Investigating the interaction between schizotypy, divergent thinking and cannabis use

Conscious Cogn. 2012 Mar;21(1):292-8. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2011.11.009. Epub 2012 Jan 9.


Cannabis acutely increases schizotypy and chronic use is associated with elevated rates of psychosis. Creative individuals have higher levels of schizotypy, however links between cannabis use, schizotypy and creativity have not been investigated. We investigated the effects of cannabis smoked naturalistically on schizotypy and divergent thinking, a measure of creativity. One hundred and sixty cannabis users were tested on 1 day when sober and another day when intoxicated with cannabis. State and trait measures of both schizotypy and creativity were administered. Quartile splits compared those lowest (n=47) and highest (n=43) in trait creativity. Cannabis increased verbal fluency in low creatives to the same level as that of high creatives. Cannabis increased state psychosis-like symptoms in both groups and the high creativity group were significantly higher in trait schizotypy, but this does not appear to be linked to the verbal fluency change. Acute cannabis use increases divergent thinking as indexed by verbal fluency in low creatives.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Creativity*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Marijuana Smoking / psychology*
  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder / chemically induced*
  • United Kingdom
  • Verbal Behavior