Do dimensional psychopathology measures relate to creative achievement or divergent thinking?

Darya L. Zabelina*, David Condon, Mark Beeman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Previous research provides disparate accounts of the putative association between creativity and psychopathology, including schizotypy, psychoticism, hypomania, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorders. To examine these association, healthy, non-clinical participants completed several psychopathology-spectrum measures, often postulated to associate with creativity: the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire, the Psychoticism scale, the Personality Inventory for DSM-5, the Hypomanic Personality Scale, the Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Autism-Spectrum Quotient. The goal of Study 1 was to evaluate the factor structure of these dimensional psychopathology measures and, in particular, to evaluate the case for a strong general factor(s). None of the factor solutions between 1 and 10 factors provided a strong fit with the data based on the most commonly used metrics. The goal of Study 2 was to determine whether these psychopathology scales predict, independently, two measures of creativity: 1. a measure of participants' real-world creative achievements, and 2. divergent thinking, a laboratory measure of creative cognition. After controlling for academic achievement, psychoticism and hypomania reliably predicted real-world creative achievement and divergent thinking scored with the consensual assessment technique. None of the psychopathology-spectrum scales reliably predicted divergent thinking scored with the manual scoring method. Implications for the potential links between several putative creative processes and risk factors for psychopathology are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberArticle 1029
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberSEP
StatePublished - 2014


  • Creative achievement
  • Creativity
  • Divergent thinking
  • Individual differences
  • Psychopathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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