Does body position affect creative thinking?

12 Apr

An unusual paper published in Learning and Individual Differences. Here is the abstract:

“Sometimes people ponder on a problem when lying in bed at night. Previous studies revealed that in the seated body position, an approach motor action of arm flexion can improve creative thinking compared to an avoidance motor action of arm extension. However in the lying body position, the associations of arm flexion/extension to approach/avoidance motor action are converse. Therefore, there is an opposite prediction for the effect of arm posture on creative thinking. The study reported here asked the participants to work on Alternative Uses Task (AUT) problems while performing arm flexion and arm extension, in the body contexts of being seated on a chair or lying in bed. The results demonstrated that arm flexion and extension in the lying body position exerted effects on AUT performance in a converse pattern compared to that in the seated body position. This is the first study that revealed an interaction effect of body position and arm posture on creative thinking, which suggests that future embodiment theories need to consider the integrated effects of arm motor action and body position on cognitive processes.”

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