Emotions: The Spinal Cord of the Creative Thinking Process

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


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.


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© 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

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