Be creative to beat anxiety over death
| Friday, December 2, 2016 - 16:55
London: Individuals with high levels of creative ambition and achievement are likely to be more resilient to death concerns, as creative achievements can act as buffer against anxiety over death, researchers have said.
In a study, students with a record of creative achievement, coupled to high levels of creative goals, were found to make less death associations in their thought processes after thinking about their own demise in comparison to those with low levels of creativity.
In comparison, among those with low levels of creative goals -- whatever be their record of creative achievement -- thinking about their own mortality were found to make more death associations in their thought processes.
The findings suggested that those who pursue creativity and produce significant creative contributions may benefit from existential security -- the feeling that survival is secure -- in the face of death, said Rotem Perach, postgraduate researcher at the University of Kent, in Britain.
In addition, creative people are often thought to be motivated by the desire to leave an enduring cultural legacy.
Their creative achievement may be an avenue for symbolic immortality, or in other words, individuals who value creativity continue to live on in our culture even after passing away, the researchers noted.
The researchers analysed a group of 108 students to understand the anxiety-buffering functions of creativity among people for whom creativity constitutes a central part of their cultural worldview, the paper published in the Journal of Creative Behavior.