Your Soul Spills Out: The Creative Act Feels Self-Disclosing

Jack A. Goncalo, Joshua H. Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Breaking from the typical focus on the antecedents of creativity, we investigate the psychological and interpersonal consequences of being creative. Across five experiments, we find that generating creative ideas is revealing of the self and thus prompts the perception of self-disclosure. Individuals respond to the expectation to be creative with greater self-focus—adopting their own idiosyncratic perspective on the task and thinking about their own personal preferences and experiences in connection to the problem. Because creative ideas derived from self-focused attention are uniquely personal, the act of sharing a creative idea is, in turn, perceived to be revealing of the self. Finally, an interactive dyad study shows that sharing creative ideas makes partners more confident in the accuracy of judgments they made about each other’s personality. We discuss the implications of our findings for future research investigating the consequences of creativity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-692
Number of pages14
JournalPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • creativity
  • idea sharing
  • person perception
  • self-disclosure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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