The roles of affect and appraisal on creativity in college students
Tan, Chee Seng
Date of Issue2014
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Creativity is a vital ability for success. It is controversial whether positive affect is conducive to creativity. The present research proposed and examined a theoretical framework to explain the mixed findings. Based on the assumption that implication of affect is a function of individual appraisal, it was predicted that the subjective interpretation of affective signals and task contexts can influence creative performance. The present research began with a pilot study to examine and prepare video clips for affect induction in following studies. Study 1 examined the influence of affect on individual’s appraisal and creativity. It was found that positive affect is conducive to performance and the influence of affect is mediated by appraisal. Study 2 examined the impact of task framing on creativity and the mediating role of individual’s appraisal on the task framing-creativity link. Creativity task was framed as either enjoyable or important. Results showed that when the task is framed as important, participants tended to perceive the task as more important and performed more flexibly compared to when the task is framed as enjoyable. Study 3 examined the interaction effect of affect and task framing on creativity. Results showed that after controlling the effect of self-rated motivation, both positive and negative affect enhanced fluency and flexibility when task is constructed in a manner compatible with the signal the affect conveyed respectively. The findings extend understanding of the affect-creativity link by showing that the facilitation effect depends on how people appraise the affective signals and task. The findings also shed light on the importance of including individual appraisal in future creativity interventions studies.