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Article

The effect of mood induction and language of testing on bilingual creativity

Bilingualism: Language and Cognition. 2016. Vol. 19. No. 5. P. 1079-1094.
Kharkhurin A. V., Altarriba J.

This study explores the hypothesis that language of testing and mood states can influence creativity in bilinguals. Arabic-English bilingual speakers were induced into positive or negative mood states using film clips and recall-of-events procedures. Then, participants’ creativity was assessed with the Abbreviated Torrance Test for Adults. Participants were tested in either English or Arabic. A Picture Naming Test revealed English as participants’ stronger language and Arabic as their weaker language. Testing in English was found to enhance verbal fluency and originality, as compared to testing in Arabic. Most importantly, an interactive effect of induction (positive, negative) and language of testing (English, Arabic) on creativity emerged. The results revealed two conditions beneficial for participants’ nonverbal originality: a positive mood state when tested in English and a negative mood state when tested in Arabic. These results are discussed in light of the interactive effect of mood induction and linguistic context (stronger vs. weaker) on an individual’s creativity.