Psychometric, historiometric and psychiatric studies are controversial on a hypothetical link between psychopathology and creativity. In this study, we will try to contribute to this debate by analysing the case of autism. Is there a relationship between autism and creativity? If so, can we find the same relationship in a watered-down form in subjects with autistic traits? In order to answer these questions, we carried out a systematic literature review of the studies on this topic published in the last 10 years. We followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. We also conducted a meta-analysis of data. We found that in the clinical population there are fewer creative performances than in control groups; nonetheless, it is possible to delineate a medium creative profile of subjects with autism. The average creative profile of people with autism shows that they are inhibited in fluency and flexibility, but that they display a high level of detail and a particularly high level of originality in works either generated during tests or created in private time. In particular, the level of detail reached in the latter condition seems to be higher in the autistic population than in the control groups. Better linguistic skills appear to be linked to better creative performances. Linguistic tests, if compared with visual and performative tests, seem to favour the expression of originality in subjects with autism. Although our data on autistic traits are compatible with the hypothesis that a high level of autistic traits is a watered-down replica of the cognitive profile of subjects with autism, we have no sufficient data to support this hypothesis.

Autism, autistic traits and creativity: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Pennisi P.
;
Giallongo L.;Milintenda G.;Cannarozzo M.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Psychometric, historiometric and psychiatric studies are controversial on a hypothetical link between psychopathology and creativity. In this study, we will try to contribute to this debate by analysing the case of autism. Is there a relationship between autism and creativity? If so, can we find the same relationship in a watered-down form in subjects with autistic traits? In order to answer these questions, we carried out a systematic literature review of the studies on this topic published in the last 10 years. We followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. We also conducted a meta-analysis of data. We found that in the clinical population there are fewer creative performances than in control groups; nonetheless, it is possible to delineate a medium creative profile of subjects with autism. The average creative profile of people with autism shows that they are inhibited in fluency and flexibility, but that they display a high level of detail and a particularly high level of originality in works either generated during tests or created in private time. In particular, the level of detail reached in the latter condition seems to be higher in the autistic population than in the control groups. Better linguistic skills appear to be linked to better creative performances. Linguistic tests, if compared with visual and performative tests, seem to favour the expression of originality in subjects with autism. Although our data on autistic traits are compatible with the hypothesis that a high level of autistic traits is a watered-down replica of the cognitive profile of subjects with autism, we have no sufficient data to support this hypothesis.
2021
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3207435
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 10
  • Scopus 22
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 23
social impact