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Abstract

Three experiments test the existence of an automatic deviancy-creativity link. Using a lexical decision task, in Experiment 1 we found a semantic link between deviancy and creativity words in that decision times for creativity-related words were enhanced after subliminal deviancy priming. In Experiment 2, participants were led to think about either a punk or an engineer and afterwards were administered creative insight and analytical reasoning problems. According to a pretest, punks and engineers were judged as differing in uniqueness but not in creativity. Participants given ‘punk’ priming solved more creative insight problems and fewer analytical reasoning problems than those given ‘engineer’ priming. In Experiment 3, participants were incidentally exposed to abstract artworks symbolically expressing either the concept of conformity or deviancy and were subsequently asked to solve a creative generation task. Exposure to the artwork representing deviancy led to generation of more creative solutions than exposure to that representing conformity. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.