Creativity, mood, and the examined life: Self-reflective rumination boosts creativity, brooding breeds dysphoria.
Verhaeghen, Paul; Joormann, Jutta; Aikman, Shelley N.
Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, Vol 8(2), May 2014, 211-218.
Past research has shown that creative behavior is associated with a higher risk for depression; our own previous work has shown that rumination lies at the heart of the connection. In a sample of 244 college students, we used path analysis to examine how 2 types of self-focused rumination—brooding and self-reflective pondering—might relate differentially to creativity and dysphoria/depression. The rumination measures intercorrelated but were found to have different consequences: Brooding was linked only to dysphoria (with more brooding or depressive rumination leading to worse mood), whereas self-reflective pondering was linked only to creativity. Thus, how one examines life—with a focus on mood or brooding versus a more reflective focus—might determine whether one slumps into depression or jumps into creative endeavors. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)