OPEN Foundation

Creativity

Cannabis and Ecstasy/MDMA: Empirical Measures of Creativity in Recreational Users

Abstract

This study investigated the associations between chronic cannabis and Ecstasy/MDMA use and one objective and two subjective measure of creativity. Fifteen abstinent Ecstasy users, 15 abstinent cannabis users, and 15 nondnig-user controls, completed three measures of creativity: the Consequences behavioral test of creativity, self-assessed performance on the Consequences test, and Gough’s Trait Self-Report Creative Adjective Checklist. The Consequences test involved five scenarios where possible consequences had to be devised; scoring was conducted by the standard blind rating (by two independent judges) for “remoteness” and “rarity,” and by a frequency and rarity of responses method. Cannabis users had significantly more “rare-creative” responses than controls (Tukey, p < 0.05); this effect remained significant with gender as a covariate. There were no significant differences between the groups on the number of standard scoring “remote-creative” ideas or for fluency of responses. On self-rated creativity, there was a significant ANOVA group difference (p < 0.05), with Ecstasy users tending to rate their answers as more creative than controls (Tukey comparison; p = 0.058, two-tailed). Ecstasy users did not differ from controls on the behavioral measures of creativity, although there was a borderline trend for self-assessment of greater creativity. Cannabis users produced significantly more “rare-creative” responses, but did not rate themselves as more creative.

Jones, K. A., Blagrove, M., & Parrott, A. C. Cannabis and Ecstasy/MDMA: Empirical Measures of Creativity in Recreational Users. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 41(4), 323-329. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02791072.2009.10399769
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Psychedelic Agents in Creative Problem-Solving: A Pilot Study

Abstract

Based on the frequently reported similarities between creative and psychedelic (drug-induced, consciousness-expansion) experiences, a preliminary study was conducted to explore the effects of psychedelic agents (LSD-25, mescaline) on creative problem-solving ability. Twenty-seven professionally employed males were given a single psychedelic experience in 1 of 7 small groups (ns = 3 or 4) following extensive selection and preparatory procedures. This drug-induced problem-solving session was carefully structured with particular focus on establishing Ss’ expectancies and a psychosocial milieu conducive to creative activity. Tentative findings based on tests of creativity, on subjective reports and self ratings, and on the utility of problem solutions suggested that, if given according to this carefully structured regimen, psychedelic agents seem to facilitate creative problem-solving, particularly in the “illumination phase.” The results also suggest that various degrees of increased creative ability may continue for at least some weeks subsequent to a psychedelic problem-solving session.

Harman, W. W., McKim, R. H., Mogar, R. E., Fadiman, J., & Stolaroff, M. J. (1966). Psychedelic Agents in Creative Problem-Solving: A Pilot Study. Psychological Reports, 19, 211-227.
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