Affect and Creativity: The Role of Affect and Play in the Creative Process

Affect and Creativity: The Role of Affect and Play in the Creative Process

Affect and Creativity: The Role of Affect and Play in the Creative Process

Affect and Creativity: The Role of Affect and Play in the Creative Process


Much work has been done on cognitive processes and creativity, but there is another half to the picture of creativity -- the affect half. This book addresses that other half by synthesizing the information that exists about affect and creativity and presenting a new model of the role of affect in the creative process. Current information comes from disparate literatures, research traditions, and theoretical approaches. There is a need in the field for a comprehensive framework for understanding and investigating the role of affect in creativity. The model presented here spells out connections between specific affective and cognitive processes important in creativity, and personality traits associated with creativity.

Identifying common findings and themes in a variety of research studies and descriptions of the creative process, this book integrates child and adult research and the classic psychoanalytic approach to creativity with contemporary social and cognitive psychology. In so doing, it addresses two major questions:

• Is affect an important part of the creative process?

• If it is, then how is affect involved in creative thinking?

In addition, Russ presents her own research program in the area of affect and creativity, and introduces The Affect in Play Scale -- a method of measuring affective expression in children's play -- which can be useful in child psychotherapy and creativity research. Current issues in the creativity area are also discussed, such as artistic versus scientific creativity, adjustment and the creative process, the role of computers in learning about creativity, gender differences in the creative process, and enhancing creativity in home, school, and work settings. Finally, Russ points to future research issues and directions, and discusses alternative research paradigms such as mood-induction methods versus children's play procedures.


Creativity is an exciting process. To observe it, recognize it, or experience it are some of the most satisfying aspects of the human condition. One of the dangers of studying or analyzing the creative process is that it can become pedestrian. Indeed, one of the current debates in the field is whether or not creativity is simply an example of logical problem solving or involves other kinds of processes. The main benefit of studying creativity is that we will come to understand the processes involved and will be able to enhance the development of creativity in future generations.

What do we know about creativity? We know a good deal about what creativity is-especially about the cognitive components. We are just beginning to learn about the affective components of the creative process. Although psychoanalytic theory has discussed the importance of affect in creativity, the field has just begun to empirically investigate the specific affective processes and mechanisms involved in creativity and to search for a comprehensive theoretical understanding. The major questions addressed in this book are: (a) Is affect an important part of the creative process? and (b) If so, how is affect involved in creative thinking? We learn about the role of affect in creativity from three major sources. First, descriptions of the creative process by creative individuals can give clues as to how affect comes into the picture. Second, research on cognitive-affective processes and affect in cognition is beginning to shed some light on how these processes interact. Personality trait research and creativity is an important related area, as is research on children's play. Third, theoretical frameworks that integrate and encompass observations and empirical findings suggest future studies that move the field ahead.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.