It is now online the final published version of the Article “The effect of Sadness on Visual Artistic Creativity in Non-Artists” by Massimiliano Palmero, Laura Piccardi, Marco Giancola, Raffaella Nori and Paola Guariglia published in Brain Sciences.
In the present study we investigated the effects of mood states on artistic creativity. Mood states were induced by instructing participants to listen to self-selected happy, sad, or neutral music for ten minutes. Then, all participants were asked to make two artistic drawings. To check for mood manipulation, the Profile of Mood States (POMS) was administered before and after listening to the self-selected music. After the mood induction, the negative group reported higher scores than the other two groups in the ‘depression’ subscale and lower scores than the other two groups in the ‘vigour’ subscale of the POMS; the positive mood group showed more vigour than the negative mood group. Yet, three independent judges assigned higher ratings of creativity and emotionality to the drawings produced by participants in the negative mood group than drawings produced by participants in the other two groups. These results confirmed that specific negative mood states (e.g., sadness) positively affect artistic creativity, probably because participants are more likely to engage in mood-repairing. Limitations and future research directions are presented.