Relationship between Temperament and Creativity

Relationship between Temperament and Creativity

A Review of Literature

In seeking to establish the relationship between temperament and creativity, it would be prudent to define both temperament and creativity. However, in so doing, it should be noted that neither term has an assigned definition. Temperament, in the words of Necka and Hlawacz (2013), could be conceptualized as the biologically rooted, mostly inborn, foundations for personality and other individual traits (183). Hilda and Sneha (2017) on the other hand define temperament as an individual’s characteristic level of emotional excitability or intensity (803). As the authors further point out, an individuals temperament becomes apparent awhile after birth, i.e. several weeks after birth. When it comes to creativity, the focus is on the individuals ability to formulate ideas that could be deemed original. Thus, creativity has also got to do with creation, innovation, and imagination. A more concise definition of creativity would come in handy in this case. According to Parkhurst (as cited in Batey and Furnham, 2006), creativity could be defined as the ability or quality displayed when solving hereto unsolved problems, when developing novel solutions to problems others have solved differently, or when developing original and novel (at least to the originator) products (359). These are the definitions of creativity and temperament that will be adopted in this text. It is important to note that in this discussion, personality and temperance will be used synonymously.

Various studies have been conducted in the past in an attempt to chart the relationship between personality and creativity. In one such study, it was found out that creativity can be predicted and explained via certain personality traits (Batey and Furnham, 2006). It should, however, be noted that as Batey and Furnham (2006) further point out, creativity still remains an elusive concept as far as developing its full understanding is concerned. This, according to the authors is as a consequence of challenges encountered in the measurement of creativity. Puryear, Kettler, and Rinn (2017) are also in support of this assertion. In their own words, creativity is a complex construct (Puryear, Kettler, and Rinn, 2017, p. 1). As a matter of fact, despite the large amount of research relating creativity and personality, conceptions or measurements of creativity as an influence on this relationship have not been a common frame for studies (Puryear, Kettler, and Rinn, 2017, p. 4). It therefore follows that given the complexity of creativity measurement, personality constructs that seek to define the correlation between temperament and creativity are largely founded on speculation. Some of the approaches that have been used in the past to measure creativity include, but they are not limited to, the utilization of autobiographical instruments. The success of some of the said methods is not in question on the validity and reliability fronts. However, some have not been as successful.

In their study assessing the relationship between temperament and creativity amongst bank officers and artists, Necka and Hlawacz (2013) found out that within the artist group, there was a positive correlation between the activity temperamental trait and creativity. On the other hand, the authors established a negative relationship between emotional reactivity and creativity within the said artist group. It is, however, important to note that bank officers, who were generally less creative than artists, showed no relationships between creativity and temperament (Necka and Hlawacz, 2013, p. 183). The relevance of findings of this nature cannot be overstated. This is more so the case given that they indicate that the relationship between temperance and creativity could be mediated by the profession an individual is in. Thus, the development of an individuals creative potential could be modulated by his or her role in life. However, one question that remains is the exact reason as to why artists would generally be more creative than bankers. The answers to this question could be found in yet another study where artists were found to be not only less likely to embrace group norms, but also more emotionally stable (Batey and Furnham, 2006). There is sufficient evidence to indicate that these are precursors to creativity

Are there special features that creative persons have that others do not have? Are there specific temperamental features that could specifically be assigned to creative people? These are some of the questions that Helson (2010) explores in an attempt to concisely define the creative personality. In agreement with Necka and Hlawacz (2013) findings, Helson (2010) observes that there is a higher concentration of creative individuals in investigative and artistic engagements than in any other field or profession. In the words of Batey and Furnham (2006), the most common personality traits related to creativity are confidence or dominance traits, autonomy or independence traits, and openness to new ideas and experiences (356). Helson (2010), on the other hand, points out that some of the traits associated with creative persons include, but they are not limited to, high aspirations, independence, and symbolic interests that appear to be rather strong.

Others like Puryear, Kettler,and Rinn (2017) have observed that some of the personality traits that serve as precursors to creative tendencies include originality and flexibility; freedom; how open an individual is open to new experiences; and risk taking ability/behavior. Further, it has also been found that persons registering high scores on the creativity front not only had better masterly of their environments, but also reported greater happiness in social settings (i.e. they enjoyed being with other persons) (Puryear, Kettler, and Rinn, 2017). In basic terms, these results indicate is that when it comes to psychosocial adjustments, creative individuals report higher scores than their less creative counterparts.


Some roles in diverse professional settings call for persons capable of being innovative. For instance, magazine and newspaper editors ought to be innovative individuals so as to have diverse perspectives of content. Similarly, industrial designers ought to be innovative so as to perform effectively in their roles. For instance, an industrial designer working for the computer giant HP ought to be capable of ensuring that a new product offering (laptop) is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also easy to use and more functional than the products offered by the competition. On many fronts, one of the firsts step towards innovation is creativity. No innovation can occur without creativity.

The proposed research will seek to contribute towards more robust hiring strategies of product developers in ABC Company a videogame design company. Towards this end, a new approach towards the recruitment of employees will be formulated and implemented. The approach is largely founded on hiring for personality instead of skills and/or experience. A interpretation will be made that skills could be learnt and experience gathered. Thus, the hiring for skill approach will be an intervention seeking to recruit employees possessing the personality traits that correlate with creativity.

It is important to note that personality largely relates to how persons interact with the world around them. The general consensus in psychology is that life experiences largely shape the personality of individuals with special reference to the five dimensions of personality that are pointers to whom we really are. Towards this end, there is sufficient evidence indicating that personality has a tendency to remain stable over a long period of time. For this reason, no effort will be made to change or adjust the personality of employees.


Batey, M. & Furnham, A. (2006). Creativity, Intelligence, and Personality: A Critical Review of the Scattered Literature. Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs, 132(4), 355-429.

Hilda, S. & Sneha, S. (2017). Effect Of Temperament On Creativity Styles In Emerging Adults. Indian Journal of Health & Wellbeing, 8(8), 802-804.

Helson, R. (2010). In Search of the Creative Personality. Creativity Research Journal, 9(4), 295-306.

Necka, E. & Hlawacz, T. (2013). Who has an Artistic Temperament? Relationships Between Creativity and Temperament Among Artists and Bank Officers. Creativity Research Journal, 25(2), 182-188.

Puryear, J., Kettler, T. & Rinn, A. (2017). Relating Personality and Creativity: Considering What and How We Measure. Journal of Creative Behavior, 9(4), 1-14.

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