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Improvisation facilitates divergent thinking and creativity: Realising a benefit of primary school arts education

Sowden, PT, Clements, L, Redlich, C and Lewis, C (2015) Improvisation facilitates divergent thinking and creativity: Realising a benefit of primary school arts education Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 9 (2). pp. 128-138.

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Abstract

The benefit of arts education for cultural engagement, wider academic achievement, and as a contributor to the creative economy is a subject of significant debate. In the present work, we focus on the potential for simple, arts-based improvisation activities to enhance divergent thinking skills and creativity in primary school-age children. In the first experiment, we compare the effect of children taking part in an improvised versus nonimprovised dance class on their subsequent performance on the Instances Task (Wallach & Kogan, 1965) and on a creative “toy” design task. In a second experiment, children took part in verbal and acting improvisation games or in matched control games before completing figural activity 1 of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT; Torrance, 1974). In both experiments, we found that children who took part in the improvisation interventions showed better divergent thinking and creativity after the intervention. Our findings suggest that simple, arts-based improvisation interventions could have domain-general benefits for creative cognition processes. Furthermore, they indicate one way in which simply making better use of existing arts education provision could provide a cost-effective way to increase creativity-relevant skills in primary schoolchildren. We consider putative mechanisms for the improvisation effects and specify directions for future work.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Sowden, PTUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Clements, LUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Redlich, CUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lewis, CUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 1 May 2015
Identification Number : 10.1037/aca0000018
Additional Information : (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 19 Aug 2015 09:04
Last Modified : 19 Aug 2015 09:06
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/807281

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