Individual Differences in Cognitive Flexibility Predict Poetry Originality

  • Ivonne J. Figueroa
  • Robert J. Youmans
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8019)


To be successful at creative tasks, people are often required to think flexibly by selectively switching from one cognitive strategy to a more optimal strategy when presented with changing environmental cues [1]. In this study, we measured differences in students’ cognitive flexibility, and then examined how well flexibility predicted performance on a subsequent creative task, a Haiku poem. Cognitive flexibility was measured using two variables found in the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task (WCST). Measures of cognitive flexibility predicted the Haiku poem’s originality that students created. The results of this study suggest that cognitive flexibility may play an important role in creative writing and in predicting an individual’s level of creativity. Implications are discussed.


Individual differences cognitive flexibility creativity poetry 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivonne J. Figueroa
    • 1
  • Robert J. Youmans
    • 1
  1. 1.George Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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