Affective States Influencing Creativity Essay

2016 words - 9 pages

Introduction
The concept of affective states influencing creativity can be found documented as far back as the writings of Aristotle, in his words, “No great mind every existed without a touch of madness.” Exploration of this concept can be found in early studies conducted by Andreasen (1988), Jamison (1995), and Ludwig (1988). These researchers indicate high levels of affect disorders in persons who have achieved literary eminence. A multitude of studies comparing the role of affective states to genetics, cognition, personality, and intelligence, propose affective disorders consistently contribute to higher rates of creativity (Do I need to list all the studies or can this be stated in a broad context without citations?) Glazer (2009) believes the differences in personality, cognition, and behavior are nonlinear fluctuations and that creativity can exist on a continuum (2009). This view complicates the comparison of creativity to Bipolar Disorder which also exists on a continuum. According to Ludwig (1988), creativity in eminent persons many not transfer to non-eminent persons. Rather, everyday creativity, found in real life activities, among a diverse group of people, more realistically describes creativity of non-eminence (Richards, Kinney, Benet, Merzel, 1988). Considering, creativity lacks a clear definition, a common questions exists, “how does one define and how does one measure creativity?”
What was once referred to as the mad genius, manic-depressant, or melancholic, is now classified within a spectrum of affective or mood disorders as listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). (Is this common knowledge or do I need to cite?). Bipolar disorder is a continuum of moods ranging from states of manic highs to depressive lows. Changeable periods of mania, hypomania, euthymia, and depression oscillate between these states at varying rates (Jamison,1995, ). Because these affective states change, measuring creativity within a bipolar spectrum leads to another question, what is the relationship between everyday creativity and different affective states of Bipolar Disorder in non-eminent persons?
Creativity
A vast assortment of definition can be found to describe creativity. According to Furnham,…(2008), “There is no single, authoritative definition of creativity, nor is there a standardized measurement technique or an agreed upon set of values” (p. ). The production of an idea or product that is both novel and useful is commonly accepted (Furnham, 2008). Richards… (1988) expanded on this concept to include creativity found in everyday activities. “Creativity is viewed as a quality or capability that caries broadly in the general population and may manifest in a wide variety of outcomes involving any field of endeavor,” (p ). Murray identified creativity with a cognitive association of elements that combine to form something new or useful (Murray, 2010). Viewing creativity as a continuum, Glazer (2009) divided this...

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