ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (3): 463-474.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2017.00463

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The impact of trust on creativity: Activation, inhibition and inverted U model hypothesis

GONG Zhe1; LIU Chang1; SHEN Wangbing2; WANG Xian1; SHI Rong1   

  1. (1 Lab of Cognitive Neuroscience and School of Psychology, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China) (2 School of Public Administration and Institute of Applied Psychology, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China)
  • Received:2016-05-20 Online:2017-03-15 Published:2017-03-15
  • Contact: LIU Chang, E-mail:


Trust and creativity are focal topics of psychological study. In recent years, researchers in psychology, pedagogy and management have developed a series of theoretical and empirical studies about how trust affects creativity in group settings. There are three hypotheses on the whole: activation, inhibition and the inverted U model. The activation hypothesis means that trust can promote creativity generally. The inhibition hypothesis shows that under certain conditions, trust will hamper creativity. The inverted U model means that with the effects of conflict and other variables, trust may create a “sweet spot effect” for creativity. The three hypotheses all can be supported by theory and empirical analysis, but there still appears to be some problems. In the future the research should be developed from the angle of selecting the measurement methods properly, clarifying the influence of trust on creativity and deepening understandings of the mechanism of how trust influences creativity.

Key words: trust, creativity, group creativity, innovation