Creating the Creative: What Distinguishes Creative Older Adults?


Click to enlarge

Psychonomics Society Annual Meeting 2018


 Fifty older adults (25 female and 25 male) and 50 younger adults (29 females and 21 males) were tested using a creativity assessment (Torrance Test of Creative Thinking – verbal), broken into three subscores (fluency, flexibility, and originality) and several inhibitory control and executive function measures (Stroop task, flanker task, Barratt Impulsiveness Scale – 11). Results indicated no age differences in creativity scores despite differences in congruency effects favoring younger adults for the Stroop task. There was an effect of gender on creativity scores, such that women outperformed men on all subscores of creativity. Furthermore, when examining these gender differences in each respective group, the gender effect was only persistent in the older adult group. These results suggest that there may be an underlying cognitive advantage for females, especially older females, that facilitates creative performance that remains to be explored.


Michelle L. Hughes, Philip A. Allen, Sara Lute, James R. Houston