Document Type

Honors Paper


Audrey Zakriski

Publication Date



Research on creativity has consistently linked it to positive behaviors such as productivity and flow. Though the causal direction remains unknown, research has also linked creativity to a heightened risk for mental illness, from where the idea of the “mad creative genius” is born. This research utilizes a nonclinical sample of Connecticut College students (n = 84) to explore how differing amounts of hypomania and creativity within an individual may be related to his/her psychological wellbeing. The student sample was 24 males, 57 females, and 3 students identifying themselves as “other,” all between the ages of 18 and 22. Participants completed a series of creativity measures, as well as questionnaires regarding hypomania, flow, impulsivity, resilience, vulnerability, and personal and familial mental health history. Several regression analyses were conducted examining the predictive capacity of creativity and hypomania on emotional functioning. Creative behavior tended to predict positive emotionality, hypomania tended to predict negative emotionality, and creative thought was mixed. Interaction effects between creative thought and hypomania were observed in the models predicting both vulnerability and resilience. Future research should utilize greater sample size to better understand these interactions. Additionally, future research should include clinical sampling and widening the scope of the creativity measures.

Included in

Psychology Commons



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.