ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2018, Vol. 50 ›› Issue (11): 1197-1211.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.01197

• 研究报告 •    下一篇


白学军1(), 姚海娟2()   

  1. 1 天津师范大学心理与行为研究院, 天津 300074
    2 天津商业大学法学院心理学系, 天津 300134
  • 收稿日期:2017-09-07 出版日期:2018-11-25 发布日期:2018-09-25
  • 通讯作者: 白学军,姚海娟;
  • 基金资助:
    * 教育部人文社会科学重点研究基地重大项目(18JJD190001);教育部“长江学者奖励计划”特聘教授项目资助(T2017120)

Differences in cognitive inhibition between persons with high and low creativity: Evidences from behavioral and physiological studies

BAI Xuejun1(), YAO Haijuan2()   

  1. 1 Academy of Psychology and Behavior, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300074, China
    2 Department of Psychology, School of Law, Tianjin University of Commerce, Tianjin 300134, China
  • Received:2017-09-07 Online:2018-11-25 Published:2018-09-25
  • Contact: BAI Xuejun,YAO Haijuan;


本研究采用2个实验, 考察创造性思维测验得分高低者在Stroop任务干扰条件上的差异, 从行为和生理指标探讨认知抑制与创造性思维的关系, 以及时间压力对认知抑制与创造性思维关系的调节作用。实验1采用Stroop颜色命名任务。结果发现, 相比低创者, 高创者的反应时干扰效应量和正确率干扰效应量均更小。实验2采用更灵活的Stroop字义-颜色命名转换任务, 操纵不同的时间压力条件, 并记录被试完成任务时的皮肤电活动。结果发现, 高创者在有时间压力条件下的干扰效应量显著小于无时间压力条件下, 而低创者在有和无时间压力条件下的干扰效应量无显著差异; 高创者在颜色命名任务的不一致条件下的皮肤电活动变化显著高于一致条件, 而低创者在颜色命名任务的一致和不一致条件下无显著差异。研究表明:总体而言, 相比低创者, 高创者的认知抑制能力更高, 能够有效抑制优势的但不相关的反应倾向。时间压力在认知抑制与创造性思维的关系中起调节作用, 高创者面对不同任务要求能够灵活调整自身的认知抑制水平, 并表现出变化的生理唤醒水平。结果支持创造性思维的适应性认知抑制假说。

关键词: 创造性思维, 认知抑制, 时间压力, 皮肤电


Creativity has been previously defined as a behavior or product that is both novel and appropriately useful. It is a complex concept with many different processes, indicating that some of these processes require heavy executive processing. Executive function is the basic ability of cognitive processes to control one’s thoughts and behaviors, which is related to the prefrontal cortex, and it is mainly composed of three components: mental set transformation, inhibitory control, and working memory updating. Previous studies examining the relationship between cognitive inhibition and creative thinking have obtained inconsistent results. The following three hypotheses can be formulated regarding the relationship between cognitive inhibition and creative thinking. Creative thought has been variably associated with focused attention and effective inhibition control, disinhibition, and defocused attention or a flexible adaption of inhibition control.

The aim of present study was to investigate the relationship between cognitive inhibition and creative thinking using behavioral and physiological indexes, and the effects of time pressure on the relationship between cognitive inhibition and creative thinking. In this study, undergraduate students with different divergent thinking levels were asked to perform the Stroop task. In Experiment 1, a Stroop color naming task was carried out to test participants’ cognitive inhibitory ability. In Experiment 2, a more flexible Stroop word-color naming task was adopted and the physiological data was recorded to further investigate the relationship between cognitive inhibition and creative thinking, and time pressure situation was applied concerning reaction time. When participants responded after more than 550 ms, feedback of “too late” appeared on the display.

The results found that in Experiment 1, the highly creative persons showed smaller interference effect than did less creative persons; in Experiment 2, there was a significant time pressure condition × group × stimulus congruence interaction. The interference effect between the condition of time pressure and no time pressure of the highly creative persons was smaller than that of the less creative persons. Moreover, the time pressure condition × group interaction reached significance; the less creative persons showed significantly greater increases in skin conductance responses (SCRs) under the time pressure condition than in the no time pressure condition, but there was no significant difference for SCRs between the condition of time pressure and no time pressure of the highly creative persons. Furthermore, the highly creative persons exhibited significantly greater increases in SCRs under the incongruent condition in color naming task than in the congruent condition; however, they showed no significance between the congruent and incongruent conditions in the word naming task. There was no significant difference in SCRs between the congruent and incongruent in word and color naming tasks of the less creative persons.

The above results indicated that highly creative persons showed stronger cognitive inhibitory ability than did less creative persons; they could effectively suppress dominant but irrelevant response tendencies. Moreover, time pressure played a moderate role in the relationship between cognitive inhibition and creative thinking. Highly creative persons could focus on task-related information and inhibit task-unrelated information, adjust their attention to adapt to different time pressure task situations, and inhibit the interference characteristics. The highly creative persons showed variability in autonomic arousal levels in different conditions; the less creative were essentially fixed in a state of cognitive inhibition. The results agree with the hypothesis of adaptive cognitive inhibition of creative thinking.

Key words: creative thinking, cognitive inhibition, time pressure, skin conductance responses