Can creativity in Zero Gravity help us solve hard problems on earth ?


Kathryn Hays and Roger Malina are working on an article for a forthcoming book :  Creative Performance in Extreme Human Environments: Astronauts and Space. (Editor Herie De Vries)

We would be delighted to involve anyone interested. Contact

As humans expand on their exploration of the universe, the need to understand creative performance in extreme human environments increases. Within a multivariate theory of creativity, the environment contributes to creative potential. 

This new research area is substantiated by existing studies on space-related issues that astronauts frequently encounter, such as extreme temperatures and social isolation. This Research Topic aims to relate this to findings within the domain of creativity research, thereby opening a new avenue for future research. We particularly encourage contributions focusing on cultural, cognitive, and social-emotional issues.

The following are examples of creativity and space-related issues, which this Research Topic aims to review:
1) Temperatures of the space environment:
Research shows that the temperature in space has a cognitive impact, particularly on affect and selective attention. Both emotion and attention play a crucial role in the creative process.
2) Astronaut’s circadian rhythm in space:
Studies show that a disrupted circadian rhythm results in irritability, and loss of concentration, and motivation. How does this impact creative motivation?
3) Astronaut’s overwhelming emotions in space:
Do overwhelming emotions, and `a sense of wonder’, have a positive or negative effect on creative performance?
4) Astronaut’s collaborative creativity in confined spaces and conflict resolution:
Wellbeing studies indicate that collaborative creative processes might enhance conflict resolution or vice versa.
5) Multicultural astronaut/cosmonaut teams:
The new field of cultural differences in creativity is related to cultural differences in emotions. Multicultural teams might differ in abilities of finding creative solutions, and outcomes might differ as well.
6) Effect of isolation on emotional regulation during long duration flights:
Emotion regulation is at the core of the creative process. How does the space environment influence emotion regulation and therefore creative potential?

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