Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - CREA.TA (Schemata Violation Increases Creative Cognition: the When and How.)

This research was conducted by a postdoctoral fellow, Dr Malgorzata Goclowska, at the University of Rochester in NY USA, and at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. It was facilitated by the research hosts from the two institutions: Professor Andrew Elliot (University of Rochester), and Professor Carsten De Dreu (University of Amsterdam).

The research project investigated whether people’s attitudes towards schema-violations are linked to creativity. Schema-violations are targets and objects that disconfirm schema - and stereotype-based expectancies: for instance, a penguin walking on the desert violates our schematic expectations, but a penguin walking on ice confirms our expectations. The goal of the project was to understand when and what type of people like, approach and prefer schema-violations (over schema-consistencies), why this is the case, and whether favourable attitudes towards schema-violations are linked to creativity.

I the first two years of the project Dr Goclowska ran six experiments looking at people’s reactions to stimuli that violate (vs. confirm) expectancies, and at creativity. She looked at what personality traits determine what people think of schema-violations, and whether people with different personalities want to approach or avoid schema-violations. She also looked at whether people’s attitudes towards schema-violations are linked to creativity and creative achievements. The research conducted also tested what emotions are linked to schema-violations, and how gender identification determines reactions to schema-violations in the domain of gender.

The project is ongoing, and the results will be announced once the research papers resulting from the project are accepted for publication. The project will allow researchers to gain a greater insight into the nature of creativity, and to understand when and why people like and approach or dislike and avoid schema-violating targets (e.g., counter-stereotypic individuals) and ideas (e.g., unusual, paradigm-shifting innovations).

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Life Sciences
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