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Journal Article

Genius and Madness? A Quasi-Experimental Test of the Hypothesis That Manic-Depression Increases Creativity

Robert W. Weisberg
Psychological Science
Vol. 5, No. 6 (Nov., 1994), pp. 361-367
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40063136
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Genius and Madness? A Quasi-Experimental Test of the Hypothesis That Manic-Depression Increases Creativity
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Abstract

Much evidence has been adduced to support the view, originally proposed by Kraepelin, that mania increases creativity. Examples of supporting evidence are findings of similarity in thought between creative persons and manic-depressives and high creativity in normal relatives of manic-depressives. However, such data are correlational and are therefore equivocal concerning the hypothesis that mania is a cause of increased creativity. The present study analyzed the relationship between mood and productivity in the career of composer Robert Schumann, who has been diagnosed as bipolar. Schumann's positive mood was related to increased quantity of his work but not to increased quality, indicating that mania did not increase creativity of thought processes.

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