Depressive Anhedonia and Creative Self-concepts, Behaviors, and Achievements

Paul J. Silvia, Kari M. Eddington, Kelly L. Harper, Chris J. Burgin, Thomas R. Kwapil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the large literature on creativity and mental illness, relatively few studies have explored anhedonia—impairments in anticipating, seeking, and experiencing rewards. This project explored self-reported creativity in a sample of adults who differed in depressive anhedonia, determined via face-to-face structured clinical interviews. Participants completed measures of everyday creativity (engaging in common creative behaviors and hobbies), creative self-concepts (creative self-efficacy, creative personal identity, and self-rated creativity in different domains), and creative achievements. Compared to the control group (n = 52), people in the anhedonia group (n = 22) had significantly higher engagement in little-c creative activities (medium effect size). Effect sizes for self-rated creativity and creative achievement were either small or near-zero. Taken together, the findings suggest that anhedonia deserves more attention in future research on motivational aspects of creativity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)554-563
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Creative Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • anhedonia
  • creative achievement
  • creative identity
  • creative self-efficacy
  • creativity
  • depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


Dive into the research topics of 'Depressive Anhedonia and Creative Self-concepts, Behaviors, and Achievements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this