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Title: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder : reframing 'deficit' as creative strength
Author: Beaven, Alexandra
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2012
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Creative ideas are those that are both novel and useful. Creativity is considered to be a valuable social resource, which has supported the development of society in myriad domains. It has been suggested that behavioural indicators of creativity overlap with symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Indeed, there is some preliminary evidence to suggest that individuals with ADHD may be more creative than individuals without ADHD. The first chapter of this thesis outlines the relevant research and theory and presents the ‘creative advantage hypothesis’. Specifically it is argued that defocused attention in individuals with ADHD increases the likelihood of unusual associations forming, thus increasing the likelihood of creative responses. The potential mediating roles of inhibition and delay aversion are also discussed. The second chapter of this thesis describes a study designed to test predictions of the creative advantage hypothesis. Parents of pupils in Year 8 were asked to rate their child’s level of inattentiveness and hyperactivity. Sixty six pupils completed a measure of figural creativity, inhibition and delay aversion in school. ADHD symptoms predicted creativity scores on one aspect of creativity, originality, and this effect was found in boys only. Inhibition and delay aversion were not found to mediate the relationship between ADHD symptomology and creativity in boys. Limitations and implications for Educational Psychologists and teachers are also discussed.
Supervisor: Sonuga-Barke, Edmund J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry