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The relationship between creativity and attention in adults

Carruthers, Lindsey; MacLean, Rory; Willis, Alex



Creativity is a valuable attribute that involves the generation of original ideas; attention is a vital function that facilitates information selection. There is some evidence that creative people may have poorer attention and are generally more distracted than others, and this distractibility is thought to enable the production of novel ideas. Previous research has largely supported this relationship between creativity and attention, yet they are both multifaceted constructs that can be measured in numerous ways. Using multiple measures of each construct, the aim of this study was to examine which features of creativity and attention might be related in a group of 100 adults (18-80 years, M = 26.9, SD = 11.5). Figural divergent-thinking (DT) originality was positively related to self-reported concentration; yet no other relationships were found. Results suggest that there is no consistent relationship between creativity and attention, and past studies that linked creativity to attention, having used just one or two measures, may be premature in their conclusions.


Carruthers, L., MacLean, R., & Willis, A. (2018). The relationship between creativity and attention in adults. Creativity Research Journal, 30(4), 370-379

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 27, 2018
Online Publication Date Dec 13, 2018
Publication Date 2018
Deposit Date Jul 2, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jun 14, 2020
Journal Creativity Research Journal
Print ISSN 1040-0419
Electronic ISSN 1532-6934
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Issue 4
Pages 370-379
Keywords Creativity, Attention, Cognition, Psychology,
Public URL


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