The Relationship Between ADHD Symptoms, EF, Personality, and Creativity

Author: Autumn Cox
Major: Psychology
Approved: Spring 2020
Status: Completed

Creativity is divided into three categories: creative process, person, and product. Creative process occurs during creativity through the mental processes of divergent and convergent thinking. This project focused on creative process, specifically divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is the ability to come up with multiple solutions to a problem. High levels of creativity/divergent thinking are associated with a high IQ, ADHD, and high openness from the Big Five Personality Scale. Past research has examined only one or two of these associated variables at a time. In the current study, we aimed to investigate the relation between ADHD symptoms, EF, personality traits, and divergent thinking. We expected that individuals high in inattentive symptoms, low in inhibition, and high in openness would show greater divergent thinking as measured by the Alternative Uses Task (AUT). We found openness to experience to be consistently correlated to divergent thinking, while inattentiveness was found to be correlated with fluency and Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT) was found to be correlated to originality. Although we did not expect to find a correlation between originality and SCT, it still supports the underlying theory that inattentiveness or mind-wandering tendencies are related to high levels of divergent thinking. Future research should further evaluate this previously unfound correlation between SCT and high levels of creativity.

Cox Distinction Project Final