Anxiety and flexibility of defense related to high or low creativity

Ingegerd Carlsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (SciVal)


The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in anxiety and defense mechanisms between differently creative people. Two extreme groups that scored either very high or very low on a test of the creative function were selected from a larger cohort (N = 60). Each group consisted of 12 male undergraduate students, who took a test of defense mechanisms and completed anxiety inventories. The results showed that the high-creative group had more anxiety than the low-creative group. The high-creative group also used a greater number of different defense categories than the low-creative group. The number of defense categories was positively correlated with a fluency measure in the creativity test. These results are discussed in terms of variability in basal arousal, flexibility, and a creative defensive style.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-349
JournalCreativity Research Journal
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Psychology


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