Whether social schema violations help or hurt creativity depends on need for structure


Although people and events that disconfirm observers' expectancies can increase their creativity, sometimes such social schema violations increase observers' rigidity of thought and undermine creative cognition. Here we examined whether individual differences in the extent to which people prefer structure and predictability determine whether social schema violations facilitate or hamper creativity. Participants in Study 1 formed impressions of a schema-inconsistent female mechanic (vs. a schema-consistent male mechanic). Following schema-inconsistent rather than -consistent information, participants low (high) in need for structure showed better (impeded) creative performance. Participants in Study 2 memorized a series of images in which individuals were placed on a schema-inconsistent (vs. consistent) background (e.g., an Eskimo on the desert vs. on a snowy landscape). Following schema-inconsistent imagery, participants low (high) in need for structure increased (decreased) divergent thinking.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167214533132
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
Uncontrolled Keywords: information processing,innovation,motivation,social diversity,stereotypes,Social Psychology
Publication ISSN: 1552-7433
Last Modified: 20 May 2024 07:14
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2015 11:30
Full Text Link: http://psp.sage ... ontent/40/8/959
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2014-08-01
Published Online Date: 2014-04-29
Authors: Gocłowska, Małgorzata A.
Baas, Matthijs
Crisp, Richard J.
de Dreu, Carsten K.W.



Version: Accepted Version

Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record