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      Effects of optimism on creativity under approach and avoidance motivation

      review-article

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      Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

      Frontiers Media S.A.

      optimism, motivation, approach, avoidance, creativity

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          Abstract

          Focusing on avoiding failure or negative outcomes (avoidance motivation) can undermine creativity, due to cognitive (e.g., threat appraisals), affective (e.g., anxiety), and volitional processes (e.g., low intrinsic motivation). This can be problematic for people who are avoidance motivated by nature and in situations in which threats or potential losses are salient. Here, we review the relation between avoidance motivation and creativity, and the processes underlying this relation. We highlight the role of optimism as a potential remedy for the creativity undermining effects of avoidance motivation, due to its impact on the underlying processes. Optimism, expecting to succeed in achieving success or avoiding failure, may reduce negative effects of avoidance motivation, as it eases threat appraisals, anxiety, and disengagement—barriers playing a key role in undermining creativity. People experience these barriers more under avoidance than under approach motivation, and beneficial effects of optimism should therefore be more pronounced under avoidance than approach motivation. Moreover, due to their eagerness, approach motivated people may even be more prone to unrealistic over-optimism and its negative consequences.

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          Most cited references 47

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          A meta-analysis of 25 years of mood-creativity research: hedonic tone, activation, or regulatory focus?

          This meta-analysis synthesized 102 effect sizes reflecting the relation between specific moods and creativity. Effect sizes overall revealed that positive moods produce more creativity than mood-neutral controls (r= .15), but no significant differences between negative moods and mood-neutral controls (r= -.03) or between positive and negative moods (r= .04) were observed. Creativity is enhanced most by positive mood states that are activating and associated with an approach motivation and promotion focus (e.g., happiness), rather than those that are deactivating and associated with an avoidance motivation and prevention focus (e.g., relaxed). Negative, deactivating moods with an approach motivation and a promotion focus (e.g., sadness) were not associated with creativity, but negative, activating moods with an avoidance motivation and a prevention focus (fear, anxiety) were associated with lower creativity, especially when assessed as cognitive flexibility. With a few exceptions, these results generalized across experimental and correlational designs, populations (students vs. general adult population), and facet of creativity (e.g., fluency, flexibility, originality, eureka/insight). The authors discuss theoretical implications and highlight avenues for future research on specific moods, creativity, and their relationships.
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            Hedonic tone and activation level in the mood-creativity link: toward a dual pathway to creativity model.

            To understand when and why mood states influence creativity, the authors developed and tested a dual pathway to creativity model; creative fluency (number of ideas or insights) and originality (novelty) are functions of cognitive flexibility, persistence, or some combination thereof. Invoking work on arousal, psychophysiological processes, and working memory capacity, the authors argue that activating moods (e.g., angry, fearful, happy, elated) lead to more creative fluency and originality than do deactivating moods (e.g., sad, depressed, relaxed, serene). Furthermore, activating moods influence creative fluency and originality because of enhanced cognitive flexibility when tone is positive and because of enhanced persistence when tone is negative. Four studies with different mood manipulations and operationalizations of creativity (e.g., brainstorming, category inclusion tasks, gestalt completion tests) support the model. (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved
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              Academic self-efficacy and first year college student performance and adjustment.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Front Hum Neurosci
                Front Hum Neurosci
                Front. Hum. Neurosci.
                Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                1662-5161
                28 February 2014
                2014
                : 8
                Affiliations
                Guilford Glazer Faculty for Business and Management, Ben Gurion University of the Negev Beer Sheva, Israel
                Author notes

                Edited by: Matthijs Baas, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

                Reviewed by: Malgorzata A. Goclowska, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands; Marleen Gillebaart, Utrecht University, Netherlands

                *Correspondence: Tamar Icekson, Guilford Glazer Faculty for Business and Management, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, PO Box 653, Beer Sheva 84105, Israel e-mail: Icekson@ 123456post.bgu.ac.il

                This article was submitted to the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

                Article
                10.3389/fnhum.2014.00105
                3937876
                f3a04cd7-2d21-4aa6-ac75-b020a8b1d5ae
                Copyright © 2014 Icekson, Roskes and Moran.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 77, Pages: 6, Words: 5233
                Categories
                Neuroscience
                Mini Review Article

                Neurosciences

                optimism, motivation, approach, avoidance, creativity

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