DOI: 10.1177/02762374231217638 ISSN: 0276-2374

Some Effects of Sex and Culture on Creativity, No Effect of Incubation

Nastaran Kazemian, Khatereh Borhani, Soroosh Golbabaei, Julia F. Christensen
  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Music
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

Results remain mixed regarding the effects of incubation tasks on divergent thinking, a type of creativity, generally assessed via the Unusual Uses Task (UUT). Using a within-subjects design, we compared 64 participants’ performance on the UUT, after four different incubation tasks: copy a simple painting, copy a complex painting, 0-back-task, and rest. We hypothesized that an arts-related activity during incubation (here: copy a painting) would boost subsequent creativity. Five different creativity scores were computed from the raw UUT data, and we provide a step-by-step guide for how to compute these: fluency, flexibility, originality, subjective creativity, and usefulness. Creativity was only modulated by sex; women outperformed men on creative fluency. No other variables, nor the incubations, modulated any of participants’ creativity scores. A within-group comparison showed that the unusual uses of our all-Iranian participants were more useful than unique, echoing previous work suggesting differences between Eastern and Western conceptions of creativity.