The creative personality: Current understandings and debates

Publication Date


Document Type

Contribution to a Book

Publication Title

Creativity and Innovation: Theory, Research, and Practice


Jonathan A. Plucker




There are certain neurological and neurochemical conditions that make particular personality traits more likely. The current chapter is an expanded and updated review of the literature on personality and creativity. Brain-based influences in turn causally influence the four categories of personality influence: cognitive, social, motivational, and clinical. Building upon the qualitative and quantitative reviews of the personality and creativity literature from 10 to 15 years ago, the personality traits most consistently connected to creativity are clustered into cognitive, social, motivational-affective, and clinical categories. Chief among the cognitive personality traits connected to creative thought and behavior is "openness to experience". Social traits of personality involve first and foremost behaviors and attitudes that concern one’s relationships to other people, such as questioning or accepting what authority figures say, being comfortable or uncomfortable around strangers and large groups of people, being warm or hostile toward others, and believing one is better or worse than others.