The study investigates cross-valence mixed emotion states during theatrical improvisation and their effect on creativity measures of divergent and convergent thinking. Substantial literature already links creativity to both mood (predominantly positive) and improvisation (predominantly musical). The present research seeks evidence positively correlating mixed mood states of opposite valence with creativity while treating the independent variable of theatrical improvisation as context.
Treatment is an hour-long group performance workshop of 8 participants focused on presenting two-person scenes to the class. In the experimental condition, pairs present short scenes without a script, creating them in the here-and-now (i.e. improvising) based on a simple premise. In the control condition, pairs perform scenes of the same premises but receive a script and rehearsal time beforehand.
Mood is assessed with the PANAS-X (Expanded Positive and Negative Affect Schedule); divergent thinking with the Test for Creative Thinking - Drawing Production (TCT-DP) and Alternative Uses Test (AUT); and convergent thinking with the Remote Associates Test (RAT).
Scores from pre- and post-treatment testing are analyzed between condition. Higher creativity scores are expected in the improvisation condition, where fear/anxiety are predicted to be greater due to “not knowing” during spontaneous performance in the present moment. Initial results expected July 2019.