Engaging in Creativity Broadens Attentional Scope

Marta Wrońska , Alina Kolańczyk , Bernard Nijstad


Previous studies have shown that creativity is enhanced by a broad attentional scope, defined as an ability to utilize peripheral stimuli and process information globally. We propose that the reverse relationship also holds, and that breadth of attention also is a consequence of engaging in a creative activity. In Study 1, participants showed increased breadth of attention in a visual scanning task after performing a divergent thinking task as opposed to an analytic thinking task. In Study 2, participants recognized peripheral stimuli displayed during the task better after performing a divergent thinking task as compared to an analytic task, whereas recognition performance of participants performing a task that involves a mix of divergent and analytic thinking (the Remote Associates Test) fell in between. Additionally, in Study 2 (but not in Study 1), breadth of attention was positively correlated with performance in a divergent thinking task, but not with performance in an analytic thinking task. Our findings suggest that the adjustment of the cognitive system to task demands manifests at a very basic, perceptual level, through changes in the breadth of visual attention. This paper contributes a new, motivational perspective on attentional breadth and discusses it as a result of adjusting cognitive processing to the task requirements, which contributes to effective self-regulation.
Author Marta Wrońska
Marta Wrońska,,
, Alina Kolańczyk (Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie)
Alina Kolańczyk,,
- Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie
, Bernard Nijstad
Bernard Nijstad,,
Journal seriesFrontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, (A 35 pkt)
Issue year2018
Publication size in sheets0.65
Keywords in Englishcreativity, idea generation, divergent thinking, breadth of attention, self-regulation, analytic thinking, Remote Associates Test, convergent thinking
ASJC Classification3200 General Psychology
URL https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01772
Languageen angielski
Wrońska_Kolańczyk_Nijstadt_Attentional Scope 2018.pdf 1.29 MB
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Kolańczyk_publikacja 2018.pdf 334.04 KB
Score (nominal)35
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 1.006; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 2.089 (2) - 2017=2.749 (5)
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