This paper explores the relationship between being creative, creative styles and attachment styles from a psychological perspective. Non-psychologists may find some of the terminology unfamiliar, but this is explained by the authors. In particular, the authors are concerned with exploring the relationship between creativity and emotional processes, not least because of the close relationship between emotion and attachment. They cite evidence from other authors that positive emotions tend to support creativity and negative emotions inhibit creativity and this might seem logical. But then they cite other evidence that indicates the reverse – so what’s going on? As this paper reveals, the situation is far more complicated than it might appear at first glance.
Creativity and its dynamics are too important to be ignored in the current trend among scientists: determining the exact nature of the relationship between cognition and emotion within complex mental processes. On the one hand, this trend establishes a broader view of rational processes, including their relation to unconscious processes; on the other, the importance of emotional factors involved in the creative process must be reconsidered. The authors of this study have started from the premise that, impregnated by emotion and functioning as Internal Working Models, attachment styles can have a significant influence upon the creative process. These Internal Working Models come from our biological need to stay in contact with each other and they are systems of mental representations and emotions that help us in all future social relationships, (Bowlby, 1969).
The purpose of our research is to pinpoint the relationship between creative styles, attachment styles and creativity processes. Our research was conducted on a sample of 170 subjects, and we applied the Attachment Questionnaire by Collins and Read (1990), the Creativity Questionnaire (De A'Echevarria 2008 and the Creativity Styles Questionnaire-Revised (Kumar, Kemmler and Holman, 1997). The research findings underline two aspects, as follows:
1. The self-reported performance of subjects during the various phases of the creative process is influenced by the creative strategies they use (creative style).
2. Attachment style does not influence the self-reported performance of subjects on the creative process, but only their creative styles.
Significant differences were found only between the anxious and avoidant attachment styles and the secure and combined attachment styles. These findings suggest the role of attachment styles as an emotional matrix or an Internal Working Model for the creative process.
Keywords: Attachment styles, creative styles, creative processes