The role of executive functioning in creative thinking is under debate. Some authors suggested that increased inhibitory control, a component of executive functioning, is detrimental to creative solutions, whereas others argued that executive functions are central to creative problem-solving, thus questioning Guilford’s classical distinction between divergent and convergent thinking. Executive functions decline with age. In this study, we investigated the contributions of executive functioning and its age-related decline and divergent thinking to creative problem-solving. To this aim, we divided our sample of sixty healthy adults into two age groups of young adults (20–26 years) and elderly (60–70 years) and we assessed their creative problem-solving abilities (using the compound remote associate problems) as well as other potential cognitive predictors of creative problem-solving (i.e., impulsivity, divergent thinking, verbal working memory, and decision-making style). A linear regression model revealed that the ability to solve problems creatively is negatively predicted by older age and impulsivity, while positively predicted by divergent thinking and verbal working memory. These findings reveal a combined contribution of executive functions and divergent thinking to creative problem-solving, suggesting that both convergent and divergent processes should be considered in interventions to contrast age-related decline.

Cancer, A., Iannello, P., Salvi, C., Antonietti, A., Executive functioning and divergent thinking predict creative problem-solving in young adults and elderlies, <<PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH>>, 2022; (N/A): 1-9. [doi:10.1007/s00426-022-01678-8] [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/201647]

Executive functioning and divergent thinking predict creative problem-solving in young adults and elderlies

Cancer, A.;Iannello, P.;Antonietti, A.
2022

Abstract

The role of executive functioning in creative thinking is under debate. Some authors suggested that increased inhibitory control, a component of executive functioning, is detrimental to creative solutions, whereas others argued that executive functions are central to creative problem-solving, thus questioning Guilford’s classical distinction between divergent and convergent thinking. Executive functions decline with age. In this study, we investigated the contributions of executive functioning and its age-related decline and divergent thinking to creative problem-solving. To this aim, we divided our sample of sixty healthy adults into two age groups of young adults (20–26 years) and elderly (60–70 years) and we assessed their creative problem-solving abilities (using the compound remote associate problems) as well as other potential cognitive predictors of creative problem-solving (i.e., impulsivity, divergent thinking, verbal working memory, and decision-making style). A linear regression model revealed that the ability to solve problems creatively is negatively predicted by older age and impulsivity, while positively predicted by divergent thinking and verbal working memory. These findings reveal a combined contribution of executive functions and divergent thinking to creative problem-solving, suggesting that both convergent and divergent processes should be considered in interventions to contrast age-related decline.
Inglese
Cancer, A., Iannello, P., Salvi, C., Antonietti, A., Executive functioning and divergent thinking predict creative problem-solving in young adults and elderlies, <<PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH>>, 2022; (N/A): 1-9. [doi:10.1007/s00426-022-01678-8] [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/201647]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10807/201647
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