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Do You Have Any Doubts? Make sure your essay will be perfect. Creative individuals tend to exhibit higher schizotypy levels; nevertheless, the association between creativity, schizotypy and cannabis use is yet to be explored empirically. Schafer et al undertook a study to explore the effects of cannabis smoked in a naturalistic setting on divergent thinking a measure of creativity and schizotypy. The methodology entailed testing of cannabis consumers.
The investigation consisted in the requirement that one day testees should be sober and another day they should be under the influence of cannabis. Schafer et al administered both the trait and state measures of both creativity and schizotypy. State creativity was investigated with help of divergent and convergent thinking respectively: The findings pointed out that cannabis use increased the symptoms associated with psychosis in both groups, and that the high creativity group exhibited relatively higher trait schizotypy.
However, this is not related to the change in verbal fluency. The findings also pointed out a positive correlation between acute cannabis use and divergent thinking. However, scientific literature and anecdotal evidence points out that cannabis may be used to enhance creativity. Despite the contention regarding the relationship between cannabis use and creativity, this link is yet to be studied extensively by researchers.
Such opinion occurred because there is no consensus regarding the definition and objective measurement of creativity. The review of literature by Schafer et al suggested that neither the impacts of cannabis on creativity nor the mechanisms through which cannabis induces psychotomimetic creativity are yet to be explored and well understood.
Nevertheless, Schafer et al hypothesized that cannabis use results in psychotomimetic systems that in turn link apparently unconnected concepts, which is a characteristic of divergent thinking that constitutes creative thinking. In the wake of unclear evidence regarding the relationship between creativity and cannabis use, Schafer et al sought to investigate the effects that cannabis has on the creativity and schizotypy in order to determine how cannabis use, schizotypy and creativity are interrelated.
With regard to the methodology adopted by Schafer et al , snowball sampling was used in the recruitment of participants cannabis consumers after which the authors grouped the participants into two categories: These groups were tested on two counterbalanced conditions, which involved testing them when they were not intoxicated by cannabis day 1 and when they were intoxicated by this drug day 7.
The test sessions both intoxicated and non-intoxicated were carried out in a naturalistic setting. With regard to the non-intoxicated test session, the participants were supposed to abstain from cannabis for a minimum of 24 hours, which was affirmed by saliva analysis.
For the case of the intoxicated test session, the assessment was conducted after the participants smoked their own cannabis, and a sample of their cannabis was examined to determine the THC levels. The researchers measured creativity using three tasks, which were verbal fluency, category fluency and Remote Associates Test.
Category fluency was used in testing semantic fluency and entailed giving as many responses as possible regarding a particular concept category within 60 seconds. Remote Associates Test involved presenting one word that can be connected to the three given words within four minutes provided for every sixteen-word triad on the evaluation.
The participants could find a word that is related to the words in a triad; for example, a word triad of stop, wrist, and night would require the word watch. The researchers found out that divergent thinking was extremely improved by cannabis in participants who were low with regard to trait creativity. This is because their performance after using cannabis was enhanced to the degree of the participants in the high creativity group. During the non-intoxicated sessions, the performance of the low creativity group was relatively worse when compared to the high creativity group.
With regard to the category fluency tasks, participants in the high creativity group outperformed the participants in the low creativity group the testing sessions; this implies that cannabis use did not affect their performance. In addition, participants in the high creativity category had relatively higher SPQ scores on the intoxicated test sessions when compared to the low creativity group. Both groups reported increased PSI scores for state schizotypy during the intoxicated session tests.
The findings of the researchers support the view that cannabis can be used to enhance an aspect of creativity. Schafer et al , p. Cannabis consumption stimulated the release of dopamine in the mesolimbic pathway within the frontal cortex.
In addition, the authors concluded that the high trait creativity group likely has some form of disinhibition of functions associated with the frontal cortex, which is attributed to their high verbal scores during the intoxicated test sessions. As a result, Schafer et al conclude that cannabis use does not have disinhibition impacts on the high trait creativity category. With regard to category fluency, the researchers elucidated that the high trait creativity group was advantaged because their temporal cortex already has enhanced functioning, and that temporal cortex is not affected by cannabis use.
In general, the researchers posit that the cannabis can be used to enhance verbal generation, which is a facet of creativity among cannabis users with low traits of creative skills. In addition, the research offers evidence to support the view that there is a correlation between divergent thinking and the disinhibition of frontal cortical functions.
Critical Evaluation The methodology adopted by Schafer et al had its strengths and weaknesses. A notable strength of the adopted research methodology is that it is the most appropriate given the context and the nature of the study.
According to Costain , the ideal approach to measure creativity is to group the participants basing on their creative skills by using a predetermined definition and measure of creativity. In this study, Schafer et al divided the participants into low and high trait creativity, after which they measured the differential changes regarding the measures of creativity.
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