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Do open or closed postures boost creative performance? The effects of postural feedback on divergent and convergent thinking.

Abstract : Can an individual’s body posture (expansive or contractive) affect their creative thinking (divergent or convergent)? Based on embodied cognition and the debate about the impact of nonverbal physical postures expressing power on psychological and behavioral outcomes, five experiments were conducted. We tested the prediction that expansive postures would have a positive effect on creativity tasks that have no right or wrong answer or optimal solution (divergent thinking), whereas contractive postures would have a positive effect on tasks with a right answer or an optimal solution (convergent thinking). As predicted, results revealed a positive effect of expansive postures on performance of creativity tasks requiring divergent thinking, such as producing original ideas (Study 1) or objects, either by combining shapes to create an original toy (Study 2) or by combining fragments to produce an original drawing (Study 3). Conversely, a positive effect of contractive postures was found on performance of insight tasks requiring convergent thinking, in which participants had to associate elements to discover a unifying and correct solution (Study 4) or overcome initial task constraints to find an optimal solution to a problem (Study 5). These findings open up new avenues for research in embodied creativity.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02936243
Contributor : Nicolas Michinov <>
Submitted on : Friday, September 11, 2020 - 10:06:45 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, September 13, 2020 - 3:11:22 AM

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Nicolas Michinov, Estelle Michinov. Do open or closed postures boost creative performance? The effects of postural feedback on divergent and convergent thinking.. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, American Psychological Association, 2020, ⟨10.1037/aca0000306⟩. ⟨halshs-02936243⟩

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