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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

R. D. Whitman

Abstract

Researchers have long linked creativity to psychopathology. In particular, everyday creativity is positively associated with schizotypy, a personality style with a possible relationship with schizophrenia that is associated with cognitive dysfunction. Genetic, biological, cognitive, and behavioral studies show connections between schizotypy and creativity, but the strength and mechanisms of these connections remain inconsistent or unclear. The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the relationship between these constructs from a neuropsychological perspective. In part one, a large non-clinical sample completed several questionnaires to consider the relationship between the constructs and related aspects of personality. A small indirect relationship was found between schizotypy and creativity, which explained by openness to experience. Part two examined the association between these constructs and performance on measures of executive functioning. A performance-based measure of creativity was also included. Creativity was positively associated with monitoring, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility aspects of executive functioning, whereas schizotypy only showed relationships with cognitive flexibility. Part three focused on patterns of hemispheric bias and inter-hemispheric interaction associated with schizotypy and creativity while concurrently testing a model developed with the lab of lateralized brain functioning. This model proposes a continuous interaction between the two cerebral hemispheres that occurs over time, contrasting and integrating the right-hemisphere broad organization and the left-hemisphere narrow organization. Following this model, it was predicted that both constructs would be positively associated with greater right-hemisphere activity and greater interhemispheric communication. Hypotheses were tested using a lateralized semantic priming task. Analysis showed several trends supporting this model.These laterality patterns may underlie the shared vulnerabilities between schizotypy and creativity.

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