JF - The American journal of psychology JO - Am J Psychol VL - 107 IS - 2 N2 - Creative individuals may use psychoactive drugs to enhance their ability to produce creative works, but it is difficult to differentiate the pharmacological effects from other influences. Part of the problem is that creativity defies any simple definition, making it hard to determine when or how much creativity is evident. The other major obstacle is that life circumstances are confounded with the propensity to use drugs (including alcohol), so the causal relation of drugs to creativity is uncertain. We examined this question by an experiment in which subjects were asked to creatively combine pictures of wildflowers that were implicitly organized around a set of three dimensions: color, shape, and number. Pharmacological and expected effects of alcohol were dissociated in the experiment by using the balanced placebo design (BPD). The results showed no pharmacological effect of alcohol on the creative combinations that subjects produced. However, the novelty and structural recombination of the wildflower arrangements were enhanced when subjects thought they had consumed alcohol, whether or not they had actually done so. Implications for measuring creativity and the possible motivation to use drugs for creative effect are discussed. SN - 0002-9556 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/8067507/On_the_enhancement_of_creativity_by_alcohol:_pharmacology_or_expectation L2 - https://medlineplus.gov/alcohol.html DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -
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