Volume 24, Issue 2 (summer 2022)                   Advances in Cognitive Sciences 2022, 24(2): 141-155 | Back to browse issues page

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Elahi T, Hassani F, Nasiri F. Investigating the simple and multiple linear relationships between ambiguity tolerance, cognitive flexibility, and thinking styles with cognitive and emotional creativity. Advances in Cognitive Sciences 2022; 24 (2) :141-155
URL: http://icssjournal.ir/article-1-1358-en.html
1- Associate Professor in Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities Science, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran
2- MA Student in Educational Psychology, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities Science, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran
Abstract:   (1172 Views)
One of the most critical characteristics that play a role in improving the quality of married life is creativity. Creativity often leads to real and lasting progress in a couple's life. Contact with your emotions and seeing the impact of your behavior on the emotions of others is often essential for couples' empathetic understanding, and how to express a wide range of emotions in constructive ways in a safe and reinforcing environment are all aspects of creativity. Creativity is a consistent capacity to solve life problems and a state of mind that unites all intelligent human work. In one of the divisions of creativity, two cognitive and emotional dimensions are mentioned. The cognitive dimension indicates the individual's flexibility in controlling internal stimuli, constantly producing new ideas without expecting a little external reward. Cognitive creativity has four subscales: Fluency, Flexibility, Originality, and Elaboration. Emotional creativity refers to a set of cognitive abilities and personality traits related to the originality of experience and expression of emotions. It includes three components: preparedness, innovation or novelty, and a combination of effectiveness & authenticity. Emotional creativity can lead to the flexibility of response in stressful situations and help transform a familiar and stereotyped feeling into other emotions. It can also help people cope with adverse conditions.
Some of the essential factors in education to promote creativity and development of future scientific generations of the country are to identify thinking styles, ambiguity tolerance (how an individual or group perceives and processes information about ambiguous situations or stimuli when confronted with a set of unfamiliar, complex, or incompatible clues), and cognitive flexibility.
Improving cognitive and emotional creativity in people can reduce many of life's problems and improve interpersonal relationships. Cognitive and emotional creativity is a powerful tool for recognizing your and your partner's emotions, the way to deal with these emotions, as well as providing new solutions to solve life problems together. In this regard, the present study aimed to investigate the role of ambiguity tolerance, cognitive flexibility, and thinking styles in cognitive and emotional creativity in a sample of married people.
The method of the present study is a descriptive correlation, and its statistical population was married people over 18 years of age living in Zanjan province in the first quarter of 2021. One hundred sixty-three questionnaires were answered entirely and entered into the analysis. Of these, 127 women and 36 men participated in the study. The highest number of participants was in the age range of 31-50 years (99 people, 60.7%).
Data were collected through Dennis and Vanderwal's cognitive flexibility (2010), Sternberg-Wagner's thinking styles (Legislative, Judging, and Executive) (1992), McLain's Type II Ambiguity Tolerance (2009), Averill's emotional creativity (1991), and Abedi's cognitive creativity (1993) questionnaires. The Pearson correlation method was used to investigate the relationship between variables. Also, in order to investigate the contribution of each predictor variable, the stepwise regression method in SPSS-26 software was used.
The results of the Pearson correlation confirmed the linear relationship of all variables in this study. Among the independent variables, cognitive flexibility has the most significant impact on predicting cognitive creativity (0.186). In the second step, the ambiguity tolerance is added to the analysis, and the amount of variance explained is increased from 18 to 28%. In the third step, executive thinking style was added to the previous two variables, and the variance increased from 28 to 36%. The results of stepwise regression showed that total psychological flexibility, ambiguity tolerance, and executive thinking style predict 36.3% of the variance of cognitive creativity.
Among the independent variables, cognitive flexibility has the most significant impact on predicting emotional creativity (0.100). In total, cognitive flexibility, legislative thinking style, and ambiguity tolerance also predict 16.8% of the variance of emotional creativity. Notably, psychological flexibility in both stepwise regression tests had the most noticeable impact on cognitive and emotional creativity.
The present study’s results revealed a significant relationship between ambiguity tolerance and cognitive and emotional creativity. People with a high degree of ambiguity tolerance can process information about ambiguous situations, and finding ambiguous stimuli desirable and challenging does not deny and distort complexity. In addition, they seek to solve problems, which is entirely related to the characteristics of cognitive creativity (generating new ideas and strategies in problem-solving) and emotional creativity (flexibility in responding to stressful situations). During cohabitation, the power of tolerating high ambiguity in couples can minimize the incidence of differences. The relationship between cognitive flexibility and cognitive and emotional creativity was also positive and significant. After examining situations and obstacles, flexible people reorganize their mental framework and turn the threats of living together into challenging opportunities and successfully overcome them.
The results of stepwise regression showed that cognitive flexibility, ambiguity tolerance, and executive thinking style are essential predictors of cognitive creativity, and the variables of cognitive flexibility, ambiguity tolerance, and Legislative thinking style are meaningful predictors of emotional creativity. Explaining why executive thinking style has been the only predictor of cognitive creativity, it can be said that people with executive thinking style have a lot of perseverance to solve problems, which leads to creativity. These people prefer pre-determined rules and strategies, but they make small changes, and these small changes can lead to creativity. In addition, the example of this research is among the people who have grown up in the Iranian educational system. In this education system, the most rewarding style is the executive thinking style. One can expect people to behave according to the style most supported by educational systems and formal environments. Also, in the legislative thinking style, the person finds a suitable solution to all problems, especially emotional problems, in a new and unusual way. This style is partly related to emotional creativity, the ability to understand emotions and solve emotional problems.
Like other studies, the present study has some limitations, including the small number of male samples compared to women, and it was not possible to compare the two sexes. The generalization of the results to other communities should be made with caution. In addition, the present study was a self-report study using questionnaires, and caution should be exercised in causal inferences from the research results. At the research level, it is suggested that researchers conduct longitudinal and experimental research in this field to examine the significance of the results and the effectiveness of the variables.
Ethical considerations
Compliance with ethical guidelines
Before sending the questionnaires, the time required to fill them was informed to the participants. Consent was obtained from the participants to participate in this research, and they were assured that the information would remain confidential.
Authors’ contributions
Tahereh Elahi & Fereshteh Hassani: Defined the concepts in choosing the subject and designing the study. Faezeh Nasiri: Performed a search of the research literature and background. Fereshteh Hassani: Collected and analyzed data.
The research has not received any financial support from any organization for implementation.
We would like to thank all the people who contributed to this research and gave us their precious opportunity.
Conflict of interest
This study did not have any conflict of interest.
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Type of Study: Research |
Received: 2021/11/14 | Accepted: 2022/06/1 | Published: 2022/08/11

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