AuthorDE STEFANO, NADIA ANAIS
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThinking is a ubiquitously human process which occurs even when we have no task to engage in. A large proportion of the content of task-unrelated and “task-absent” thoughts are thought to be composed of unfulfilled goals or current concerns(Nikles, 1998; Smallwood, 2010). These thoughts may be accompanied by efforts to tackle these current concerns.Mental contrasting is a cluster of 3 categories of mental processing underlying different degrees of attempt to solve a problem. These degrees consist of 1) envisioning a goal, 2) recognizing the obstacles present in accomplishing the goal, and 3) creating steps to overcome the necessary obstacles to achieving the goal. Each subsequent step entails the previous step. Our study poses the question: does goal oriented thought increase levels of creativity? Here we ran participants through two tasks. First participants voiced aloud all of their stimulus dependent and stimulus independent thoughts for 10 minutes. This task was used to analyze participant’s levels of goal-oriented thought. Next participants voiced aloud answers to an open-ended question. This task was used to measure creativity in the form of fluency. A negative relationship was found between envisioning a goal and creativity scores. No relationship was found between recognizing obstacles present in goal achievement. The relationship between creating steps to achieve a goal and creativity scores was suggestive of a positive relationshipbut results were not significant. However, this trend is promising for preliminary data with a low sample size.
Degree ProgramNeuroscience and Cognitive Science