Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 609–626 | Cite as

A Correlational Study of Creativity, Happiness, Motivation, and Stress from Creative Pursuits

  • Michael W. Ceci
  • V. K. KumarEmail author
Research Paper


This study examined the relationship of creative capacity with happiness, affect, motivation, and stress from creative pursuits using a sample of 420 students. In addition, it tested whether a relationship existed between overall creative capacity and specific styles or approaches to creative expression. A composite creative capacity score was derived from four creative capacity measures. Creative capacity was not significantly correlated with happiness, but it correlated significantly with positive and negative affect scales and with their absolute sum. Creative capacity correlated highest with intrinsic motivation (IM) among all variables. Creative capacity and IM correlated similarly in direction and magnitude with creativity styles subscales of Belief in Unconscious Processes, Use of Techniques, and Use of Senses, and negative correlations with the Use of People and Final Product Orientation Subscales.


Creativity Happiness Affect Mood Intrinsic motivation Extrinsic motivation Stress 



We thank Dr. Joseph E. Browne for his comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.


  1. Amabile, T. M. (1985). Motivation and creativity: Effects of motivational orientation on creative writers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48, 393–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amabile, T., Barsade, S. G., Mueller, J. S., & Staw, B. M. (2005). Affect and creativity. Administrative Science Quarterly, 50, 367–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amabile, T. M., DeJong, W., & Lepper, M. (1976). Effects of externally imposed deadlines on subsequent intrinsic motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 34, 92–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Amabile, T. M., Hill, K. G., Hennessey, B. A., & Tighe, E. M. (1994). The work preference inventory: Assessing intrinsic and extrinsic motivational orientations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 950–967.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bass, M., De Dreu, C. K. W., & Nijstad, B. A. (2008). A meta-analysis of 25 years of mood–creativity research: Hedonic tone, activation, or regulatory focus? Psychological Bulletin, 134, 779–806.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bass, M., De Dreu, C. K. W., & Nijstad, B. A. (2011). Creative productivity by angry people peaks early on, declines over time, and is relative unstructured. Journal of Experimental and Social Psychology, 47, 1107–1115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Crawford, J. R., & Henry, J. D. (2004). The positive and negative affect schedule (PANAS): Construct validity, measurement properties and normative data in a large non-clinical sample. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 43, 245–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 95, 542–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 276–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dowell, J. (2008). The Creativity Styles Questionnaire-Revised II: Reliability and validity (Unpublished master’s thesis). West Chester, PA: West Chester University of Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
  12. Eisenberger, R., & Cameron, J. (1996). Detrimental effects of reward: Reality or myth. American Psychologist, 51, 1153–1166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Feist, G. J. (1994). Affective consequences of insight in art and science students. Cognition and Emotion, 8, 489–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Feist, G. J. (1998). A meta-analysis of personality in scientific ad artistic creativity. Personality and Social Psychological Review, 2, 290–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fuchs, G., Kumar, V. K., & Porter, J. (2007). Emotional creativity, alexithymia, and styles of creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 19, 233–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gough, H. G., & Woodworth, D. G. (1960). Stylistic variations among professional research scientists. Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, 49, 87–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Griffin, M., & McDermott, M. R. (1998). Exploring a tripartite relationship between rebelliousness, openness to experience and creativity. Social Behavior and Personality, 26, 347–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Helson, R., & Crutchfield, R. S. (1970). Mathematicians: The creative researcher and the average PhD. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 34, 250–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jamison, K. R. (1989). Mood disorders and patterns of creativity in British writers and artists. Psychiatry, 52, 125–134.Google Scholar
  20. Judd, C. M., & McClelland, G. M. (1998). Measurement. In D. T. Gilbert, S. Fiske, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), The handbook of social psychology (4th ed., Vol. 1, pp. 180–232). NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Katz, A. N. (1984). Creative styles: Relating tests of creativity to the work patterns of scientists. Personality and Individual Differences, 5, 281–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kumar, V. K. & Ceci, M. W. (2011). Stress from creative pursuits scale. (Unpublished psychological test). West Chester, PA: Department of Psychology, West Chester University of Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
  23. Kumar, V. K., & Holman, E. R. (1989). Creativity Styles Questionnaire. (Unpublished psychological test). West Chester, PA: Department of Psychology, West Chester University.Google Scholar
  24. Kumar, V. K., Holman, E. R., & Rudegeair, P. (1991). Creativity styles of freshman students. Journal of Creative Behavior, 25, 320–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kumar, V. K., Kemmler, D., & Holman, E. R. (1997). The Creativity Styles Questionnaire—Revised. Creativity Research Journal, 10, 51–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lack, S. A., Kumar, V. K., & Arevalo, S. (2003). Fantasy proneness, creative capacity, and styles of creativity. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 96, 19–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Manmiller, J. L., Kumar, V. K., & Pekala, R. J. (2005). Hypnotizability, creative capacity, creativity styles, absorption, and phenomenological experiences during hypnosis. Creativity Research Journal, 17, 9–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Miller, L. A., McIntire, S. A., & Lovler, R. L. (2011). Foundations of psychological testing. A practical approach (3rd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  29. Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (1993). Review of the satisfaction with life scale. Psychological Assessment, 5, 164–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pollick, M. F., & Kumar, V. K. (1997). Creativity styles of supervising managers. Journal of Creative Behavior, 31, 260–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rothenberg, A. (1990). Creativity and madness. New findings and old stereotypes. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Runco, M. A. (2007a). Creativity theories and themes: Research development, and practice. Burlington, MA: Elsevier Academic Press.Google Scholar
  33. Runco, M. A. (2007b). Runco Ideational Behavior Scale-III. (Unpublished psychological test). Fullerton, CA: Department of Child and Adolescent Studies, California State University, Fullerton.Google Scholar
  34. Runco, M. A., Plucker, J. A., & Lim, W. (2000–2001). Development and psychometric integrity of a measure of ideational behavior. Creativity Research Journal, 13, 393–400.Google Scholar
  35. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2001). On happiness and human potentials: A review of research on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 141–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rybakowski, J. K., & Klonowska, P. (2011). Bipolar mood disorder, creativity, and schizotypy. An experimental study. Psychopathology, 44, 296–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Schou, M. (1979). Artistic productivity and lithium prophylaxis in manic-depressive illness. British Journal of Psychiatry, 135, 97–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 1063–1070.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Woolf, V. (1955). To the lighthouse. San Diego: Harcourt, Brace & World.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWest Chester University of PennsylvaniaWest ChesterUSA

Personalised recommendations