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The liberating consequences of creative work: How a creative outlet lifts the physical burden of secrecy

Goncalo, JA; Vincent, LC; Krause, V; (2015) The liberating consequences of creative work: How a creative outlet lifts the physical burden of secrecy. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology , 59 pp. 32-39. 10.1016/j.jesp.2015.03.004. Green open access

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Abstract

A newly emerging stream of research suggests creativity can be fruitfully explored, not as an outcome variable, but as a contributor to the general cognitive and behavioral responding of the individual. In this paper, we extend this nascent area of research on the consequences of creativity by showing that working on a creative task can contribute to feelings of liberation—feelings that can help people to overcome psychological burdens. We illustrate the liberating effects of creativity by integrating the embodied cognition literature with recent research showing that keeping a secret is experienced as a psychological and physical burden. While secrecy is metaphorically related to physical burden, creativity is metaphorically associated with freedom to “think outside the box” and explore beyond normal constraints. Thus, we predict permission to be creative may actually feel liberating and feelings of liberation may, in turn, lift the physical burden of keeping a big secret. The results of three studies supported our prediction and suggest that the opportunity to be creative may be a way for people to unburden without directly revealing secrets that could cause shame and embarrassment. We discuss the implications of our results for future research on the psychological consequences of performing creative work.

Type: Article
Title: The liberating consequences of creative work: How a creative outlet lifts the physical burden of secrecy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2015.03.004
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2015.03.004
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2015 Published by Elsevier Inc. This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This license allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licenses are available at http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0. Access may be initially restricted by the publisher.
Keywords: Secrecy; Creativity; Embodiment; Metaphor
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > UCL School of Management
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1472237
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