Emotional Creativity Across Adulthood: Age is Negatively Associated with Emotional Creativity

Keywords: emotional creativity, creative cognition, divergent thinking, aging, emotion regulation


Previous research has shown that cognitive creativity decreases in older adulthood. However, the impact of age on emotional creativity remains unknown. The main aim of the present study was to explore how emotional creativity differs across adulthood. A total of 407 participants (251 women, 156 men) consisting of older, midlife and younger adults were administrated the Emotional Creativity Inventory (ECI). A hierarchical multiple regression was used to determine whether emotional creativity differed with age. Age was negatively associated with the ECI total score and two components of the ECI, emotional novelty and emotional preparedness. In contrast, emotional effectiveness/authenticity was constant across adulthood. The results indicate that the tendency to think about one’s emotions and to evaluate them as novel and unique decreases with age, whereas the ability to respond effectively in situations requiring novel emotional responses remains relatively intact across adulthood.