College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Individuals with graphemecolor associations exhibit creativity

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2011

Publication Title

Imagination, Cognition, and Personality

ISSN

0276-2366

Volume

30

Issue/No.

3

Abstract

Synesthesia occurs when a single stimulus triggers two or more sensations simultaneously in different modalities. Grapheme-color association is a frequently reported type of synesthesia. Two types of grapheme-color associations have been identified: associators and projectors. Associators experience the colors conceptually, while projectors report actually perceiving the colors. Here, we evaluated the frequency of both types of grapheme-color association among a college sample. Our findings indicate that 8% of the sample demonstrated grapheme-color associator tendencies and 3% demonstrated grapheme-color projector tendencies. No participants demonstrated both associator and projector synesthetic tendencies. Additionally, as the relation between creativity and synesthesia has been the subject of interest of many experts in the field, participants' creative abilities were assessed through use of the Alternate Uses Test and self-report. The results support the link between synesthesia and creativity in projectors, but not associators.

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