Taking the focus away from the self: low individualism mediates the effect of oxytocin on creativity

Pfundmair, Michaela and Hodgson, Timothy and Frey, Deiter (2017) Taking the focus away from the self: low individualism mediates the effect of oxytocin on creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 29 (1). pp. 91-96. ISSN 1040-0419

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Item Type:Article
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Abstract

Recently, it has been shown that the hormone oxytocin can enable creative cognition. The aim
of this investigation was to examine the psychological mechanism via which oxytocin
influences creativity. Two opposing explanatory approaches suggested by previous research
were investigated: It was predicted that the effect of oxytocin on creativity would be
determined by low versus high individualism, especially in people with low levels of anxiety.
Participants filled out an anxiety questionnaire and intranasally administered oxytocin or a
placebo. After a 40-min waiting period, they performed a creativity task and indicated their
level of individualism. Participants with low levels of anxiety showed heightened creative
potential under oxytocin, and this relationship was mediated by low individualism. The results
could not be explained by changes in the participants’ affective state. The findings underscore
the moderating role of dispositional factors and reveal an important factor to understand the
role of oxytocin in human behavior.

Keywords:creativity, oxytocin
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:26403
Deposited On:17 Feb 2017 10:09

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