Neuroticism and Creativity: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Neuroticism and creativity have long been linked in the popular imagination, with Woody Allen serving as the poster child for their convergence. But while support for this connection has emerged in research studies, as well as stories of emotionally troubled geniuses like Isaac Newton and Tchaikovsky, it has never been clear why the two proclivities should go hand in hand. Neuroticism is usually thought of as arising from extreme sensitivity to threat—not a quality that would seem to invite creative exploration. A recent study suggests a new explanation - that neuroticism and creativity are both marked by unusually high levels of "self-generated thought."

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