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The Cambridge Handbook of Creativity and Emotions provides a state-of-the-art review of research on the role of emotions in creativity. This volume presents the insights and perspectives of sixty creativity scholars from thirteen countries who span multiple disciplines, including developmental, social, and personality psychology; industrial and organizational psychology; neuroscience; education; art therapy, and sociology. It discusses affective processes – emotion states, traits, and emotion abilities – in relation to the creative process, person, and product, as well as two major contexts for expression of creativity: school, and work. It is a go-to source for scholars who need to enhance their understanding of a specific topic relating to creativity and emotion, and it provides students and researchers with a comprehensive introduction to creativity and emotion broadly.
Emotions are fuel for creativity: from inspiration to do something creative, to determination for follow-through, and enjoyment of the finished product. Moreover, if emotions are fuel for creativity, we will demonstrate how certain personality traits, such as openness to experience, are akin to turbocharging the engine, lowering the threshold for creative thought and creative behavior. Emotion-related personality traits – tolerance of ambiguities and risks inherent in doing something new – are at the core of one’s willingness to make the decision to do something creative. Steve Jobs, for example, was famously willing to go on with plans for the iPad in spite of popular wisdom that people would not be interested in the device (Buchanan, 2013). Finally, we will propose that people need not be at the mercy of their personality nor emotional state, but rather can channel their personal experience into creativity through their ability to recognize, understand, and regulate emotions effectively.
This chapter takes a broad view of the relationship between emotions and creativity. We define emotions as involving an experiential component (described by valence, activation, and regulatory focus), as well as abilities to understand, use, and manage these experiences in the service of thinking and creative work. Creativity is defined as a process from the decision to be creative to idea generation and evaluation to product completion. Here, we describe the role of emotion states and emotion-related personality traits in creativity, the role of emotion-related abilities in creativity (e.g., emotion regulation), and emotions as effects of creativity. We end the chapter suggesting future directions in the study of emotions and creativity.
The role of emotions in the creative process is well documented. In this chapter, we distinguish emotional processes in creativity from creativity in the domain of emotions. Creativity in the domain of emotions exists when people are creative with emotions – emotions are the object of the creative process. We describe three kinds of creativity in the domain of emotions – emotional creativity (experience of unique emotions), creative communication of emotions, and creative emotion regulation. Furthermore, we present a model in which we argue that creativity in the domain of emotions is less likely to have the same impact on society and culture as creativity in other domains that are more defined by education and formal gate keepers (e.g., art or science), but that it is crucial for psychological health and well-being.