STUDY ALERT: Creative Activity, Personality, Mental Illness, and Short-Term Mating Success

by Scott Barry Kaufman, December 13, 2012 in Study Alerts


Creative Activity, Personality, Mental Illness, and Short-Term Mating Success

Melanie L. Beaussart, Scott Barry Kaufman, and James C. Kaufman

It has been argued that creativity evolved, at least in part, through sexual selection to attract mates. Recent research lends support to this view and has also demonstrated a link between certain dimensions of schizotypy, creativity, and short-term mating. The current study delves deeper into these relationships by focusing on engagement in creative activity and employing an expansive set of personality and mental health measures (Five Factor Model, schizotypy, anxiety, and depression). A general tendency to engage in everyday forms of creative activity was related to number of sexual partners within the past year in males only. Furthermore, schizotypy, anxiety, and Neuroticism were all indirectly related to short-term mating success, again for males only. The study provides additional support for predictions made by sexual selection theory that men have a higher drive for creative display, and that creativity is linked with higher short-term mating success. The study also provides support for the contention that certain forms of mental illness may still exist in the gene pool because particular personality traits associated with milder forms of mental illness (i.e., Neuroticism & schizotypy) are also associated directly with creativity and indirectly with short-term mating success.

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