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October 2021

Creativity, personality and word association responses: associative behaviour in forty supposedly creative persons

Author(s): Fischer, I.

Journal/Book: Pers Indiv Differ. 1999; 27: the Boulevard Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford Ox5 1GB, England. Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd. 933-942.

Abstract: In the context of Eysenck's assumptions on the relationship between psychoticism, creativity and word association behaviour, a previous experiment was repeated with a sample of 40 writers and actors. The word association procedure consisted of a free single-word association test with 25 common German nouns, a common response condition, an individual response condition, ratings as to the commonness or uncommonness of the subjects' own associates and a multiple-choice association test. In addition the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) was filled out. Previously studied samples of 40 schizophrenics and 40 unselected healthy persons served as control groups. As predicted by Eysenck's theory and by previously obtained results, the presumed creative sample scored significantly higher on the dimension of psychoticism but differed in no other personality scale. In the free word association the creatives gave even fewer primary responses than the schizophrenics and yet their associative behaviour did not resemble that of mental patients and should not be described in connection with 'associative disturbances'. They performed best in the individual response condition and used their high creative potential to respond in accordance with the instruction. They presented fewer logical errors in their response behaviour and were well capable of assessing the degree of commonness of their own associations. These results can be understood as a strong corroboration of Eysenck's theory.

Note: Article Merten T, Finowstr 4, D-10247 Berlin, GERMANY


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