The Link Between Creativity and Bipolar Disorder, Annotated Bibliography

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The Link Between Creativity and Bipolar Disorder
Creativity is related with bipolar disorder is a popular assumption. The fact that many creative people, including Van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway, Leo Tolstoy, and Sylvia Plath, suffered from some kind of mental disorders triggers that idea. Psychologists have been interested in this contingent link for decades. In this paper, after defining both terms, I examine three articles that report the results of the research concerning the potential relationship between creativity and bipolar disorder.
Paulus & Nijstad (2003) defined creativity as “the development of original ideas that are useful or influential”(p.3). That is to say, creativity is producing something that is both novel and useful. Bipolar disorder, also called manic depression, is a mental illness that causes severe emotional and mood changes. Bipolar patients experience manic episodes in which he/she feels abnormally optimistic, energetic, and depressive.
Claudia M. Santosa and colleagues carried out a study at Stanford University in 2006. The participants were bipolar patients, major depressive disorder patients, creative discipline controls, and healthy controls. They completed four creativity measures including Barron-Welsh Art Scale (BWAS). This test contained figures that varies complexity and symmetry. The participants gave responses as “like” or “dislike” to those figures (Barron & Welsh,…