Creativity

Creativity can be defined in various ways. Robert Franken, an authority on the topic, defined creativity as "the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others".[mcclelland-1987-franken-human-creativity]

Creativity is essential for progress in society. It's a driving force that advances the human race forward.1

There may be different reasons for individuals to perform creative activities. Alfred Maslow noted that creativity may arise innately or from external motivations (compensatory, ameliorative or purely economic) back in 1943.2

Aspects of creativity

It's broadly accepted by the scientific community that there are two major creative sub-functions: convergent thinking and divergent thinking.

Convergent Thinking

Convergent thinking refers to the ability to arrive at a solution or strategy by linking, or converging, two separate concepts.3,4An example of a situation where one would use convergent thinking would be in solving a scavenger hunt or a complex puzzle.

Divergent Thinking

Divergent learning refers to your ability to generate muliple associations to a concept, or solutions to a problem. An example of a divergent thinking task would be to think of ways you could use a spoon other than for eating.3,5,6,7,8,9,10

How is creativity measured?

Creativity is a subjective concept, and there is no right or wrong way to measure or "score" one's creativity. Researchers have sought for years to devise a score, some sort of "creativity quotient" analogous to the intelligence quotient (IQ) test for intelligence. However, a standardized scale for creativity has not been adopted in a widespread use. (Learn more).

How is creativity modulated?

Nootropics

There has been widespread controversy over whether Marijuana usage can induce episodes of creativity in individuals. There have been limited scientific studies regarding this phenomenon, and the current body of evidence is growing but not conclusive. (Learn more)

While there are various anecdotal accounts of creativity modulation via Racetams such as aniracetam, coluracetam, and oxiracetam, there is a limited amount of rigorous scientific research supporting its use. (Learn more)

While there are various anecdotal accounts of creativity modulation while using Phenibut, there is a lack of rigorous scientific research to back up this claim. (Learn more)

While there are various anecdotal accounts of Armodafinil having a positive effect on creativity, there have been few scientifically rigorous studies on this effect. (Learn more)

Other interesting sources to learn more about creativity

  1. Hennessey, B. A., & Amabile, T. M. (2010). Creativity. Annu Rev Psychol, 61, 569-598. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.093008.100416

  2. Originally Published in Psychological Review, 50, 370-396.

  3. Battleday, R. M., & Brem, A. K. (2015). Modafinil for cognitive neuroenhancement in healthy non-sleep-deprived subjects: A systematic review. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol, 25(11), 1865-1881. doi:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2015.07.028

  4. Mohamed AD, Lewis CR (2014) Modafinil Increases the Latency of Response in the Hayling Sentence Completion Test in Healthy Volunteers: A Randomised Controlled Trial. PLoS ONE 9(11): e110639. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0110639

  5. Mohamed AD, Lewis CR (2014) Modafinil Increases the Latency of Response in the Hayling Sentence Completion Test in Healthy Volunteers: A Randomised Controlled Trial. PLoS ONE 9(11): e110639. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0110639

  6. Muller, U., Rowe, J. B., Rittman, T., Lewis, C., Robbins, T. W., & Sahakian, B. J. (2013). Effects of modafinil on non-verbal cognition, task enjoyment and creative thinking in healthy volunteers. Neuropharmacology, 64, 490-495. doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2012.07.009

  7. Randall, D. C., Viswanath, A., Bharania, P., Elsabagh, S. M., Hartley, D. E., Shneerson, J. M., & File, S. E. (2005). Does modafinil enhance cognitive performance in young volunteers who are not sleep-deprived? J Clin Psychopharmacol, 25(2), 175-179.

  8. Randall, D. C., Fleck, N. L., Shneerson, J. M., & File, S. E. (2004). The cognitive-enhancing properties of modafinil are limited in non-sleep-deprived middle-aged volunteers. Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 77(3), 547-555. doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2003.12.016

  9. Randall, D. C., Shneerson, J. M., & File, S. E. (2005). Cognitive effects of modafinil in student volunteers may depend on IQ. Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 82(1), 133-139. doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2005.07.019

  10. Randall, D. C., Shneerson, J. M., Plaha, K. K., & File, S. E. (2003). Modafinil affects mood, but not cognitive function, in healthy young volunteers. Hum Psychopharmacol, 18(3), 163-173. doi:10.1002/hup.456

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