Recent meta-analytic work has highlighted lower creativity in schizophrenic patients as compared to control participants, but the cognitive and affective underpinnings of this difference still need to be fully understood. To this purpose, we adopted a multi-measure approach and compared a group of schizophrenic outpatients and a group of demographically-matched controls (N = 34) on the Alternative Uses Test (AUT) and the Remote Association Test (RAT), assessing divergent and convergent thinking respectively. The participants’ cognitive status, affective status, and response inhibition skills were also appraised. The results showed a significantly worse performance in patients vs. control participants in both tests of creativity. Performance was also negatively correlated with patients’ symptoms, being lower in more severe clinical conditions. The difference between groups in the RAT was no more significant when controlling for individuals’ cognitive functioning, in line with previous studies in healthy populations. In contrast, the difference in AUT fluency remained significant even when controlling for cognitive and affective measures. Our findings suggest that creativity reduction in schizophrenic patients involves both convergent and divergent thinking, and that the latter aspect is not simply the consequence of a general cognitive or inhibitory impairment.

Creativity in Schizophrenia: Evidence Beyond Anecdotes

Fabio Del Missier
;
Marta Stragà;Giovanni Galfano;Barbara Penolazzi
2022

Abstract

Recent meta-analytic work has highlighted lower creativity in schizophrenic patients as compared to control participants, but the cognitive and affective underpinnings of this difference still need to be fully understood. To this purpose, we adopted a multi-measure approach and compared a group of schizophrenic outpatients and a group of demographically-matched controls (N = 34) on the Alternative Uses Test (AUT) and the Remote Association Test (RAT), assessing divergent and convergent thinking respectively. The participants’ cognitive status, affective status, and response inhibition skills were also appraised. The results showed a significantly worse performance in patients vs. control participants in both tests of creativity. Performance was also negatively correlated with patients’ symptoms, being lower in more severe clinical conditions. The difference between groups in the RAT was no more significant when controlling for individuals’ cognitive functioning, in line with previous studies in healthy populations. In contrast, the difference in AUT fluency remained significant even when controlling for cognitive and affective measures. Our findings suggest that creativity reduction in schizophrenic patients involves both convergent and divergent thinking, and that the latter aspect is not simply the consequence of a general cognitive or inhibitory impairment.
19-ott-2022
Pubblicato
https://doi.org/10.1080/10400419.2022.2134545
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3032238
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