Special Issue "Emotional Intelligence and Creativity"

A special issue of Journal of Intelligence (ISSN 2079-3200).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 October 2022 | Viewed by 393

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Franck Zenasni
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratoire de Psychologie et d’Ergonomie Appliquées, Université de Paris, Paris, France
Interests: creativity; imagination; emotional intelligence; empathy; skills development; personality
Dr. Macarena-Paz Celume
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratoire de Psychologie et d’Ergonomie Appliquées, Université de Paris, Paris, France
Interests: creativity; social and emotional competencies; pedagogy; children; youth

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue seeks contributions which focus on the nexus or influences of the broad concepts of emotional intelligence and creativity. Both topics, of great interest among researchers and policymakers, have their origins in the beginning of the past century and are still evolving today.

The origins of EI can be traced to the beginning of the 20th century when researchers agreed that besides cognitive processes, there were non-cognitive factors that had an important influence on adaptation and life success. Petrides and Furnham (2001) posited that the EI genesis could be found in the work of Gardner (1983) and finally evolved with the work of Mayer and Salovey in 1990 and 1997. Authors agree on the importance of emotional intelligence within an educational setting (Brackett et al., 2009; Elias and Arnold, 2006; Fernández-Berrocal and Ruiz Aranda, 2018; Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development, 2020; Qualter et al., 2017), although the concept of EI remains unclear for some educational actors as the concept of EI evolves itself. Some contemporary authors continue to work with the concept of EI (Extremera and Fernandez-Berrocal, 2003) and others prefer to propose new terms such as emotional competency (Mikolajczak, Quoidbach, Kotsu, and Nelis, 2014) or socio-emotional learning (Durlak, Weissberg, Dymnicki, Taylor, and Schellinger, 2011; Lantieri, 2009) to define this construct focused on the development of skills and traits related to interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships.

Regarding creativity, it can be understood as the capacity to generate novel, original and valuable work adapted to a context, task or constraint (e.g. Lubart, Mouchiroud, Tordjman, and Zenasni, 2015).  According to Runco and Jaeger (2012), originality and usefulness were the first basic concepts analyzed in the study of creativity at the beginning of the 20th century, establishing a standard definition of creativity. Nevertheless, the definition of creativity depends on the approaches we decide to choose, and still today we have several perspectives in order to understand or define what we call creativity (Glaveanu et al., 2019). 

At a theoretical level, original authors of the emotional intelligence conception (Salovey and Mayer, 1990) assumed that EI helps individuals to have clear thoughts that support the processes of intuition and insight, which in turn favors creative thinking. Since then, different studies have been conducted showing significant but relatively complex relationships between emotional intelligence and creativity. Early studies from Ivcevic and colleagues (2007) and Zenasni and Lubart (2008) showed that the EI/creativity link may depend on the nature of the creativity scoring examined (fluency or originality or consensual assessment scoring) and for example the nature of the EI task used (self-report versus cognitive task). The following research reveals this complexity. In this line, meta-analysis from Xiaobo Xu and colleagues (2021) confirm the moderate relationships but also confirm the existence of moderating variables such as the type of EI/creativity measure.

Thus, even if empirical evidence exists, it is not enough to explain all the diversity and complexity of the EI/creativity relationships. Moreover, there is no clear theoretical modelisation that clearly sustains a full view of the articulation between emotional intelligence and creativity. Finally, we should observe that most of the data refers to EI/creativity in adults and that very few studies examine these in children, especially considering the educational context. The few studies that attempt to make this link focus on emotions or affect in play and creative thinking (Russ and Kaugars, 2001), or mood and creative thinking (Celume, Besançon, and Zenasni, 2019; Teske et al., 2017).

In this line, we would like to propose a Special Issue that gathers original studies, reviews, and theoretical papers that would ideally combine both main concepts (creativity and emotional intelligence) or related conceptions (e.g. emotional creativity, socioemotional skills, etc.). With this broad scope, we are looking for submissions that address one or more (but not only) of the following topics:

  • The development of both creativity and emotional intelligence through training or programs in adults or children (please specify population of study in your submission);
  • Combined evaluation of both creativity and emotional intelligence/emotional competence (measurement tools or methods);
  • Influences of emotional intelligence on creativity or vice versa;
  • Theoretical links between creativity and emotional intelligence.

If your paper does not address any of the previously proposed categories, but you believe it is aligned with the main concepts we propose in this Special Issue, please feel free to submit your manuscript.


Brackett, M., Patti, Stern, Rivers, Elbertson, Chisholm, & Salovey, P. (2009). A sustainable, skill-based model to building emotionally literate schools. In & J. B. T. R. Thompson, M. Hughes (Ed.), Handbook of developing emotional and social intelligence: Best practices, case studies, and tools (pp. 329–358). New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Celume, M.-P., Besançon, M., & Zenasni, F. (2019). How a dialogic space can impact children’s creativity and mood valence in Drama Pedagogy Training: Study with a French 4th grade sample. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 33, 100576. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2019.100576

Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions. Child Development, 82(1), 405–432. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01564.x

Elias, M. J., & Arnold, H. (2006). The Connection Between Academic and Social-Emotional Learning. In Maurice J. Elias & Hariett Arnold (Eds.), The Educator’s Guide to Emotional Intelligence and Academic Achievement. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.

Extremera, N., & Fernandez-Berrocal, P. (2003). La Inteligencia Emocional En El Contexto Educativo: Hallazgos Científicos De Sus Efectos En El Aula. Revista de Educación, 332, 97–116.

Fernández-Berrocal, P., & Ruiz Aranda, D. (2018). La Inteligencia emocional en la Educación. Electronic Journal of Research in Education Psychology. https://doi.org/10.25115/ejrep.v6i15.1289

Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (Basic). New York: Basic Books.

Glaveanu, V. P., Hanchett Hanson, M., Baer, J., Barbot, B., Clapp, E. P., Corazza, G. E., … Sternberg, R. J. (2019). Advancing Creativity Theory and Research: A Socio‐cultural Manifesto. The Journal of Creative Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1002/jocb.395

Ivcevic, Z., Brackett, M., & Mayer, J. (2007). Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Creativity. Journal of Personality, 75(5), 199–236. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.2007.00437.x

Lantieri, L. (2009). Cultivating Emotional Intelligence through Social and Emotional Learning: Why It Matters.

Lubart, T., Mouchiroud, C., Tordjman, S., & Zenasni, F. (2015). Psychologie de la créativité (2nd ed.). Paris: Colin.

Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development. (2020). RETHINKING LEARNING: A Review of Social and Emotional Learning for Education Systems. (N. Chatterjee Singh & A. Duraiappah, Eds.). New Delhi: UNESCO MGIEP.

Mayer, J., & Salovey, P. (1997). What is Emotional Intelligence? In P. Salovey & D. J. Sluyter (Eds.), Emotional Development and Emotional Intelligence (Basic, pp. 3–31). New York: Harper Collins. https://doi.org/10.1177/1066480710387486

Mikolajczak, M., Quoidbach, Kotsu, &, & Nelis. (2014). Les Compétences Émotionnelles (2nd ed.). Paris: Dunod.

Petrides, K. V, & Furnham, A. (2001). Trait emotional intelligence: psychometric investigation with reference to established trait taxonomies. European Journal of Personality, 15(6), 425–448. https://doi.org/10.1002/per.416

Qualter, P., Davis, S. K., Keefer, K. V., Parker, J. D. A., Saklofske, D. H., Wigelsworth, M., … Stough, C. (2017). Emotional competency in education: core concepts and applications. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 12, 51–71.

Runco, M. A., & Jaeger, G. J. (2012). The Standard Definition of Creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 24(1), 92–96. https://doi.org/10.1080/10400419.2012.650092

Russ, S. W., & Kaugars, A. S. (2001). Emotion in children’s play and creative problem solving. Creativity Research Journal, 13(2), 211–219. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15326934crj1302_8

Salovey, P., & Mayer, J. (1990). Emotional Intelligence. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 9(3), 185–211. https://doi.org/10.2190/DUGG-P24E-52WK-6CDG

Teske, J., Clausen, C. K., Gray, P., Smith, L. L., Al Subia, S., Rod Szabo, M., … Rule, A. C. (2017). Creativity of third graders’ leadership cartoons: Comparison of mood-enhanced to neutral conditions. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 23, 217–226. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2017.02.003

Xu, X., Pang, W., & Xia, M. (2021). Are emotionally intelligent people happier? A meta-analysis of the relationship between emotional intelligence and subjective well-being using Chinese samples. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 24(4), 477–498. https://doi.org/10.1111/AJSP.12445

Zenasni, F., & Lubart, T. (2008). Emotion-related traits moderate the impact of emotional state on creative performances. Journal of Individual Differences, 29(3), 157–167.

Prof. Dr. Franck Zenasni
Dr. Macarena-Paz Celume
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • emotional intelligence
  • creativity
  • social and emotional competence
  • emotional skills
  • creative thinking
  • creative process

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Cooperative-creative games: An evidence-based intervention proposal
Authors: Maite Garaigordobil; Laura Berrueco; And Macarena-Paz Celume
Affiliation: University of the Basque Country (Spain)
Abstract: The work presents the results of four cooperative-creative game programs (Game Programs). In all four studies, experimental designs with repeated pretest-posttest measures and control groups were used. Validation samples range from 86 to 178 participants, randomly assigning participants to the experimental and control conditions. Before and after each program, a battery of assessment instruments was applied to measure the variables under study. The intervention consists of conducting a weekly game session during the school year. The results of the pretest-posttest covariance analyses confirm a significant impact: (1) in social development, increasing various positive social behaviors and decreasing many negative social behaviors; increasing assertive cognitive strategies and prosocial resolution of interpersonal problems; and enhancing relationships and positive communication among group members; (2) in emotional development, improving self-concept, peer image, and emotional stability; and (3) in cognitive development, increasing verbal intelligence, verbal and graphic-figurative creativity, as well as creative personality behaviors and traits. The work provides empirical evidence of the relevance of cooperative-creative play in child development.

Title: Being Intelligent With Emotions to Benefit Creativity: An Illustrative Overview of Emotion and the 7 C’s of Creativity With a Focus on Emotional Intelligence (EI)
Authors: Daniel Sundquist; Todd Lubart
Affiliation: Laboratoire de Psychologie et d'Ergonomie Appliquées, Université de Paris
Abstract: In this review of emotion, emotional intelligence (EI) and creativity, we look at the various ways that these topics can be explored together using the 7 C’s of Creativity (Lubart, 2017) as a structuring framework. The 7 C’s of Creativity are: Creators, Creating, Collaborations, Contexts, Creations, Consumption and Curricula, representing the different facets of creativity research. The question of emotion and creativity has a long historical lineage which has led up to the study of intelligent and dynamic aspects of emotion and their impact on creativity. Previous and emerging work on EI, related emotional aspects and creativity offer promising ways to advance this field of research. However, we show that some aspects of creativity and EI are less explored than others. We offer several implications for the direction of future work on the matter.

Title: 21st Century Competencies development through online program : a case study of social and emotional competence, especially Creativity, online-learning
Authors: Haïfat Maoulida 1,2,*; Manisha Madhukar 2; Macarena-Paz Celume 1,2
Affiliation: 1 Université de Paris Cité, France; 2 Beyond Education, France
Abstract: Based on the conceptualisation of the 21st Century Competence Framework from the Center for Curriculum Redesign (CCR, Fadel, et al., 2015), we developed an online programme to enable school-age students to increase their level on a number of social emotional competences. BE organized is a program that aims to help students to better organise themselves and to be more efficient in today's and tomorrow's world. To do so, 12 individual sessions were designed to develop 4 out of 12 21st century competencies: critical thinking, mindfulness, resilience and metacognition and collective session (action lab) to develop some of the others. For this purpose, quantitative (two questionnaires) and qualitative (reflective questions and interview on student learning) measurement tools have been developed to compare among others students' level before and after programs. Using a mixed methodology, we propose to verify whether the targeted competences, including creativity, have been developed during this program.The first results (N = 27) of our analyses are partially in line with hypotheses. Both qualitative and quantitative data show a development of critical thinking, for the other three targeted competences, the cross-sectional results are more mixed. The group sessions would have allowed students to develop their creativity, and surprisingly this competence was also developed in the individual sessions. These results will be discussed.

Title: Hypersensitive, anxious and creative ? Representations of gifted children in French children’s literature
Authors: Laurine Peter; Lise Lemoine; Maud Besançon
Affiliation: Université Rennes 2, Rennes, France
Abstract: For several years, gifted children have aroused particular scientific interest (e.g., Carman, 2013 ; Gauvrit, 2014). Indeed, intelligence is generally measured by standardized tests which provide an accurate measure of intellectual quotient (Liratni & Pry, 2012). Above an intellectual quotient of 130, children are considered to have an high intellectual potential (or « gifted »), which corresponds to approximately 2,2% of children aged 6 to 16 (Guignard et al., 2016). In addition to these exceptional intellectual abilities, gifted children may also present certain particularities in the management of emotions -which can be felt more intensely than those of other children- (Guignard & Zenasni, 2004). Some studies also identified that gifted people seem also to be more anxious than non-gifted people (e.g., Gauvrit, 2014). Along with these emotional differences, thanks to their above-average intelligence, they might also be more creative than ordinary children (Karwowski et al., 2016). More generally, gifted children are perceived by adults and teachers as anxious, creative, empathetic and sensitive children (Sanchez et al., 2022 ; Tavani et al., 2009). The transmission of these social representations could in particular be conveyed in works of children’s literature. Indeed, these books are interesting supports of cultural mediation, thus making it possible to sensitize children to certain disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder (Lemoine & Schneider, 2021). Nevertheless, these social representations can sometimes be out of step with scientific reality. The objective of this study is therefore to make an inventory of the social representations of gifted children in French children’s literature, particularly in terms of emotional management and creativity. This exhaustive analysis will thus shed light on a possible discrepancy between social representations of intellectual gifted and scientific reality. To meet this objective, around thirty books for children, with the gifted theme, were studied. Preliminary analyzes tend to identify a stereotypical representation of the emotional characteristics of gifted children. Moreover, an analysis of the perceived creative skills of gifted children is currently underway. Thus, the gap between children’s literature and scientific reality could lead to the fact that gifted children do not recognize themselves -or non-gifted children do not recognize their classmates- though the heroes of these books. This discrepancy may raise questions about the value of these works as tools for raising awareness among the general public.

Title: The creative process of pupils in training context with a design project
Authors: Marion Botella; John Didier; Marie-Dominique Lambert; Rachel Attanasio
Affiliation: Université Paris Cité and Univ Gustave Eiffel, LaPEA, F-92100 Boulogne-Billancourt, France
Abstract: The output of this research will make it possible to model, to better understand, and to identify the creative process in pupils as they design and produce utility objects in educational and training context with ecological validity (real context of training). We will take the example of pupils creating a water fountain. In the context of teaching Creative and Manual Activities in education, in the French part of Switzerland, we are focusing on observations of the creative process in line with psychology, didactic, and pedagogy. According to Sternberg and Grigorenko’s (2004) categorization of triarchic intelligence (analytical, creative, and practical), we argue that the design and realization process of technical objects should promote cognitive, conative, emotional, and environmental factors that influence the creative potential (Lubart et al., 2015). During their Creative and Manual Activities, 22 pupils were invited to create a water fountain and, in parallel, to complete a Creative process Report Diary about the stages they do and the multivariate factors they mobilize at each lesson (Botella, Nelson and Zenasni, 2017). Results presented the main frequent stages and factors at each lesson and we proposed a model describing the transitions between the stages and how the multivariate factors are involved in each stage.

Title: When creativity wakes up emotions
Authors: Aleksandra Vuichard 1; Isabelle Capron Puozzo 2
Affiliation: 1 Haute école pédagogique du canton de Vaud & Université Paris-Est Créteil 2 Haute école pédagogie du Valais
Abstract: In today's evolving society (Robinson, 2011), creativity plays an important role in allowing individuals to find new and innovative solutions in order to adapt to changes of this increasing evolution (Craft, 2011; Lubart, 2012). This phenomenon has an impact on pre-service and continuing teacher training. As more recent studies in language didactics and pedagogy show (Audrin, Vuichard and Capron Puozzo, 2020; Berdal-Masuy & Pairon, 2015; Capron Puozzo & Botella, 2018), it is necessary to think about the link between emotion and learning so that students can develop their creativity. Moreover, Pekrun and colleagues (2012) categorized the emotions experienced in the academic context. More specifically, they defined four types of emotions: achievement emotions, topic emotions, social emotions, and epistemic emotions. These emotions, felt in an academic context, nevertheless refer to different aspects of the situation. This chapter evaluates the emergence of these four types of emotions in a creativity training context for future teachers in Switzerland (secondary 1-2), based on pedagogy of creativity. During the creative training, participants kept a creative process report diary (CRD) in which they could report felt emotions (Botella et al., 2019) and answered questionnaires measuring the emotions they felt during their participation in the various creativity techniques. Our results suggest that participants experienced mostly positive epistemic and achievement emotions during creativity techniques such as joy and pleasure. The creative report diaries also suggest that the first emotions felt could sometimes be negative (frustration or anxiety), but as the creativity technique progressed, these were transformed into positive emotions such as joy or interest.

Title: Alexithymia of magicians
Authors: Marion Botella; Cyril Thomas
Affiliation: Université de Paris, Paris, France
Abstract: Creators present different characteristics from the general population, especially in terms of alexithymia. Alexithymia is a general difficulty in verbalizing, identifying and experiencing emotions. It is associated with an impoverished fantasy life. Previous studies on alexithymia in artists have shown that they are less alexithymic in general, but that this result is only due to a richer fantasy life than the general population. What about other creators? In this study, we will examine the alexithymia of a yet unstudied type of creators: the magicians. Indeed, the creation of a magic trick probably relies on the magician’s capacity to think outside of the box (i.e., to create fantasy) and to manipulate spectator’s emotions (i.e., to elicit wonder). For this purpose, 63 magicians and 63 non-magicians completed the Bermond-Vorst Alexithymia Questionnaire. The results will be compared with data from a previous study of 55 professional artists and 50 non-artists. Special attention will be paid to the comparison of the magicians with the other groups.

Title: Overcoming bias judgment when facing negative social behavior in adolescence: The role of ideational fluency
Authors: Anaëlle Camarda 1; Adrien Cappe De Baillon 2,*; Barbara Ozkalp-Poincloux 2; Baptiste Barbot 1; Mathieu Cassotti 2
Affiliation: 1 UCLouvain (Catholic University of Louvain) 2 Université Paris Cité, LaPsyDÉ, CNRS, F-75005 Paris, France
Abstract: The ability to generate explanations for the behaviors of others is a critical process of socio-emotional development, especially when it comes to avoid conflict and maladaptive response in negative situations. Although previous studies have reported that our judgment can be biased when facing strong emotional negative situations involving social maladaptive behavior, less is known regarding how individuals can revise this initial biased judgment; especially during adolescence, which is known to be a period of specific sensibility and vulnerability when facing socio-emotional context. Using A dual process approach to idea generation and moral judgment, the aim of the present study was to examine how bias in causal attribution and the generation of alternative explanations to a social negative event develop with age. To do so, pre-adolescents (m = 11.5 years old), early adolescents (m = 13.5 years old), middle adolescents (m = 15.7 years old), and emerging adults (m = 19.2 years old), were presented with scenarios, in which one protagonist (i.e., the agent) morally hurts his best friend. Participants were asked to generate 1) a first explanation of agent’s behavior to measure the propension of automatic bias, and then 2) as many other explanations as they could during 5 minutes to measure their potential ability to overcome their initial bias. As hypothesized, the results show that participants first considered the agent hostile toward the victim. Indeed, the agent's behavior was spontaneously attributed to his own internal dispositions and to a negative intention to harm the victim, regardless of the participant's age. Moreover, the generation phase shows a significant step in the ability to generate many alternative explanations of someone's misleading behavior from middle adolescence (compared to pre and early adolescents). Even if most of these explanations remain strongly biased, a small increase of the number of unbiased explanations is also observed from middle adolescence on. These results are discussed in light of cognitive and neuro-developmental models of adolescence, suggesting that the emotional vulnerability of adolescents is a key element.

Title: The Creative Process of Actors: a Relationship between Emotional Competence and Creativity.
Authors: Macarena-Paz Celume; Marion Botella
Affiliation: Centre de Recherche en Psychologie de la Connaissance du Langage et de l’Émotion, Aix-Marseille Université, France
Abstract: The creative process can be defined as the succession of thoughts and actions leading to an original and adapted production (Lubart, Mouchiroud, Tordjman, & Zenasni, 2015). By comparing the creative process of art, design, science, script writing, and music, Glăveanu and collaborators (2013) showed that the 5 groups of experts differed in what drives their creative process, implying a domain-specific perspective. The creative processes of some artistic professions have been studied, although few studies have been done on actors. The rare works that have been carried out in this field (Blunt, 1966; Nemiro, 1999, 2011), suggest some processes to engage actor's creativity, although none focused on understanding the steps of the creative process of actors, and how this process interacts with emotional, environmental, cognitive, and conative factors. In this line, the general aim of this study was to analyze the steps and factors of professional actors’ creative process. For this, they were followed during 7 sessions of an intensive rehearsal residence period, and asked to answer a Creative process Report Diary (Botella, et al., 2017) on the steps and factors of their creative process, as well as an open questionnaire about the session. Results showed an important presence of emotional and social factors involved in their creative process which directly impacts their motivation and might indirectly impact the quality of the creative production.

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