The Motivational Influence of Self-Guides on Creative Pursuits Academic Article uri icon


  • There is robust evidence for a relationship between regulatory focus and creative cognition, with prevention states undermining creative insight and promotion states facilitating it. We tested whether similar effects occur as a result of priming goal standards related to prevention focus (ought standards) versus promotion focus (ideal standards). A pilot study established that the importance placed on ought versus ideal self-standards predicted the desire to be creative, with the strongest creativity orientation observed among participants who placed a high value on achieving goals related to ideal standards and a low value on achieving goals related to ought standards. Two experiments then demonstrated that goal priming influenced the novelty of responses to a word association task, with activation of ought standards decreasing and activation of ideal evaluative standards increasing novelty. Study 2 revealed that the influence of goal priming was eliminated when participants were put under time pressure, suggesting that this manipulation exerted influence on response novelty through a controlled (as opposed to spontaneous) process. 2012 American Psychological Association.

published proceedings

  • Psychology of Aesthetics Creativity and the Arts

altmetric score

  • 4

author list (cited authors)

  • Zabelina, D. L., Felps, D., & Blanton, H.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Zabelina, Darya L||Felps, Daniel||Blanton, Hart

publication date

  • January 2013