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The Multi-Component Model of Mood and Creative Thinking (MCMC): Impact of Regulatory Focus, Valence and Activation Components of Mood on the Creative Thinking, and Mediating Effects
The purposes of this study were to investigate the relation between mood and creativity thinking, and the mediating effects. “The Multiple Components Model of Mood and Creative Thinking (MCMC)” indicates: (a) specific moods (varied with different regulatory focus, valence and activation components concurrently) make distinct impacts on creative thinking; (b) mood-creative thinking relationship should be mediated by cognitive flexibility, processing speed or global processing. In order to examine the MCMC model, a pilot study and four experiments were conducted in this research. In the pilot study, “alternative uses of newspaper task” (one divergent thinking test) was constructed and used in the follow-up experiments. Experiment 1 was conducted to test the effects of regulatory focus, valence and activation components on the mood-creative thinking link. The results show these hypotheses were supported: (a) happiness (positive, activation, and promotion focus) and anger (negative, activation, and prevention focus) enhanced participants’ performances of creative thinking; (b) sadness (negative, deactivation, and prevention focus) impaired participants’ performances of creative thinking; (c) relaxation (positive, deactivation, and prevention focus) did not affect participants’ performances of creative thinking. However, the hypothesis that fear (negative, activation, and prevention focus) impaired participants’ performances of creative thinking was not supported. Experiments 2 to 4 were to examine the effects of mediating variables. The effects of happy-sad and happy-neutral contrasts were found significant; therefore, happiness, sadness and neutral became the target variables in the follow-up experiments.) In Experiment 2, the Stroop Task was utilized to examine whether cognitive flexibility and processing speed intervened the relation between mood and creative thinking. The results showed that these two indictors had no effects; accordingly, the validity of the Stroop Task was taken into consideration. Hence, the task in Experiment 3 was changed into the Task Switching, which was used to reexamine the inverting effects of cognitive flexibility and processing speed. The results suggested that processing speed mediates the mood-fluency link and mood-flexibility link; while it was indicated that processing speed played as a mediator in the relation between mood and creative thinking. Experiment 4 used the Shape Detection Task (one mediating task) to examine whether global processing mediated the relationship between mood and creative thinking. The result supported that global processing as a mediator of mood-creative thinking link. In the end, theoretical and educational implications, as well as the highlight avenues for future research on moods, creative thinking, and their relationships were discussed.
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