Creativity is not only the province of artists, actors, potters, and musicians. Any human endeavour is really a creative one. In situations like business, and sometimes in the arts themselves, however, that creativity must arrive on cue; there is not time to wait for the muse to strike. So how do you go about creating creativity?
A new study has found that your mood significantly affects your ability to perform creatively.
For the research people were put into different moods and then given a learning task to perform. The task was to classify sets of pictures with visually complex patterns into categories. Mood was manipulated using a variety of music and video clips.
A series of tests were done to establish what made people feel happy and what made them feel sad. The researchers found that what made people happiest was a peppy piece of Mozart music and a video of a laughing baby. What made people saddest was piece of music from the film Schindlerâ€™s List and a news report about an earthquake.
After first using these stimuli to create a positive or negative mood the researchers would then give the subjects the pattern recognition task described above.
The results showed that people in a positive mood were better able to come up with a way to classify the patterns than people in either a sad or neutral mood.
So if you have a task at hand where you need to be able to think creatively it would be a good idea to find a way to put yourself in a positive mood beforehand. Sure, it might be tough initially to persuade your boss why you want to watch Seinfeld DVDs at your desk but once she or he sees the creativity that flows from you as a result of your positive mood, then Seinfeld and Mozart will be piped into every workstation.