Advertisement

Emotions: The Spinal Cord of the Creative Thinking Process

  • Sergio AgnoliEmail author
  • Giovanni Emanuele Corazza
Chapter
Part of the Creativity Theory and Action in Education book series (CTAE, volume 4)

Abstract

In reviewing the huge effort made by the psychological research in defining the main components of the creative process and of the creative potential, rarely we encounter models and theoretical frameworks considering emotional reactions as main determinants of the creative process, except of the widely and broadly defined concepts of motivation and mood. Emotional phenomena are usually intended as strong (intrinsic or extrinsic) forces able to influence the creative thinking process, and in particular the cognitive processes sustaining idea generation. In this chapter, we maintain that emotional phenomena are not simple influencers of creative thinking, but that they are the spinal cord of the creative process. In considering emotions the core of the process, we sustain that emotional reactions are the conditio sine qua non by which the creative thinking process can occur, or, in different words, the necessary (although not sufficient) determinant of the process. On the basis of the above, taking into account different theoretical approaches to the study of emotions and adopting a dynamical systems framework, we intend to explain the role of emotions in the dynamic emergence of the creative thinking process.

References

  1. Agnoli, S., Franchin, L., Rubaltelli, E., & Corazza, G. E. (2015). An eye-tracking analysis of irrelevance processing as moderator of openness and creative performance. Creativity Research Journal, 27, 125–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agnoli, S., Franchin, L., Rubaltelli, E., & Corazza, G. E. (2018a). The emotionally intelligent use of attention and affective arousal under creative frustration and creative success. Personality and Individual Differences.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2018.04.041.
  3. Agnoli, S., Runco, M. A., Kirsch, C., & Corazza, G. E. (2018b). The role of motivation in the prediction of creative achievement inside and outside of school environment. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 28, 167–176.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2018.05.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Amabile, T. M. (1983). The social psychology of creativity: A componential conceptualization. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45(2), 357–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Amabile, T. M. (1993). Motivational synergy: Toward new conceptualizations of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in the workplace. Human Resource Management Review, 3(3), 185–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Amabile, T. M., Barsade, S. G., Mueller, J. S., & Staw, B. M. (2005). Affect and creativity at work. Administrative Science Quarterly, 50(3), 367–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ariely, D., & Norton, M. I. (2008). How actions create–not just reveal–preferences. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12, 13–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Baas, M., De Dreu, C., & Nijstad, B. A. (2012). Emotions that associate with uncertainty lead to structured ideation. Emotion, 12, 1004–1014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Camras, L. A., & Witherington, D. C. (2005). Dynamical systems approaches to emotional development. Developmental Review, 25(3), 328–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Corazza, G. E. (2016). Potential originality and effectiveness: The dynamic definition of creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 28(3), 258–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Corazza, G. E., & Agnoli, S. (2015). On the path towards the science of creative thinking. In G. E. Corazza & S. Agnoli (Eds.), Multidisciplinary contributions to the science of creative thinking (pp. 3–20). Singapore: Springer.Google Scholar
  12. Corazza, G. E., Agnoli, S., & Martello, S. (2016). A creativity and innovation course for engineers. In Handbook of research on creative problem-solving skill development in higher education (pp. 74–93).Google Scholar
  13. Davis, M. A. (2009). Understanding the relationship between mood and creativity: A meta-analysis. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 108(1), 25–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. De Dreu, C. K., Baas, M., & Nijstad, B. A. (2008). Hedonic tone and activation level in the mood-creativity link: Toward a dual pathway to creativity model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94(5), 739–756.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Eisenberg, J. (2002, July). Does individual motivation and creativity predict group creative performance? Yes, but with some surprises. Paper session presented at the International WAM meeting. Lima, Peru.Google Scholar
  16. Feldman Barrett, L. (2017). How emotions are made: The secret life of the brain. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.Google Scholar
  17. Finke, R. A., Ward, T. B., & Smith, S. M. (1992). Creative cognition: Theory, research, and applications. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  18. Floresco, S. B., Blaha, C. D., Yang, C. R., & Phillips, A. G. (2001). Modulation of hippocampal and amygdalar-evoked activity of nucleus accumbens neurons by dopamine: Cellular mechanisms of input selection. The Journal of Neuroscience, 21, 2851–2860.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fogel, A., Nwokah, E., Dedo, J. Y., Messinger, D., Dickson, K. L., Matusov, E., & Holt, S. A. (1992). Social process theory of emotion: A dynamic systems approach. Social Development, 1(2), 122–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Frijda, N. (2005). Emotion experience. Cognition & Emotion, 19(4), 473–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Frijda, N. H. (2007). The laws of emotion. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  22. Frijda, N. H., & Scherer, K. R. (2009). Emotion definition (psychological perspectives). In D. Sander & K. R. Scherer (Eds.), Oxford companion to emotion and the affective sciences (pp. 142–143). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Glăveanu, V. P., & Lahlou, S. (2012). Through the creator’s eyes: Using the subjective camera to study craft creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 24, 152–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Goldenberg, J., Mazursky, D., & Solomon, S. (1999). Creative sparks. Science, 285(5433), 1495–1496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gross, J. J., & Feldman Barrett, L. (2011). Emotion generation and emotion regulation: One or two depends on your point of view. Emotion Review, 3(1), 8–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Guilford, J. P. (1950). Creativity. American Psychologist, 5, 444–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hélie, S., & Sun, R. (2010). Incubation, insight, and creative problem solving: A unified theory and a connectionist model. Psychological Review, 117(3), 994–1024.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Haber, S. N., & McFarland, N. R. (1999). The Concept of the Ventral Striatum in Nonhuman Primates. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 877(1), 33–48.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.1999.tb09259.x PMID:10415641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hodzic, S., Scharfen, J., Ripoll, P., Holling, H., & Zenasni, F. (2017). How efficient are emotional intelligence trainings: A meta-analysis. Emotion Review.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1754073917708613.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Izard, C. E., Ackerman, B. P., Schoff, K. M., & Fine, S. E. (2000). Self-organization of discrete emotions, emotion patterns, and emotion-cognition relations. In M. D. Lewis & P. Granic (Eds.), Emotion, development, and self- organization: Dynamic systems approaches to emotional development (pp. 15–36). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Jansen, L., Luijten, H., & Bakker N. (eds.) (2009), Vincent van Gogh – The letters. Version: December 2010. Amsterdam/The Hague: Van Gogh Museum/Huygens ING.Google Scholar
  32. Jauk, E., Benedek, M., & Neubauer, A. C. (2014). The road to creative achievement: A latent variable model of ability and personality predictors. European Journal of Personality, 28(1), 95–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.Google Scholar
  34. Lambie, J., & Marcel, A. (2002). Consciousness and emotion experience: A theoretical framework. Psychological Review, 109, 219–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lazarus, R. S. (1982). Thoughts on the relations between emotion and cognition. American Psychologist, 37, 1019–1024.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lazarus, R. S. (1984). On the primacy of cognition. American Psychologist, 39, 124–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Leventhal, H., & Scherer, K. (1987). The relationship of emotion to cognition: A functional approach to a semantic controversy. Cognition and Emotion, 1(1), 3–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lewis, D., & Granic, P. (2000). Emotion, development, and self- organization: Dynamic systems approaches to emotional development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lubart, T. (2001). Models of the creative process: Past, present and future. Creativity Research Journal, 13, 295–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lubart, T. I., & Getz, I. (1997). Emotion, metaphor, and the creative process. Creativity Research Journal, 10(4), 285–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Moors, A., Ellsworth, P. C., Scherer, K. R., & Frijda, N. H. (2013). Appraisal theories of emotion: State of the art and future development. Emotion Review, 5(2), 119–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mumford, M. D., Mobley, M. I., Uhlman, C. E., Reiter-Palmon, R., & Doares, L. M. (1991). Process analytic models of creative capacities. Creativity Research Journal, 4, 91–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Poincarè, H. (1985). Mathematical creation. In B. Ghiselin (Ed.), The creative process: Asymposium (pp. 22–31). Berkeley: University of California Press (Original work published 1921).Google Scholar
  44. Scherer, K. R. (1987). Toward a dynamic theory of emotion: The component Process model of affective states. Geneva Studies in Emotion and Communication, 1, 1–98.Google Scholar
  45. Scherer, K. R. (2000). Emotions as episodes of subsystem synchronization driven by nonlinear appraisal processes. In M. D. Lewis & I. Granic (Eds.), Emotion, development, and self-organization: Dynamic systems approaches to emotional development (pp. 70–99). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Scherer, K. R. (2001). Appraisal considered as a process of multilevel sequential checking. In K. R. Scherer, A. Schorr, & T. John Stone (Eds.), Appraisal processes in emotion: Theory, methods, research (pp. 92–120). New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Scherer, K. R. (2009). Emotions are emergent processes: They require a dynamic computational architecture. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 364(1535), 3459–3474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Silvia, P. J. (2005a). Cognitive appraisals and interest in visual art: Exploring an appraisal theory of aesthetic emotions. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 23, 119–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Silvia, P. J. (2005b). Emotional responses to art: From collation and arousal to cognition and emotion. Review of General Psychology, 9, 342–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Silvia, P. J., & Brown, E. M. (2007). Anger, disgust, and the negative aesthetic emotions: Expanding an appraisal model of aesthetic experience. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 1(2), 100–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sternberg, R. J., & Davidson, J. E. (1999). Insight. In M. A. Runco & S. R. Pritzker (Eds.), Encyclopedia of creativity (vol. II, pp. 57–69).Google Scholar
  52. Thelen, E., & Smith, L. B. (1994). A dynamic systems approach to the development of cognition and action. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  53. Thelen, E., & Smith, L. B. (1998). Dynamic systems theories. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology, Theoretical models of human development (Vol. 1, pp. 563–634). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  54. Tik, M., Sladky, R., Di Bernardi Luft, C., Hoffmann, A., Hummer, A., Banissy M., Bhattacharya J., & Windischberger C. (2015). Ultra-high field fMRI insights on insight: Neural correlates of the “Aha!”. 21st meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping, HBM – Honolulu.Google Scholar
  55. Tik, M., Sladky, R., Luft, C. D. B., Willinger, D., Hoffmann, A., Banissy, M. J., et al. (2018). Ultra-high-field fMRI insights on insight: Neural correlates of the Aha -moment. Human Brain Mapping, 39, 1–12.  https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.24073.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1983). Extensional versus intuitive reasoning: The conjunction fallacy in probability judgment. Psychological Review, 90, 293–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. von Thienen, J., Meinel, C., & Corazza, G. E. (2017). A short theory of failure. Electronic Colloquium on Design Thinking Research, 17, 1–5.Google Scholar
  58. Wallas, G. (1926). The art of thought. New York: Harcourt Brace.Google Scholar
  59. Zenasni, F., & Lubart, T. (2002). Effects of mood states on creativity. Current Psychology Letters, 8, 33–50.Google Scholar
  60. Zola, E. (1886/1993). The masterpiece. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marconi Institute for Creativity (MIC), Villa GriffoneSasso MarconiItaly
  2. 2.Department of Electrical, Electronic, and Information Engineering “Guglielmo Marconi”University of BolognaBolognaItaly

Personalised recommendations