Affect, Psychological Well-Being and Creativity: Results of a Field Study

By Wright, Thomas A.; Walton, Andre P. | Journal of Business and Management, Winter 2003 | Go to article overview

Affect, Psychological Well-Being and Creativity: Results of a Field Study


Wright, Thomas A., Walton, Andre P., Journal of Business and Management


This research provides an initial opportunity to simultaneously examine the relative contributions of psychological well-being, affective disposition, and affective mood as correlates of creativity. Bivariate correlational analysis demonstrated that psychological well-being and positive mood state, but not positive affective disposition, were related to creativity. Using multiple regression analysis, it was found that psychological well-being was positively related to creativity, even when controlling for positive mood state and positive affective disposition. Implications and limitations of these findings are discussed.

"I created you while I was happy, [not] while I was sad, with so many incidents, so many details. And, for me, the whole of you has been transformed into feeling."

~ Constantine Peter Cavafy [In the Same Space, 1929]

INTRODUCTION

It is widely acknowledged that enhancing the creative capabilities of employees is a necessary step if organizations are to achieve success and competitive advantage (Burnside, 1990; Shalley, 1995). Similarly, at the individual level, creative employees are typically assumed to be more productive (Amabile, 1983). Thus, employee creativity is generally accepted to have benefits for both the individual and organization (Amabile, 1983; Ford, 1996; Oldham & Cummings, 1996). Although, ultimately, assessments of creativity are subjective (Amabile, 1983), Oldham and Cummings (1996, p. 608) suggest that creative ideas, products and procedures must satisfy two conditions. First, they must be original and novel. Second, they must be seen as being relevant and useful. Thus, creative employees are those who suggest novel and useful products, ideas, or procedures that provide their firm with important raw material for subsequent development and possible implementation (Amabile, 1987; Oldham & Cummings, 1996; Staw, 1990; Woodman, Sawyer, & Griffin, 1993).

While prior research has recognized the theoretical overall importance of affect as a possible determinant of creative accomplishment (Amabile, 1988; Forgas, 1991; Isen, Daubman, & Nowicki, 1987), the field has been less successful in actually distinguishing among various dispositional and situational influences of affect on creativity (Clark & Isen, 1982; Isen et al., 1987; Oldham & Cummings, 1996). As a result, research has primarily concentrated on the diffusion and adoption phases of the creative process, to the relative neglect of influences such as affect and well-being (Damanpour, 1991), To help address this research limitation, the present study affords an initial opportunity to simultaneously examine the relative contribution of psychological well-being, affective disposition, and affective mood as correlates of creativity. We now provide the basis for why relations may exist among positive affective disposition, psychological well-being, positive affective mood, and creativity.

Affect and Creativity

George (1996, p. 145) defined affect as "a broad, generic term that covers both the intense feelings and reactions people have, which are commonly referred to as emotions, and the less intense, but no less important feelings often called moods." Affect is typically divided into positive (PA) and negative (NA) factors, with separate hypotheses for each of the dimensions (Burke, Brief, & George, 1993; George, 1989; Watson & Tellegen, 1985). As typically measured, affect is often seen as measuring activation or arousal (Watson & Tellegen, 1985; Wright & Staw, 1999). More specifically, PA scales measure the extent to which an individual experiences positive feelings. High PAs experience a good deal of positive feelings, such as, "active," "enthusiastic," and "interested." In addition, high PAs tend to be positively engaged in, and feel good about, activities in which they are involved (George, 1996). Alternatively, low PAs are best characterized by the absence of positive emotions, such as "bored," and "droopy. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Affect, Psychological Well-Being and Creativity: Results of a Field Study
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.