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Faculty & Research


Mind–Body Dissonance: A Catalyst to Creativity

Journal Article
Mind–body dissonance (MBD) is the psychological experience of one’s bodily expressions contradicting one’s mental states. Across four experiments (total N = 887), the current research proposes and demonstrates that MBD can enhance creativity by facilitating an atypicality mind-set. First, two different instantiations of MBD (i.e., assuming a high-power/low-power role while adopting a constricted/expansive posture, or recalling a happy/sad memory while frowning/smiling) increased performance on creative association, insight, and generation tasks (Experiments 1 and 2). A third study showed that an atypicality mind-set was an underlying mechanism for the creativity effect (Experiment 3). Finally, the frequency of past MBD experiences was found to reduce MBD’s creativity effect (Experiment 4). The present research offers evidence for the positive functions of bodily expressions that contradict mental states and highlights the significance of understanding the interactive effects of psychological states and their physical analogues in studying creativity.

Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour