Mareike Wieth

Burns, B. D., Zhang, Y., Wieth, M., & Touyz, S. (2017). An exploratory study of creativity and eating disorders. Journal of Eating Disorders, 5(1), 45.

Abstract: We examined whether cognitive rigidity associated with having an eating disorder generalized to creativity. One hundred twelve participants from the participant pool of an Australian university were given a measure of disordered eating (EDE-Q), asked if they had ever had a diagnosis of an eating disorder (16 reported yes), and given 3 min to generate alternative uses for a paper-clip. The alternative uses task yielded measures of creative fluency, originality, elaboration and flexibility. A logistic regression found that only lower flexibility predicted a self-reported ED diagnosis. Across the spectrum of disordered eating behaviour there was no association between creativity measures and EDE-Q global scores. Our results were consistent with previous findings of an association between cognitive inflexibility and having an ED. However we found no evidence that cognitive inflexibility generalized to creativity more broadly. Our results may lend support to Cognitive Remediation Therapy, but further study is required.

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