Pessimists’ And Optimists’ Reactions To Interruptions On A Creativity Task
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Do pessimists and optimists react differently to interruptions on a creativity task? Sixty participants were asked to complete the Attributional Style Questionnaire, three divergent thinking tasks, and a questionnaire asking for participant demographics and attitudes about the interruptions they experienced during the tests. Three interruptions, which were initiated by a confederate or the experimenter, occurred between the tasks for the control group and during tasks for the experimental group. It was hypothesized that interruptions occurring during tasks would cause a decrement in performance and that pessimists would outperform optimists in the creativity task. An interaction between explanatory style and interruptions was also predicted; the interruptions were expected to have a greater negative impact on optimists. Although no significant differences were found for either optimism group or interruption condition, pessimists had slightly higher mean creativity scores than optimists. Also, when hopelessness scores were considered, individuals who were more hopeless had slightly higher creativity scores than individuals who were less hopeless. Practical applications to school and work environments are discussed.
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