Creativity & madness revisited from current psychological perspectives

Neus Barrantes-Vidal*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

    61 Citations (Scopus)


    Both scientific evidence and folklore have suggested that madness is associated with creativity, especially in the arts. Recently, more rigorous studies have confirmed to some extent these previous observations. The current view is that it is not severe and acute insanity that is related to heightened creativity, but the personality roots and soft manifestations of both schizophrenic and bipolar psychoses. The affective and cognitive peculiarities associated with schizotypic and hypomanic personalities may be preferentially related to different kinds of creative endeavours, such as the sciences and arts, respectively. The connection between personality traits and creativity is produced because they share some biological-cognitive-personality features, such as cognitive disinhibition. Additionally, it has been shown that the genetic liability for both bipolar and schizophrenic psychoses is related to creativity. A prevailing hypothesis is that creativity may be one type of 'compensatory advantage' for those carrying the genes for psychosis.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)58-78
    JournalJournal of Consciousness Studies
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2004


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