Creativity and cognitive inhibition
Welsh, Kacy Driscoll
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This experiment was conducted to examine a possible relationship between the development of creativity and the development of intentional cognitive inhibition. Creativity was defined as the creation of something novel and useful and was theorized to be an ability that all people possess to varying degrees. Cognitive inhibition was defined as the suppression of irrelevant items from working memory. It was hypothesized that a decrease in creative ability would occur during the fourth grade, reflecting a beginning understanding and overuse of cognitive inhibition, which would reduce the number of irrelevant items in working memory to such a degree that creative ability would suffer. Forty participants from second grade, fourth grade, sixth grade and college completed two tasks from the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) and a directed forgetting task designed to measure intentional cognitive inhibition. The hypotheses were not supported. Methodological concerns are discussed as a possible reason for the results.