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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: reframing “deficit” as creative strength

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: reframing “deficit” as creative strength
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: reframing “deficit” as creative strength
Creative ideas are those that are both novel and useful. Creativity is considered to be a valuable social resource, which has supported the development of society in myriad domains. It has been suggested that behavioural indicators of creativity overlap with symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Indeed, there is some preliminary evidence to suggest that individuals with ADHD may be more creative than individuals without ADHD. The first chapter of this thesis outlines the relevant research and theory and presents the ‘creative advantage hypothesis’. Specifically it is argued that defocused attention in individuals with ADHD increases the likelihood of unusual associations forming, thus increasing the likelihood of creative responses. The potential mediating roles of inhibition and delay aversion are also discussed. The second chapter of this thesis describes a study designed to test predictions of the creative advantage hypothesis. Parents of pupils in Year 8 were asked to rate their child’s level of inattentiveness and hyperactivity. Sixty six pupils completed a measure of figural creativity, inhibition and delay aversion in school. ADHD symptoms predicted creativity scores on one aspect of creativity, originality, and this effect was found in boys only. Inhibition and delay aversion were not found to mediate the relationship between ADHD symptomology and creativity in boys. Limitations and implications for Educational Psychologists and teachers are also discussed.
Beaven, Alexandra
472162f3-726a-4079-a0d2-6883d0d4570e
Beaven, Alexandra
472162f3-726a-4079-a0d2-6883d0d4570e
SONUGA-BARKE, EDMUND J
bc80bf95-6cf9-4c76-a09d-eaaf0b717635

Beaven, Alexandra (2012) Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: reframing “deficit” as creative strength. University of Southampton, Psychology, Doctoral Thesis, 105pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Creative ideas are those that are both novel and useful. Creativity is considered to be a valuable social resource, which has supported the development of society in myriad domains. It has been suggested that behavioural indicators of creativity overlap with symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Indeed, there is some preliminary evidence to suggest that individuals with ADHD may be more creative than individuals without ADHD. The first chapter of this thesis outlines the relevant research and theory and presents the ‘creative advantage hypothesis’. Specifically it is argued that defocused attention in individuals with ADHD increases the likelihood of unusual associations forming, thus increasing the likelihood of creative responses. The potential mediating roles of inhibition and delay aversion are also discussed. The second chapter of this thesis describes a study designed to test predictions of the creative advantage hypothesis. Parents of pupils in Year 8 were asked to rate their child’s level of inattentiveness and hyperactivity. Sixty six pupils completed a measure of figural creativity, inhibition and delay aversion in school. ADHD symptoms predicted creativity scores on one aspect of creativity, originality, and this effect was found in boys only. Inhibition and delay aversion were not found to mediate the relationship between ADHD symptomology and creativity in boys. Limitations and implications for Educational Psychologists and teachers are also discussed.

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Published date: June 2012
Organisations: University of Southampton, Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 347117
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/347117
PURE UUID: 257108ee-939c-4505-a340-9bc2aa51b17c

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Date deposited: 04 Mar 2013 12:29
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 04:59

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Contributors

Author: Alexandra Beaven
Thesis advisor: EDMUND J SONUGA-BARKE

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