The Muse Effect: When Romantic Motives Create Creativity

Creativity may have evolved in part through sexual selection. Following this logic, three experiments explored the effects of activating romantic motivations on creativity. Even without other incentives to be creative, romantic motives enhanced creativity on both subjective and objective measures. For men, desire for either brief romantic encounters or committed relationships increased creativity; women, however, displayed more creativity only when desiring trustworthy long-term partners. These creative boosts were unrelated to increased effort or changes in arousal, and results were unaffected by monetary incentives. Findings are consistent with sexual selection and parental investment theory, with theoretical and practical consumer behavior implications.


Vladas Griskevicius, Robert Cialdini, and Douglas Kenrick (2007) ,"The Muse Effect: When Romantic Motives Create Creativity", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 15.


Vladas Griskevicius, Arizona State University
Robert Cialdini, Arizona State University
Douglas Kenrick, Arizona State University


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34 | 2007

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