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October 13, 2010

The Connection Between Bipolar Disorder and Creativity

The Link Between Bipolar Disorders and Creativity: Evidence from Personality and Temperament Studies.

Srivastava S, Ketter TA.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, 401 Quarry Road, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA, shefalis@stanford.edu.

Although extensive literature supports connections between bipolar disorder and creativity, possible mechanisms underlying such relationships are only beginning to emerge. Herein we review evidence supporting one such possible mechanism, namely that personality/temperament contribute to enhanced creativity in individuals with bipolar disorder, a theory supported by studies showing that certain personality/temperamental traits are not only common to bipolar disorder patients and creative individuals but also correlate with measures of creativity. Thus, we suggest based on studies using three important personality/temperament measures-the Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Openness Personality Inventory (NEO); the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI); and the Temperament Evaluation of the Memphis, Pisa, Paris, and San Diego Autoquestionnaire (TEMPS-A)-that changeable and at times negative affect and open-minded and intuitive cognition may contribute importantly to enhanced creativity in individuals with bipolar disorder.

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