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The expression of schizotypy in the daily lives of artists

Holt, Nichola

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Nicola Holt
Associate Professor in Psychology


A considerable amount of research suggests that positive schizotypy (cognitive and perceptual aberrations, such as pseudohallucinations) is associated with creativity in the arts. In order to better understand how positive schizotypy might be expressed in the creative process, the experience sampling method was used to explore the experiential correlates of schizotypy in a sample of artists. Artists (N ± 41) were sampled over a week-long period, answering questions at random intervals that related to mood, cognition, state of consciousness and behavior, resulting in reports on 2495 experiences. The sample scored significantly higher than normative samples on positive, but not negative, schizotypy, supporting previous research on the role of "healthy schizotypy" in creativity. Multilevel modeling demonstrated that positive schizotypy predicted a particular experiential profile in daily life, characterized by more frequent reports of the flow state, altered experience, internal dialogue, vivid imagery, distractibility, introspection, and high self-esteem. Positive schizotypy (but not other dimensions of schizotypy) was also a significant predictor of art-making and inspiration in daily life. Random intercept and slope models suggested that positive schizotypy was associated with greater increases in positive affect and self-esteem during or following art-making, supporting an "affective hypothesis" for the relationship between schizotypy and artistic involvement. This study supports previous research linking positive schizotypy with artistic creativity, and suggests that, in this context, positive schizotypy can be associated with adaptive experiences, including inspiration, flow, and self-esteem. Further, art-making may serve a therapeutic function for artists high in positive schizotypy.


Holt, N. (2019). The expression of schizotypy in the daily lives of artists. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 13(3), 359-371.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 13, 2018
Online Publication Date May 14, 2018
Publication Date 2019-08
Deposit Date Feb 14, 2018
Publicly Available Date Feb 14, 2018
Journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts
Print ISSN 1931-3896
Electronic ISSN 1931-390X
Publisher American Psychological Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Issue 3
Pages 359-371
Keywords schizotypy, art, creativity, flow state, positive affect, experience sampling methodology
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Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : ©American Psychological Association, 2018. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at:


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