Submitted Successfully!
To reward your contribution, here is a gift for you: A free trial for our video production service.
Thank you for your contribution! You can also upload a video entry or images related to this topic.
Version Summary Created by Modification Content Size Created at Operation
1 -- 1369 2023-06-13 18:41:01 |
2 format correct + 2 word(s) 1371 2023-06-14 03:00:43 |

Video Upload Options

Do you have a full video?

Confirm

Are you sure to Delete?
Cite
If you have any further questions, please contact Encyclopedia Editorial Office.
Pasarín-Lavín, T.; Abín, A.; García, T.; Rodríguez, C. Executive Functions and Creativity in Children and Adolescents. Encyclopedia. Available online: https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/45527 (accessed on 25 June 2024).
Pasarín-Lavín T, Abín A, García T, Rodríguez C. Executive Functions and Creativity in Children and Adolescents. Encyclopedia. Available at: https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/45527. Accessed June 25, 2024.
Pasarín-Lavín, Tania, Amanda Abín, Trinidad García, Celestino Rodríguez. "Executive Functions and Creativity in Children and Adolescents" Encyclopedia, https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/45527 (accessed June 25, 2024).
Pasarín-Lavín, T., Abín, A., García, T., & Rodríguez, C. (2023, June 13). Executive Functions and Creativity in Children and Adolescents. In Encyclopedia. https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/45527
Pasarín-Lavín, Tania, et al. "Executive Functions and Creativity in Children and Adolescents." Encyclopedia. Web. 13 June, 2023.
Executive Functions and Creativity in Children and Adolescents
Edit

Executive functions and creativity could play an important role in children’s education. Creativity is not so much what children know (intelligence) but how they use that information, how they inhibit it and how flexible they are with it. Educational interventions focused on cognitive training are needed to develop creative skills. This would also result in improvements in the students’ academic performance and in the development of skills they will need as future professionals. 

creativity executive functions intelligence

1. Introduction

The relationship between executive functions (EFs) and creativity has been thoroughly studied in samples of adults [1][2][3][4]. Many of our higher cognitive processes are put into action for us to be creative: working memory, flexibility, planning and inhibition, among others. This is why it is essential to understand the importance of EFs in creativity—taking into account the mediating value of intelligence, since it has been widely investigated in relation to creativity [5][6]. Over recent years, creativity and EFs have been highly valued and sought-after constructs in society [7], and scientific evidence shows that EFs play an important role in adult creativity [8][9].

2. Executive Functions (EFs)

EFs refer to higher mental processes allowing flexible and complex functions that direct behavior towards a goal [10]. In general, inhibition, working memory and shifting are considered the main executive processes [11] that other processes, such as planning, problem solving, etc., depend on [12].
It is well known that EFs present a common but independent variance factor, meaning that there is no perfect correlation between them [11]. This is why the three processes of working memory, inhibition and shifting should be included when evaluating EFs. Inhibition is the ability to inhibit or control automatic responses; working memory is the ability for temporary storage and processing of information; and shifting is the ability to unconsciously shift attention from one task to another [11][13].
Proper development of these EFs makes daily life easier. Additionally, a deficit in some of these functions is key to the diagnosis of some educational needs, such as ADHD [14], so much so that authors such as Filippetti and Richaud [15] claim that the development of EFs improves academic performance. This observation makes it important to know how they relate to other constructs, such as creativity and intelligence.

3. Creativity

Like with EFs, several authors [16][17][18] related creativity to an improvement in academic performance. In fact, creativity is one of the most widely-demanded skills in modern society in order to pursue a professional career [19].
The theoretical models that explain creativity begin with Guilford [17], who explained that creativity is made up of five components: (1) sensitivity, as the ability to quickly detect problems in order to solve them; (2) fluency, as the ability to produce a large number of ideas, words or associations; (3) flexibility, as the ability to switch from one idea to another, from one context to another, and to give varied responses; (4) elaboration, as the ability to perceive deficiencies, generate ideas and refine them to obtain new and improved versions; and (5) originality, as the ability to produce unusual ideas or responses. From Guilford, the researchers move on to Csikszentmihalyi [20], who noted that creativity occurs in the interaction between a person’s thoughts and a sociocultural context considering three elements: (1) the domain, which consists of a set of rules in the culture of a society; (2) the field, which includes the individuals who give access to the field, for example, teachers; and (3) the person, who uses the rules of the field, interacts with the field and produces creativity.
Hence, creativity is a multifaceted construct which can be studied from various perspectives in the field of education. The two main forms of creativity are as follows: (1) divergent and convergent or (2) verbal and figural, although it can also be studied through its components, including fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration [21].

4. Executive Functions (EFs), Creativity and Intelligence

EFs are mainly important in generating new ideas for which flexibility is key [22]. This means that EFs are seen as fundamental elements for the creative process, and, hence, must be studied jointly [23].
This relationship has been carefully analyzed in samples of adults by many authors. Some found statistically significant results in this relationship, especially with regard to EFs, such as inhibition, working memory and flexibility [24][25][26].
Other authors found positive relationships in some of these EFs, for example, between working memory and creativity measured with various tasks [1][27]. It has been suggested that creativity needs information retrieved from memory to build new ideas [27]. The literature also indicates evidence of a relationship between inhibition and creativity, explaining that a lack of cognitive control benefits creativity, specifically with fluency and flexibility but not with originality [28][29]. Moreover, creativity seems to be related to shifting because it requires flexibility of thought to produce new and different ideas [3][24].
Many studies have demonstrated relationships between EFs and creativity, although the vast majority agree that the relationship depends on the measures used for each variable.
Finally, the intelligence–executive functions and intelligence–creativity binomial have been studied in recent years. The first seems to show more support, since authors such as Frith et al., Karwowski et al., and Silvia [30][31][32] found that executive tests correlate significantly with the results in intelligence tests, which leads them to affirm that the administered executive tests constitute an excellent measure of general intelligence. The intelligence–creativity binomial is more controversial, and no agreement has been reached on whether this relationship exists, but the latest studies in adults [33][34] agree that the relationship between these two constructs is significant.
Taking this into account, in order to analyze the relationship between creativity and executive functions, it is important not to leave aside the intelligence variable. Some of these studies have also assessed intelligence as a mediating variable in this relationship [28][35]. Authors such as Benedek et al. [1] showed that working memory was found to explain a notable part of the shared variance between intelligence and creativity. Benedek et al. [28] examined whether the relationship between EFs and creativity was mediated by intelligence. They found that inhibition primarily promoted the fluency of ideas, whereas intelligence specifically promoted the originality of ideas. Other authors have explained that working memory is a predictor of individual differences in intelligence [36].

5. Relationship between EFs and Creativity

Many authors [3][9][37][38] positively correlated flexibility and negatively correlated inhibition with creativity. These correlations occur because a person with high flexibility and low inhibition shows a high creative capacity. These results are on similar lines as previous studies [24][28], which found positive relationships between flexibility, inhibition and creativity, proposing flexibility as the central factor.
On the other hand, there seems to be insufficient evidence for a relationship between creativity and EFs such as working memory [39]. These results are consistent with Sharma and Babu [26], who noted that previous research, such as Roskos-Ewoldsen et al. [40], showed that TTCT [41] is not demanding on working memory, leading to these results.
On similar lines, authors such as Bai et al. [39] and van Dijk et al. [42] noted that attention plays an important role in creative capacity measured with AUT [17]. This effect of attention was negative and indicates that children with a lower level of attention produce more original responses. This is in line with the findings of a series of recent studies on the role of inhibition and attention, indicating that low inhibition and attention lead to higher creativity [25][35].
It is important to consider the variability in the tests used. Measures for creativity were relatively stable: TTCT [41], AUT [17] and CREA [43] were the most widely used. TTCT was used to assess figural creativity, AUT was used to assess verbal creativity and CREA was used to assess general creativity.
On the other hand, in EFs, there was a lot of variability in the tests, depending on the EF being evaluated (inhibition, flexibility or working memory). It is observed that only one study evaluates EFs in a general way with the Minnesota Executive Function Scale [44]. To measure the different EFs, the researchers also find variability, but the most used tests are the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test [45] and Five-Point Test [46] to measure flexibility, the WISC-IV digits subtest [47] to measure working memory and the STROOP test [48] for response inhibition. This indicates that there may be room for standardization of tests to measure children’s EFs and creativity since the standardization of the measurement of these constructs would make it possible to generalize the results with greater rigor and reliability.

References

  1. Benedek, M.; Jauk, E.; Sommer, M.; Arendasy, M.; Neubauer, A.C. Intelligence, creativity, and cognitive control: The common and differential involvement of executive functions in intelligence and creativity. Intelligence 2014, 46, 73–83.
  2. Beaty, R.E.; Silvia, P.J.; Nusbaum, E.C.; Jauk, E.; Benedek, M. The roles of associative and executive processes in creative cognition. Mem. Cogn. 2014, 42, 1186–1197.
  3. Bernabeu-Brotons, E.; De la Peña, C. Creativity in higher education: An exploratory study with Executive Functions and Academic Achievement. Profesorado 2021, 25, 313–330.
  4. Lloyd-Cox, J.; Christensen, A.P.; Silvia, P.J.; Beaty, R.E. Seeing outside the box: Salient associations disrupt visual idea generation. Psychol. Aesthet. Creat. Arts. 2020, 15, 575–583.
  5. Bott, N.; Quintin, E.M.; Saggar, M.; Kienitz, E.; Royalty, A.; Hong, D.W.C.; Liu, N.; Chien, Y.; Hawthrone, G.; Reiss, A.L. Creativity training enhances goal-directed attention and information processing. Think. Ski. Creat. 2014, 13, 120–128.
  6. Forthmann, B.; Jendryczko, D.; Scharfen, J.; Kleinkorres, R.; Benedek, M.; Holling, H. Creative ideation, broad retrieval ability, and processing speed: A confirmatory study of nested cognitive abilities. Intelligence 2019, 75, 59–72.
  7. Runco, M.A. Meta-creativity: Being creative about creativity. Creat. Res. J. 2015, 27, 295–298.
  8. Nusbaum, E.C.; Silvia, P.J. Are intelligence and creativity really so different?: Fluid intelligence, executive processes, and strategy use in divergent thinking. Intelligence 2011, 39, 36–45.
  9. Krumm, G.; Filippetti, V.A.; Kimel, E. Executive functions in School-aged Children with high and low Creativity. Psicogente 2020, 23, 54–72.
  10. Baggetta, P.; Alexander, P.A. Conceptualization and operationalization of executive function. Mind Brain Educ. 2016, 10, 10–33.
  11. Miyake, A.; Friedman, N.P.; Emerson, M.J.; Witzki, A.H.; Howerter, A.; Wager, T.D. The unity and diversity of executive functions and their contributions to complex “frontal lobe” tasks: A latent variable analysis. Cogn. Psychol. 2000, 41, 49–100.
  12. Diamond, A. Executive functions. Ann. Rev. Psychol. 2013, 64, 135–168.
  13. Miyake, A.; Friedman, N.P. The nature and organization of individual differences in executive functions: Four general conclusions. Curr. Dir. Psychol. 2012, 21, 8–14.
  14. Lonergan, A.; Doyle, C.; Cassidy, C.; MacSweeney Mahon, S.; Roche, R.A.; Boran, L.; Bramham, J. A meta-analysis of executive functioning in dyslexia with consideration of the impact of comorbid ADHD. J. Cogn. Psychol. 2019, 31, 725–749.
  15. Filippetti, V.; Richaud, M.C. A structural equation modeling of executive functions, IQ and mathematical skills in primary students: Differential effects on number production, mental calculus and arithmetical problems. Child Neuropsychol. 2017, 23, 864–888.
  16. Gajda, A.; Karwowski, M.; Beghetto, R.A. Creativity and academic achievement: A meta-analysis. J. Educ. Psychol. 2017, 109, 269–299.
  17. Guilford, J.P. The Nature of Human Intelligence, 1st ed.; McGraw-Hill: New York, NY, USA, 1967.
  18. Nami, Y.; Marsooli, H.; Ashouri, M. The relationship between creativity and academic achievement. Procedia-Soc. Behav. Sci. 2014, 114, 36–39.
  19. Rastelli, C.; Greco, A.; Finocchiaro, C. Revealing the role of divergent thinking and fluid intelligence in children’s semantic memory organization. J. Intell. 2020, 8, 43.
  20. Csikszentmihalyi, M. 16 Implications of a systems perspective for the study of creativity. In Handbook of Creativity; Sternberg, R., Ed.; Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK, 1999; pp. 313–335.
  21. Handayani, S.A.; Rahayu, Y.S.; Agustini, R. Students’ creative thinking skills in biology learning: Fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration. J. Phys. Conf. Ser. 2021, 1747, 012040.
  22. Rhoades, B.L.; Greenberg, M.T.; Lanza, S.T.; Blair, C. Demographic and familial predictors of early executive function development: Contribution of a person-centered perspective. J. Exp. Child Psychol. 2012, 108, 638–662.
  23. Dajani, D.R.; Uddin, L.Q. Demystifying cognitive flexibility: Implications for clinical and developmental neuroscience. Trends Neurosci. 2015, 38, 571–578.
  24. Pan, X.; Yu, H. Different effects of cognitive shifting and intelligence on creativity. J. Creat. Behav. 2018, 52, 212–225.
  25. Radel, R.; Davranche, K.; Fournier, M.; Dietrich, A. The role of (dis) inhibition in creativity: Decreased inhibition improves idea generation. Cognition 2015, 134, 110–120.
  26. Sharma, S.; Babu, N. Interplay between creativity, executive function and working memory in middle-aged and older adults. Creat. Res. J. 2017, 29, 71–77.
  27. De Dreu CK, W.; Nijstad, B.A.; Baas, M.; Wolsink, I.; Roskes, M. Working memory benefits creative insight, musical improvisation, and original ideation through maintained task-focused attention. Pers. Soc. Psychol. Bull. 2012, 38, 656–669.
  28. Benedek, M.; Könen, T.; Neubauer, A. Associative abilities underlying creativity. Psychol. Aesthet. Creat. Arts 2012, 6, 273–281.
  29. Zabelina, D.L.; Robinson, M.D.; Council, J.R.; Bresin, K. Patterning and nonpatterning in creative cognition: Insights from performance in a random number generation task. Psychol. Aesthet. Creat. Arts 2012, 6, 137–145.
  30. Frith, E.; Elbich, D.B.; Christensen, A.P.; Rosenberg, M.D.; Chen, Q.; Kane, M.J.; Silvia, P.J.; Seli, P.; Beaty, R.E. Intelligence and creativity share a common cognitive and neural basis. J. Exp. Psychol. Gen. 2021, 150, 609–632.
  31. Karwowski, M.; Dul, J.; Gralewski, J.; Jauk, E.; Jankowska, D.M.; Gajda, A.; Chruszczewski, M.H.; Benedek, M. Is creativity without intelligence possible? A necessary condition analysis. Intelligence 2016, 57, 105–117.
  32. Silvia, P.J. Creativity and intelligence revisited: A latent variable analysis of Wallach and Kogan. Creat. Res. J. 2008, 20, 34–39.
  33. Garcia-Molina, A.; Tirapu-Ustarroz, J.; Luna-Lario, P.; Ibáñez, J.; Duque, P. Are intelligence and executive functions the same thing? Rev. Neurol. 2010, 50, 738–746.
  34. Ardila, A. Is intelligence equivalent to executive functions? Psicothema 2018, 30, 159–164.
  35. Frith, E.; Kane, M.J.; Welhaf, M.S.; Christensen, A.P.; Silvia, P.J.; Beaty, R.E. Keeping creativity under control: Contributions of attention control and fluid intelligence to divergent thinking. Creat. Res. J. 2021, 33, 138–157.
  36. Frischkorn, G.T.; Schubert, A.L.; Hagemann, D. Processing speed, working memory, and executive functions: Independent or inter-related predictors of general intelligence. Intelligence 2019, 75, 95–110.
  37. Filippetti, V.; Krumm, G. A hierarchical model of cognitive flexibility in children: Extending the relationship between flexibility, creativity and academic achievement. Child Neuropsychol. 2020, 26, 770–800.
  38. Sánchez-Macías, I.; Rodríguez-Media, J.; Aparicio-Herguedas, J.L. Assessment on creativity and executive functions: Proposal for future school. REIFOP 2021, 24, 35–50.
  39. Bai, H.; Leeman, P.; Moerbeek, M.; Kroesbergen, E.H.; Mulder, H. Serial order effect in divergent thinking in five-to-six-year-olds: Individual differences as related to executive functions. J. Intell. 2021, 9, 20.
  40. Roskos-Ewoldsen, B.; Black, S.R.; McCown, S.M. Age-related changes in creative thinking. J. Creat. Behav. 2008, 42, 33–59.
  41. Torrance, P.E. Torrance Test of Creative Thinking: Norms-Technical Manual Research Edition-Verbal Tests, Forms A and B-Figural Tests, Forms A and B; Personnel Press: Princeton, NJ, USA, 1966.
  42. Van Dijk, M.; Blom, E.; Kroesbergen, E.H.; Leseman, P.M. The influence of situational cues on children’s creativity in an Alternative Uses Task and the moderating effect of selective attention. J. Intell. 2020, 8, 37.
  43. Corbalán, F.J.; Martínez, F.; Donolo, D.; Tejerina, M.; Limiñana, R.M. CREA Inteligencia Creativa. Una Medida Cognitiva de la Creatividad; TEA Ediciones: Madrid, Spain, 2003.
  44. Carlson, S.M.; Zelazo, P.D. Minnesota Executive Function Scale: Test Manual; Reflection Sciences: Saint Paul, MI, USA, 2014.
  45. Heaton, R.K.; Chelune, G.J.; Talley, J.L.; Kay, G.G.; Curtiss, G. Wisconsin Card Sorting Test Manual: Revised and Expanded; Psychological Assessment Resources: Lutz, FL, USA, 1993.
  46. Regard, M.; Strauss, E.; Knapp, P. Children’s production on verbal and non-verbal fluency tasks. Percept. Mot. Ski. 1982, 55, 839–844.
  47. Wechsler, D. Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition; The Psychological Corporation: San Antonio, TX, USA, 2003.
  48. Ardila, A.; Pineda, D.; Rosselli, M. Correlation between intelligence test scores and executive function measures. Arch. Clin. Neuropsychol. 2000, 15, 31–36.
More
Information
Subjects: Psychology
Contributors MDPI registered users' name will be linked to their SciProfiles pages. To register with us, please refer to https://encyclopedia.pub/register : , , ,
View Times: 183
Revisions: 2 times (View History)
Update Date: 14 Jun 2023
1000/1000
Video Production Service