Shyness kills Creativity: The Mediating Role of Creative Process Engagement

[Speaker] Tan, Chee-seng:1
[Co-author] Lau, Xiao-shan:1, Kung, Yian-thin:1
1:Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Malaysia)

This research examined a potential mechanism underlying the negative effect of shyness on creativity. We hypothesized that shyness reduces creativity through creative process engagement. In two online studies, undergraduates (Study1, N = 136) and working adults (Study 2, N = 98) reported their shyness level, engagement in creativity-relevant activities, and self-perceived creativity. As expected, shyness was negatively associated with creativity and creative process engagement. There was a positive relationship between creative process engagement and creativity. More importantly, mediation analysis supported the indirect effect of shyness on creativity through engagement in creative activities. The results suggest that shy people tend to have low creative process engagement. The low involvement in processes such as information searching and idea generation, in turn, hinders their creativity. The findings not only replicate the detrimental effect of shyness on creativity but also shed light on the underlying mechanism of the relationship.
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