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Schizotypy and creativity in visual artists


Correspondence should be addressed to Giles St John Burch, Department of Management and Employment Relations, The University of Auckland Business School, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand (e-mail:


Every work of art is an uncommitted crimeAdorno (1951). Cited in Julius (2002).

Given the putative relationship between creativity and schizotypy/psychoticism, the current study set out to investigate differences in scores on a range of personality and creativity measures between visual artists and non-artists. Results found that the visual artists group scored higher on measures of positive-schizotypy, disorganized-schizotypy, asocial-schizotypy, neuroticism, openness and divergent thinking (uniqueness) than did the non-artist group and lower on agreeableness. These findings lend support to other studies reporting higher schizotypy scores in artistic and creative cohorts, although provide some of the first evidence of higher unusual experiences and impulsive nonconformity scores on the Oxford-Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences (O-LIFE) in visual artists. The relationship between creativity and schizotypy is discussed in terms of unusual ideas and a propensity to endorse socially undesirable responses.