Disentangling the Impact of Artistic Creativity on Creative Thinking, Working Memory, Attention, and Intelligence: Evidence for Domain-Specific Relationships with a New Self-Report Questionnaire

Front Psychol. 2016 Jul 28:7:1089. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01089. eCollection 2016.


The goal of the present study was to take a new look at the relationship between creativity and cognitive functioning. Based on models that have postulated domain- and sub-domain-structures for different forms of creativity, like scientific, technical or artistic creativity with cognitive functions as important basis, we developed a new questionnaire. The Artistic Creativity Domains Compendium (ACDC) assesses interest, ability and performance in a distinct way for different domains of artistic creativity. We present the data of 270 adults tested with the ACDC, standard tests of divergent and convergent thinking, and tests of cognitive functions. We present fine-grained analyses on the internal and external validity of the ACDC and on the relationships between creativity, working memory, attention, and intelligence. Our results indicate domain-specific associations between creativity and attention as well as working memory. We conclude that the ACDC is a valid instrument to assess artistic creativity and that a fine-grained analysis reveals distinct patterns of relationships between separate domains of creativity and cognition.

Keywords: artistic creativity; convergent thinking; creativity questionnaire; divergent thinking; intelligence.