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Drinking Tea Improves the Performance of Divergent Creativity



Previous research has found that tea improves performance on convergent creativity tasks, such as the Remote Associates Test, by inducing a positive mood. However, there is no empirical evidence regarding the effect of tea drinking on performance in divergent creativity tasks. Using two experiments, the current research investigates the relationship between tea consumption and divergent creativity. In both experiments, participants were randomly assigned to two groups and implicitly manipulated to drink tea or water. In experiment 1 (N = 50), we used a block-building task as a measure of divergent creativity in spatial cognition. The results showed that the participants who drank tea performed better in the spatial creativity task assigned in the 10 min immediately following tea consumption than did those who drank water. In experiment 2 (N = 40), we adopted the restaurant naming task as a measure of divergent creativity in semantic cognition. The results showed that the participants who drank tea received higher scores in the semantic creativity task compared to those who drank water. The current research demonstrates that drinking tea can improve creative performance with divergent thinking. This work contributes to understanding the function of tea on creativity and offers a new way to investigate the relationship between food and beverage consumption and the improvement of human cognition.
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Food Quality and Preference
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Drinking tea improves the performance of divergent creativity
Yan Huang
, Yera Choe
, Soomin Lee
, Enzhe Wang
, Yuanzhi Wu
, Lei Wang
School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences and Beijing Key Lab for Behavior and Mental Health, Peking University, China
Peking University-Taetea Consumer Research Center, Peking University, China
Academy of Certies Tea Master, China
Tea consumption
Divergent thinking
Creativity measurement task
Previous research has found that tea improves performance on convergent creativity tasks, such as the Remote
Associates Test, by inducing a positive mood. However, there is no empirical evidence regarding the eect of tea
drinking on performance in divergent creativity tasks. Using two experiments, the current research investigates
the relationship between tea consumption and divergent creativity. In both experiments, participants were
randomly assigned to two groups and implicitly manipulated to drink tea or water. In experiment 1 (N= 50), we
used a block-building task as a measure of divergent creativity in spatial cognition. The results showed that the
participants who drank tea performed better in the spatial creativity task assigned in the 10 min immediately
following tea consumption than did those who drank water. In experiment 2 (N= 40), we adopted the res-
taurant naming task as a measure of divergent creativity in semantic cognition. The results showed that the
participants who drank tea received higher scores in the semantic creativity task compared to those who drank
water. The current research demonstrates that drinking tea can improve creative performance with divergent
thinking. This work contributes to understanding the function of tea on creativity and oers a new way to
investigate the relationship between food and beverage consumption and the improvement of human cognition.
1. Introduction
Tea is the second most frequently consumed daily beverage in the
world (Hodgson & Croft, 2010). Since tea is important to human life, a
vast number of researches have investigated the function of tea. It has
been found that tea has benecial eects on both physical health
(Ruxton, Phillips, & Bond, 2015; Shen & Chyu, 2016; Hayat, Iqbal,
Malik, Bilal, & Mushtaq, 2015) and cognition (Einöther & Martens,
2013; Dietz & Dekker, 2017; Kuriyama et al., 2006). Recent research for
teaseect on cognition is examining the relationship between drinking
tea and creativity (Einöther, Baas, Rowson, & Giesbrecht, 2015).
Creativity can be classied into convergent thinking and divergent
thinking (Guilford, 1967). While some research has found tea can im-
prove convergent thinking (Einöther et al., 2015), there is no evidence
about the relationship between tea and divergent thinking. The purpose
of the current research is to test if drinking tea can promote divergent
creativity. We will rst review the literature and propose our research
1.1. Tea and cognition
Cognition is the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge
and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses
(English Oxford Living Dictionary, It
includes perception, attention, memory, emotion, language, decision
making, thinking, and reasoning, etc. (Goldstein, 2010). Among these
processes, perception and attention are primary level cognition,
whereas the processes like memory, thinking, and language are high-
level cognition.
Attention is one of the cognitive processes that has been mostly
studied in relation with tea. Attention is the focusing and concentra-
tion of mental eort that usually result in conscious awareness of cer-
tain aspects of certain stimuli of mental experiences(Hill, 2001,
p.113). It has been found that attention can be improved by drinking
tea (De Bruin, Rowson, Van Buren, Rycroft, & Owen, 2011) and this
association was attributed to two biological ingredients, caeine and
theanine (Einöther & Giesbrecht, 2013; Einöther & Martens, 2013).
Drinking tea that includes 100 mg of caeine results in a higher Critical
Flicker Fusion Threshold, which is an overall index of the central ner-
vous system activity (Hindmarch, Quinlan, Moore, & Parkin, 1998),
than drinking water. Consumption of tea containing L-theanine
(100 mg) and caeine (50 mg) improves both speed and accuracy on
the attention-switching task and reduces susceptibility to distracting
information on the memory task more than drinking tea without L-
Received 3 July 2017; Received in revised form 19 December 2017; Accepted 20 December 2017
Corresponding author at: School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.
E-mail address: (L. Wang).
Food Quality and Preference 66 (2018) 29–35
Available online 21 December 2017
0950-3293/ © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
theanine does (Parnell, Owen, & Rycroft, 2006). Drinking tea that
contains both L-theanine (97 mg) and caeine (40 mg) leads to higher
accuracy in the attention-switching task than drinking a placebo that
includes neither L-theanine nor caeine (Giesbrecht, Rycroft, Rowson,
& De Bruin, 2010).
On the other hand, attention is the cognitive process that plays an
important role in many other high-order cognitive processes (Peterson
& Naveh-Benjamin, 2017; Varao-Sousa, Solman, & Kingstone, 2017),
especially in creativity (Vartanian, Martindale, & Kwiatkowski, 2007;
Kasof, 1997; Kharkhurin, 2011). Vartanian (2009) suggested that
creative people perform well in creative problem solving tasks, ad-
justing their attention adaptively to the taskss level of ambiguity.
Above researches about teaseect on attention and the relationship
between attention and creativity arose scientistscuriosity into the ef-
fect of tea on creativity. The current study is mainly focusing on teas
relationship with creativity.
1.2. Tea and creativity
Creativity is generally considered the human capacity to create
original and useful ideas to solve problems (Runco & Jaeger, 2012).
Creativity can be classied into two detailed and testable components:
convergent and divergent thinking (Guilford, 1967). Convergent
thinking is a cognitive process involved in solving a certain problem
with only a single solution (Zmigrod, Colzato, & Hommel, 2015). Di-
vergent thinking is the ability to oer unlimited solutions to a single
problem and is the key component of creativity (Vincent, Decker, &
Mumford, 2002).
The Remote Associates Test (Mednick, 1962) is the typical mea-
surement of convergent thinking creativity. In this test, participants are
given three words, such as blue,cake, and cottage, and are re-
quired to give the solution word that is associated with these three
words (cheese). The Alternative Uses Task (Guilford, 1967) is the
typical measurement of divergent thinking creativity. In this task,
participants must generate as many ideas as possible about the usages
of a certain object, such as brickor pen.
According to Hommel (2012), convergent creativity and divergent
creativity requires dierent cognitive control either. Convergent crea-
tivity needs strong top-down control which focuses on the search for
one idea with well-dened search criteria, whereas divergent creativity
needs weak top-down control such that one can switch from one idea to
another idea within broad search span with less dened search criteria.
Applying this strong/weak top-down cognitive control, one would ex-
pect that teaseect on attention brings strong degree of top-down
cognitive control, and in turns improve convergent creativity perfor-
mance. Actually, Isen, Labroo, and Durlach (2004) tested the relation-
ship between iced tea and convergent creativity. They used the Remote
Associates Test (Mednick, 1962) to measure convergent creativity. They
found that participants who drank iced tea gave more correct answers
in the Remote Associates Test than those who drank water. Einöther
et al. (2015) also examined teas positive eect on convergent creativity
with RAT, showing that those who prepared and drank tea performed
signicantly better than those who drank water in high dicult level of
Researchers have also begun to investigate the eect of tea on di-
vergent creativity. To date, only one study has tested this association.
Einöther et al. (2015) used the alien drawing task (Ward, Patterson, &
Sifonis, 2004) as the measure of divergent creativity and recruited
regular tea consumers as participants. However, they did not nd a
signicant eect of tea on divergent creativity performance. The pur-
pose of the current paper is to uncover the relationship between tea and
divergent thinking creativity.
Our belief in the relationship between tea and divergent thinking
creativity is based on several inferences and evidences. Colzato, Ozturk,
and Hommel (2012) investigated the improvement of creativity task
performance through meditation and found that meditation based on
open monitoring helped to enhance divergent creativity performance.
During open-monitoring meditation, one is open to perceive and ob-
serve any sensation or thought without focusing on a concept in the
mind or a xed item (Colzato et al., 2012, p1). The essence of medi-
tation is relaxation, and the essence of open-monitoring meditation is
open,accepting myself as I am, which is much similar to teas re-
covery eect from stress (Steptoe et al., 2007). Therefore, one would
expect that tea would promote divergent creativity because of its
function of promoting relaxation (Dietz & Dekker, 2017) just as medi-
tation does.
A possible mechanism of teaseect on divergent creativity can be
traced to Einöther et al. (2015)s work, which suggested that preparing
and drinking tea can promote positive aect, increasing valence of
mood during and immediately after tea consumption (within 10 min
from preparing stage). Positive aect is benecial for creativity (Baas,
Dreu, Carsten, & Nijstad, 2008). Therefore, these authors hypothesized
that the mechanism of teaseect on improving creativity is through
increased mood valence. In other words, tea consumption is predictive
of improved creativity through increased valence of mood.
However, Einöther et al. (2015) did not nd empirical support for
their assumption for divergent creativity. Although we agree with their
reasoning, we believe that their failure to nd an eect of tea on di-
vergent thinking creativity is due to the experimental paradigm. Testing
the eect of tea on divergent thinking requires a selection of suitable
cognitive tasks that encourage and allow multiple solutions rather than
a unique solution. Moreover, the performance of the selected cognitive
task should not be restrained by other skills that are not related to di-
vergent thinking. Although an alien drawing task may test divergent
thinking (Ward et al., 2004), it requires drawing skills that are un-
related to creativity.
1.3. Overview of the present research
The current study tested the hypothesis that drinking tea promotes
creativity with divergent thinking by adopting two tasks that measure
spatial cognitive creativity and semantic innovative creativity. In ex-
periment 1, we used a block-building task to measure divergent
thinking. Playing blocks may be associated with the improvement of
spatial reasoning (Jirout & Newcombe, 2015). Casey et al. (2008) used
a block-building task as their spatial measure to investigate whether
block-building activities enhance childrens spatial skills. Moreover,
Jirout and Newcombe (2015) found that playing with blocks is posi-
tively associated with spatial skills. In experiment 2, we used a crea-
tivity measurement task, similar to the pasta-naming task (Steens,
Gocłowska, Cruwys, & Galinsky, 2016), as a measure of divergent
thinking. The pasta-naming task measures ideational uency, which is
an essential element of creativity (Steens et al., 2016). Both tasks meet
the requirements of being related to divergent creativity without being
restrained by other skills unrelated to divergent thinking.
Additionally, we adopted the implicit priming experimental para-
digm such that participants were unaware of the independent variable
manipulation (Hong, Morris, Chiu, & Benet-Martinez, 2000). Tea con-
sumption was manipulated implicitly by serving tea and water during
the greeting stage of the experiment, so the participants did not realize
that drinking was the crucial part of our study. This research design
helped us exclude the potential compound eect of the experience in-
duced by making tea themselves during tea preparation.
To sum, current research aims to examine the hypothesis that tea
consumption promotes divergent creativity, the main eect hypothesis
(H1). We also hypothesize that this improvement is due to that tea
drinking can lead to a positive mood which is benecial for divergent
creativity, the mediation hypothesis (H2). We ran experiment 1 to test
the main hypothesis, and experiment 2 to retest the main eect and to
investigate moods mediation eect. Particularly, we are mainly fo-
cusing on acute eect of tea on creativity, and creativity is measured
within 1025 min after tea drinking. In other words, we are mainly
Y. Huang et al. Food Quality and Preference 66 (2018) 29–35
interested in the psychological function on creativity that may happen
in very short period of time after drinking.
2. Experiment 1
2.1. Method
2.1.1. Participants
Fifty university students (22 males) were recruited from the campus
Bulletin Board System (BBS). Their mean age was 23.73 years
(SD = 2.11). We paid $6 to each participant for his or her involvement.
2.1.2. Design
This study included two parallel consumption conditions: a cup of
black tea (Lipton, a well-known brand but anonymous to participants,
approximately 150 mL) and a cup of water, both served at a drinkable
temperature of 42 °C. In both conditions, the amount of drink con-
sumption was coded. The participants were randomly allocated into
two groups, resulting in 26 participants in the tea group and 24 in the
water group.
2.1.3. Procedure
A receptionist (experimenter A) received one participant at a time in
room A to operate our independent variable: pouring a cup of tea (or
water) for every participant.
Then, the receptionist asked each participants name, mobile phone
number and ID number as well as questions related to educational
background. This warm-up stage was designed to manipulate the in-
dependent variable, during which the participant drank the tea (or
water). The cups provided to the participants were disposable and were
removed in front of every participant to ensure clean cups. The amount
the participant drank was recorded by the receptionist.
To let the participants drink as much as possible, the receptionist
also poured herself a cup of the same drink. She spoke with the parti-
cipant while drinking the beverage for three minutes so that the par-
ticipant could have enough time to nish the drink.
Then, the participants were guided to room B and were received by
experimenter B (who did not know whether the participant consumed
tea or water). Experimenter B showed the participant the block play
task instructions and then began to count the time.
The instructions for block play were as follows:
A toy factory is going to launch a new type of block and needs some
block construct examples. Please build a block design that you think is
attractive with as many blocks as you can in the given time. There are
several judges next door whose duty is to rate your work. After you complete
your block building, two photos of it will be taken and sent to these judges.
Your scores will determine how much extra money you can earn.
We used the word attractiverather than creativebecause we
believed that the former is more understandable and meaningful to
participants. Nevertheless, the two words share a similar essence of
meaning. Creativeis more abstract, whereas attractiveis more
concrete, and they are closely related to one another when describing a
block-building result. Creativity is a necessary input of an attractive
block-building work, and attractiveness is the output of creativity. To
encourage the participants do their best, we told them they would earn
extra money depending on their rating, although the actual payment
was equal for every participant. Every participant had a maximum of
10 min to build a block design. When the time was up, experimenter A
entered and took two photos for each block construct, one in quarter
view and one from eye level (see Fig. 1 for details).
Measurement of divergent thinking creativity: We recruited 10 uni-
versity students who had never attended the experiment and were
blinded to the purpose and the conditions of the experiment to rate the
creativity of every block construction. The rating was composed of four
dimensions: degree of innovativeness, aesthetic appeal, unication, and
grandness. Innovativeness measures how new and unusual the
construction is, aesthetic appeal measures how beautiful it is, unica-
tion measures how well every part of the blocks integrates together as a
whole, and grandness measures how stately and magnicent it is. The
rating was on an 11-point Likert scale (0 = absolutely no,10=ab-
solutely yes). We calculated the mean of 4 dimension ratings
(α= 0.94).
2.2. Results
A general linear model analysis showed that the creativity scores of
the block buildings for the tea group (mean = 6.54, SD = 0.92) were
signicantly higher than those for the water group (mean = 6.03,
SD = 0.94) after controlling for gender and volume consumed [F
(1.48) = 5.56, p=0.023, η
=0.108, observed power = 0.637 (see
Figs. 1 and 2)].
We coded the volume the participants drank as 1 = drank nothing,
2 = drank one-third of a cup, 3 = drank one-third to two-thirds, and
4 = drank more than two-thirds. The data showed that the tea groups
mean volume was 2.65, and the water groups volume was 2.71. Four
participants drank less than one-third of a cup and none drank nothing.
2.3. Discussion
The results provide preliminary support for our hypothesis that
drinking tea can promote divergent creativity. The results are also
consistent with Einöther et al.s (2015) expectation that tea consump-
tion should contribute to divergent creativity. This experiment de-
monstrates for the rst time the eect of tea on divergent creativity.
Notice that in both conditions, the participants did not drink much;
moreover, it did not take much time for the participants to nish the
task. Thus, even with a limited amount of tea consumption (approxi-
mately half of a cup) within a limited time (approximately 3 + 10 min),
tea may promote divergent creativity. The block-building task we used
here is a spatial cognition creativity task that is free from other re-
strictions such as drawing skills, and there is no threshold for each
participant to bring into full play his or her divergent thinking crea-
Moreover, in experiment 1, we used a procedure in which the ex-
perimenter rather than the participant prepared the tea drink. Thus, we
ensured that the concentration and temperature of the tea was equal for
every participant in the tea group. Moreover, this helped exclude the
possible compound eect of the experience of tea preparation.
However, we did not control mood in experiment 1, and thus we do
not know whether mood was the mechanism of the relationship be-
tween tea and divergent thinking creativity, so in experiment 2 we
measured participantsmood with Aect Grid (Russell, Weiss, &
Mendelsohn, 1989) after drinking. Moreover, we used a spatial cogni-
tive task to measure divergent thinking creativity. We do not know
whether our ndings of teaseect on divergent creativity can be re-
plicated by other types of divergent creativity tasks. In experiment 2,
we test whether the ndings in experiment 1 can be generalized to
other types of cognitive domains, such as semantic analysis tasks. By
doing so, we can examine whether the eect of tea on divergent crea-
tivity can be replicated.
3. Experiment 2
3.1. Method
3.1.1. Participants
Forty students (20 males) were recruited from campus BBS. Their
mean age was 23.0 years (SD = 1.86). We paid $6 for each participants
involvement. Among these participants, 8 had never drunk tea and
were evenly distributed between the tea group and the water group.
The average amount the participants drank in daily life was approxi-
mately 390 mL per month.
Y. Huang et al. Food Quality and Preference 66 (2018) 29–35
3.1.2. Design
The participants underwent the same 3-min warm-up stage as in
experiment 1. The participants were randomly allocated into two
groups, resulting in 20 participants in the tea group and 20 in the water
group. However, in our nal data analysis, we excluded one participant
who drank nothing, and this participant came from the water group. As
a result, we had 19 participants in the water group and 20 in the tea
3.1.3. Procedure
We retained every procedure in the warm-up stage, including the
tea and water treatments, as in experiment 1. We changed only the task
that measured creativity to examine our hypothesis. Given that several
studies have found an association between tea drinking and positive
mood and a relationship between positive mood and creativity
(Einöther et al., 2015; Einöther, Rowson, Ramaekers, & Giesbrecht,
2016), it has been suggested that positive mood may explain the me-
chanism of the relationship between tea drinking and creativity.
Therefore, we added a measure of the participantsmood using the
Aect Grid (Russell et al., 1989) at the end of the warm-up stage. Ac-
cording to Russell et al. (1989), the Aect Grid assesses the degree of
valence and arousal. The participants were asked to mark how they felt
on a 19 × 19 grid with valence on the horizontal axis, ranging from
unpleasant to pleasant, and arousal on the vertical axis, ranging from
sleepy to active.
After the warm-up stage, the participants were led to room B.
Experimenter B in room B (who did not know whether the participant
consumed tea or water) explained the instructions of the ramen res-
taurant-naming task and gave them the task paper, which was a form
with 50 blanks.
The instructions for the naming task were as follows:
There is a newly opened ramen (noodle) shop, and we are recruiting
shop names for it. Please write as many names as possible that you think are
cool and attractive within 20 min. There are some judges in the next room
who are responsible for evaluating and selecting the appropriate shop names.
We will give your nal name list to them to rate. Your scores will determine
how much extra money you can earn.
Similar to experiment 1, we used the words cool and attractive
rather than creativebecause we believed that the former is more
understandable and meaningful to participants. The name must be at-
tractive to be considered creative, and a creative name draws the at-
tention of the judges by standing out.
After 20 min, experimenter B notied the participants that the trial
time was up and asked them to wait in place. Then, experimenter A
entered and removed the paper with the participants ramen shop
In the last step, the participants were asked to complete the tea
consuming habit questionnaire, which was the same as in experiment 1
with two additional questions about the participants perceived degrees
of mental involvement and body involvement (Einöther et al., 2015).
The degree of perceived physical eort may be associated with more
positive aect (Einöther et al., 2015). One question was, Please rate
the degree of your mental and body involvement during the naming
task. These questions were rated on a 10-point Likert scale (1 = ab-
solutely uninvolved,10=entirely involved).
Measurement of divergent thinking creativity: We recruited 10 students
who had never attended the experiment and were blinded to the pur-
pose of the experiment to rate the creativity of each ramen restaurant
name. One judge did not nish the rating; thus, we received 9 judges
ratings. The rating was composed of two dimensions: innovativeness
(Benedek, Jauk, Sommer, Arendasy, & Neubauer, 2014) and playfulness
(Bateson & Nettle, 2014). We proposed these two dimensions for two
reasons. First, we usually evaluate a restaurant name based on in-
novativeness and playfulness in a real-life context. Furthermore, a good
name must be innovative and playful. In particular, a creative name
should be innovative, and an innovative name reects the performance
of creativity. Second, a more positive mood may lead to more playful
names suggested by the participant. The lowest score was 1, and the
highest score was 10. An example of a name that received a low in-
novativeness score is Ramen Family, and an example of a name that
received a high innovativeness score is No Ramen Here.
The scores of innovativeness and playfulness for each participant
were the average ratings of all eligible names he or she created.
3.2. Results
3.2.1. Naming task score
In total, 1307 names for the ramen restaurant were collected from
40 participants. After deleting ineligible names (those that included
location names and those that contained only the word Ramen), 1104
Fig. 1. Pictures of (a) a high creativity score block building
and (b) a low creativity score block building.
Fig. 2. Creativity scores in the block-playing task for the two groups (experiment 1).
Y. Huang et al. Food Quality and Preference 66 (2018) 29–35
names remained. We excluded two judgesratings to reach a coecient
of internal consistency of 0.733 (the two judgesratings had low cor-
relations with others).
Using a MANOVA that controlled for gender, the volume the par-
ticipants drank, whether they drank tea regularly and the number of
restaurant names, we found that, consistent with our hypothesis, par-
ticipants in the tea group received signicantly higher scores
(mean = 4.11, SD = 0.49) in innovativeness compared to those in the
water group (mean = 3.79, SD = 0.45) [F(1, 37) = 5.18, p= 0.029,
= 0.129, observed power = 0.600]. We did not identify any sig-
nicant dierences between the two groups in the ratings of playfulness
[F(1, 37) = 2.42, p= 0.129, η
= 0.065, observed power = 0.328] or
in the number of names [F(1, 37) = 0.014, p= 0.908, η
= 0.000;
Fig. 3] after controlling for the same variables. Interestingly, we equally
split the names of every participant into two parts according to the
written order and got two new scores: the rst half naming scores and
the second half ones. After controlling for the same variables, MANOVA
manifested that it is the second half scores that mainly contributed to
the dierences in innovativeness between the tea group (mean = 4.03,
SD = 0.52) and the water group (mean = 3.72, SD = 0.48) [F(1,
38) = 5.56, p= 0.024, η
= 0.134, observed power = 0.631]. There
was no signicant dierence in innovativeness between the water
group (mean = 3.83, SD = 0.57) and the tea group (mean = 4.15,
SD = 0.57) in the rst half naming scores [F(1, 38) = 3.24, p= 0.080,
= 0.083, observed power = 0.418].
Finally, unlike previous ndings, there were no signicant dier-
ences in the scores of valence [F(1, 38) = 2.82, p= 0.102, η
= 0.073,
observed power = 0.373] and arousal [F(1, 38) = 0.023, p= 0.880,
= 0.001, observed power = 0.053] between the tea group and the
water group with regard to perceived mental involvement [F(1,
38) = 2.93, p= 0.095] or body involvement [F(1, 38) = 0.050,
p= 0.825].
3.3. Discussion
The results of experiment 2 replicated the ndings of experiment 1,
showing that drinking tea can be signicantly benecial for divergent
creativity. We observed the same eect of tea in both the spatial cog-
nitive test and the semantic test. It seems that drinking tea has a solid
and consistent positive eect on divergent creativity. More importantly,
we found that the eect of tea on divergent creativity performance took
place at the second half period of the experiment, revealing that the role
of tea is to keep the performance of divergent creativity for a relatively
long-lasting period of time. We may infer that coming up with more
ramen restaurant names at the second half of the task is apparently
more dicult than the rst half of the task and needs more creativity
thinking, because during the rst half of the test participants had
already written out most ideas that they could think of. This result is in
line with Einöther et al. (2015)sndings that the response time of tea
group was faster than that of water group only for dicult level RAT,
whereas there was no dierence for easy level RAT.
Notice that the average naming scores are not high. There may be
several reasons. First, our participants were university students who
had no related innovation-design experience of naming a restaurant
before and they had only 20 min to involve in the task. Second, in fact,
there all existed high-score names, medium-score names and low-score
names in almost every participantsnal naming works such that the
nal average scores were not very high.
However, the results did not show that mood could be a mechanism
for explaining how drinking a cup of tea could signicantly improve
divergent creativity. In experiment 2, drinking tea and perceived
mental involvement or body involvement did not inuence the degree
of valence and arousal. There are several possible explanations. First,
unlike previous studies (Einöther et al., 2015, 2016), we did not pur-
posely recruit tea drinkers as participants. Moreover, we used an im-
plicit priming experimental design such that participants had no ex-
pectations for being treated with tea and the identity of being a regular
tea drinker did not appear in their mind when they came to our ex-
periment. No participants were aware that drinking (tea vs. water) was
part of the experiment, and none of them was involved in the drinking
preparation. This manipulation may explain why there was no sig-
nicant dierence in mood between the two groups because in our
experiments, no particular experience was introduced due to a special
procedure such as tea preparation. Our implicit priming manipulation
separated the eect of tea itself from that of a tea experience or the
feeling that is induced by tea preparation. Moreover, the current re-
search did not consider whether the participants were regular tea
drinkers; we were interested in the eect of a cup of tea on divergent
creativity and on common people, a more generalized eect. Thus, we
suggest that the mood mechanism or the attention mechanism may be
suitable for regular tea drinkers with the experience of tea preparation.
There may exist another undiscovered mechanism from implicitly
drinking tea to divergent creativity.
4. General discussion
The aim of our research was to test whether drinking tea would
improve divergent thinking creativity and if this association could be
mediated by mood. Using two experiments with two dierent tasks, we
got similar ndings. Experiment 1 demonstrated that tea consumption
improved performance in block building, which is a spatial creativity
task. Consistent with the results of experiment 1, experiment 2 showed
that those who drank tea received higher scores in innovativeness in the
ramen restaurant-naming task, which involved semantic processing
creativity. But experiment 2 didn't nd the mediation eect of mood on
the relationship between tea consumption and divergent creativity.
Therefore our research hypothesis H1 was supported whereas hypoth-
esis H2 was not.
We are the rst to empirically demonstrate that tea drinking im-
proves divergent thinking creativity, which conrmed our research
hypothesis. Our ndings are consistent with previous research showing
that tea drinking is positively related to creativity (Einöther et al., 2015;
Isen et al., 2004). For example, Einöther et al. (2015) showed that tea
consumption promoted convergent thinking. Our work expanded these
ndings by showing that tea consumption can also promote divergent
Our research also demonstrated the external validity of the eect
that tea consumption could have on the performance of divergent
thinking across two experiments and dierent types of creativity tasks.
Specically, we used a spatial creativity task (block building) and a
semantic creativity task (naming a ramen restaurant). This use of dif-
ferent samples and tasks and dependent measures across the experi-
ments also demonstrates the robustness and generalizability of the
Fig. 3. Scores of the innovativeness dimension in the naming task for the two groups
(experiment 2).
Y. Huang et al. Food Quality and Preference 66 (2018) 29–35
Moreover, we contribute to the literature in the methodological
aspect by using adapted experimental paradigms and identifying more
appropriate divergent creativity measurement tasks. Although previous
studies provide strong logic for why tea consumption promotes crea-
tivity, they suered from a methodological problem. Einöther et al.
(2015) was the rst to distinguish the eects of drinking tea on con-
vergent and divergent creativity using the Remote Associates Test and
an alien drawing task (Ward et al., 2004). However, that study did not
identify a signicant eect of tea on divergent thinking compared to
that on convergent thinking. It is possible that the alien drawing task
requires drawing skills which may interfere the measurement of pure
creativity. To solve this methodological problem, we adopted a spatial
cognitive task and a semantic cognitive task that we believe can better
reect the creativity performance without possible interference or re-
strains from skills not related to creativity.
Finally, our research adopted a more elaborate manipulation of the
independent variable. We controlled the temperature of tea and water
to the same temperature of 42 °C for both experimental conditions in
each study. Researchers have found that physical warmth and coldness
have dierent inuences on performance in several creativity tasks
(IJzerman, Leung, & Ong, 2014). Considering this, we minimized the
interference of the physical temperature of the drink by controlling the
temperature. We also controlled the concentration of black tea by ser-
ving similarly prepared tea by the experimenters.
4.1. Limitations and implications for future research
Our research has some limitations. First, we did not identify any
signicant dierences in the playfulness of ramen restaurant names
between the two groups in experiment 2. We measured the playfulness
of the ramen restaurant names based on the work of Bateson and Nettle
(2014), who found that participants whose self-reported playfulness
scores were high reported relatively high creativity scores and oered
more alternative uses of a certain object. Although drinking tea im-
proves cognitive creativity, it may not signicantly increase the level of
playfulness compared to drinking water. This result is reasonable be-
cause tea consumption leads to calmness, a moderate level of arousal,
and alertness (Einöther & Martens, 2013), and these mental states are
unrelated to playfulness.
Second, we did not measure the biological ingredients of the tea that
the participants consumed. The literature has demonstrated that there
are at least two factors of tea consumption, dose and time, that may
biologically inuence consequent cognitive processing. Einöther and
Martens (2013) concluded that two biological ingredients, caeine and
theanine, have benecial eects on attention, which is an indispensable
part of cognitive function. A cup of tea generally contains 3561 mg
(average 48) of caeine and 4.522.5 mg (average 13.5) of theanine. In
the majority of studies that investigated the eect of tea consumption
on cognitive performance, tea contained more than 50 mg of caeine or
theanine (Bryan, 2008). Thus, the amount of tea ingredients our par-
ticipants absorbed was relatively small (the majority of our participants
drank about 1/32/3 cup of tea, which contained limited amount of
caeine and theanine). Also, theanine facilitates long-term sustained
attentional processing rather than short-term moment-to-moment at-
tentional processing during the entire time frame of a dicult visuos-
patial task (Gomez-Ramirez, Kelly, Montesi, & Foxe, 2009), and it takes
approximately 3060 min for teas biological ingredients to inuence
attention, alertness, and brain concentration (Einöther et al., 2015).
Since our divergent creativity tasks took only 1020 min and relatively
small amount of tea consumed, we can attribute the teaseects on
divergent creativity performance to psychological eects more than
physiological eects. Future research can examine this issue by priming
participantsconceptual perception of tea without the direct con-
sumption of tea. Further, by extending the time period of tea con-
sumption and task performance, future research can more deeply
investigate the physiological eects of tea on creativity. Future studies
can clarify the eect of tea ingredients by examining the speciceect
of tea so that we can tell whether and to what extent the eect of tea on
creativity is physiological or psychological. For example, studies should
be conducted to determine whether the positive eect of creativity
improvement is because of the ingredients themselves or other eects,
such as the process of preparing tea oneself, teas special aroma, or tea
as a traditional drink dierent from pure water. There could even be a
mixed eect of tea that is the combination of physiological and psy-
chological eects.
Third, we did not identify the role mood plays as the mechanism in
the relationship between tea and creativity. We measured the partici-
pantsaective states with the Aect Grid, but we did not identify any
dierences between the two groups, which is inconsistent with the
literature (Einöther et al., 2015; Isen et al., 2004). This result may be
attributed to our implicit experimental paradigm; all participants re-
ported that they were unaware that drinking tea or water was the ne-
cessary part of the manipulation after the experiment. However, in the
study by Einöther et al. (2015), all participants were recruited under
the condition that they were regular tea drinkers who drank tea at least
5 times a week. The tea group was also involved in the entire pre-
paration process of tea, whereas the water group was just served one
cup of water. Thus, we may infer that dierent pleasure levels between
the tea group and the water group might be caused by dierent treat-
ments rather than the tea itself. Given that we didntnd that the mood
is the mechanism for the eects of tea, a possible assumption is that
people may already setup a mind-set about the function of drinking tea
(Wang, Zhu, & Wang, 2014). It has been found that people believe that
those who drink tea have a particular set of personal characteristics
such as smart,innovative,elegant,self-condentand steady
(Wang et al., 2014). It is possible that when people expose to tea, they
might be primed to behave in the way that they think a tea drinker
should do, because tea may activate related mind-set or mental pro-
cesses, which, as a priming, becomes operative and guides inferences in
following cognitive processes (Hong et al., 2000). We call for more
research to clarify this issue.
In conclusion, tea consumption can improve divergent thinking
creativity in spatial cognitive processing and semantic processing tasks.
Future research can examine the specic mechanism by identifying
which variables mediate or moderate the eects of tea consumption on
divergent thinking creativity.
This work was supported by NSFC Grant #91224008 and Taetea
Author Contributions
L.W. and Y.W. conceived the main research idea. L.W. and Y.H.
made the research design. Y.H., E.W., Y.C., and S.L. ran the experi-
ments. Y.H. and L.W. performed the statistics. All authors were in-
volved in the manuscript preparation.
The instruction for the warm-up stage in experiment 1 & 2:
Welcome to our lab! Sit down, please and have a cup of tea (water),
rst. Our experiment requires you to calm down. Please put your phone
to silent mode or turn it oand do not use it during the experiment. Next,
we will ask you some personal information for the sake of payment.
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... We also observed that the dietary multi-ingredient nootropic simultaneously increases creativity and positive emotions and decreases sadness-depression emotions. In previous studies, both caffeine and tea (i.e., L-theanine) increased creativity in young students (48)(49)(50). In contrast, evidence about different dietary compounds on emotions is mixed. ...
... In this sense, caffeine alone or combined with taurine did not modify the mood profile in some studies (51,52), whereas it induced positive effects on mood profile in other studies (i.e., decreasing sadness and increasing positive emotions) (48,53). Tea consumption has also been demonstrated to increase positive emotions in young students (49,50). Taken all together, these results might partially concur with our findings. ...
Full-text available
Aim To study the acute effect of a dietary multi-ingredient nootropic on cognitive performance in young healthy adults. We also analyzed the influence of the dietary multi-ingredient nootropic on emotional state, heart rate (HR), and heart rate variability (HRV). Methods This is a randomized, triple-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. In total, 26 young healthy adults (50% women; 24.9 ± 3.3 years old) ingested 10 g of a dietary multi-ingredient nootropic [Evo-Gamers ® ; Harrison Sport Nutrition (HSN), Granada, Spain] or placebo (maltodextrin) in a randomized order ( No. NCT04790188). After 30 min of the ingestion, participants performed a battery of cognitive performance tests to measure the processing speed, inhibitory control, working memory, cognitive flexibility, creativity, and verbal fluency. The emotional status was assessed through questionnaires, and HR and HRV were measured using a heart rate monitor. Results In comparison with placebo, the acute ingestion of the nootropic showed a significantly better response time in several cognitive tests (i.e., processing speed, inhibitory control, spatial working memory, and cognitive flexibility, all P < 0.05 and effect size range of 0.4–0.6). It also displayed a higher accuracy in the processing speed, the inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility tests (all P < 0.05; effect size ranged from 0.4 to 0.6). Furthermore, the nootropic showed a higher creativity and positive emotions and lower sadness-depression emotions, whereas HR and HRV remained similar between placebo vs. nootropic conditions. However, there were no differences between the nootropic and placebo in verbal fluency, motivation, or anxiety (all P > 0.05). Conclusion An acute ingestion of a dietary multi-ingredient nootropic enhances cognitive performance in comparison with placebo without negatively influencing HR or HRV in young healthy adults.
... Similarly, Einöther and colleagues [62] investigated the immediate effect of tea consumption on creativity and found that tea preparation and consumption improved convergent thinking (RAT) but not divergent thinking (alien drawing test). Huang and colleagues [65] found that drinking tea improved performance in two different divergent thinking creativity tests (spatial and semantic cognition). ...
... While complexity in the chemical senses can be defined in a variety of ways, one commonly accepted interpretation refers to the number of flavors perceived by the taster [84]. Therefore, one wonders whether the myriad of studies [60,62,65] showing improved cognitive performance from drinking tea can be explained by caffeine alone or whether the sensory aspects of consuming a complex beverage additionally boosts creative thinking. Further studies could investigate the perceived complexity as a variable. ...
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While it is well known how food can make us physically healthy, it remains unclear how the multisensory experience of eating might influence complex cognitive abilities such as creativity. A growing body of literature has demonstrated that all human senses are capable of sparking creativity. It follows then that eating, as one of the most multisensory of all human behaviors, should be a playground for creative thinking. The present review presents an overview of how creativity is defined and measured and what we currently know about creativity as influenced by the senses, both singular and in conjunction. Based on this foundation, we provide an outlook on potential ways in which what we eat, where we eat, and how we eat might positively support creative thinking, with applications in the workplace and home. We present the view that, by offering a rich multisensory experience, eating nourishes not only our bodies but also our mental well-being.
... For example, the following methods have been experimentally shown to enhance creativity: exercise (Frith & Loprinzi, 2018;Gondola, 1986;Gondola & Tuckman, 1985;Román et al., 2018;Steinberg et al., 1997), meditation and mindfulness (Capurso et al., 2014;Ding et al., 2014;Lippelt et al., 2014;Müller et al., 2016), mind wandering (Baird et al., 2012;Zedelius & Schooler, 2015), cognitive training (Birdi, 2005;Byrge & Tang, 2015;Ritter & Mostert, 2017;Scott et al., 2004), nature exposure (Atchley et al., 2012;Ferraro, 2015;Plambech & Konijnendijk van den Bosch, 2015;Yu & Hsieh, 2020), alcohol (Benedek & Zöhrer, 2020;Benedek et al., 2017), caffeine (Y. Huang et al., 2018;Jiang et al., 2022;Zabelina & Silvia, 2020), pharmacological drugs (Alexander et al., 2007;Beversdorf, 2013Beversdorf, , 2019Beversdorf et al., 1999;McBride et al., 2021), and psychedelic substances (Hartogsohn, 2018;Prochazkova et al., 2018;Rifkin et al., 2020;Sessa, 2008). As researchers continue to explore the efficacy of neuromodulation techniques for enhancing creative cognition, the effects of neuromodulation should be tested against the aforementioned methods. ...
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We review several new and emerging methods of non-invasive neuromodulation and consider their potential to enhance creative cognition. This review covers the following techniques: transcranial electric stimulation (tES) (which includes transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), and transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS)), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), transcranial focused ultrasound stimulation (tFUS), and neurofeedback training (NFT). For each technique, we explain the basic mechanism of action, review relevant research demonstrating its ability to enhance creative cognition, consider limitations and advantages, and suggest future research directions. Lastly, we offer broader conclusions and recommendations for the field of creativity neuromodulation.
... From ancient times, the young leaves of tea plant (Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze, Syn.: Thea sinensis L., Theaceae) are used to prepare various tea formulations (Carloni et al., 2013;Kim, Goodner, Park, Choi, & Talcott, 2011). Different reports suggest that the tea is second most consumed drink in the world after water (Hodgson & Croft, 2010;Huang et al., 2018;Kim et al., 2011;Weiss & Anderton, 2003) and its worldwide market is growing day by day. Tea formulations are not only an important part of daily cuisine but are also consumed for their health beneficial/functional effects due to their high content of polyphenols (e. g. catechins and phenolic acids), amino acids (eg. ...
Background The interest in the plant-derived healthy foods, nutraceuticals, functional foods and food supplements is increasing in recent times as potential agents in maintenance of health and the prevention and treatment of diseases. Matcha tea powder is obtained from the leaves of tea plant (Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze) grown under specific condition using about 90% shade. As compared to green tea, a hot water extract of tea leaves, matcha is consumed as a whole powder of leaves. Matcha powder is reported to have higher content of some bioactive components such as catechins, theanine and caffeine. In recent years, there is an increased market demand and consumption of matcha as a drink and as a component in various beverages, snacks and other food products. Scope and approach In this review, the available scientific information of the chemical constituents and their analysis and biological activities are critically analyzed. These results may help to understand current status of research on matcha and the gaps which help to guide future research related to evidence based product formulations. Key findings and conclusions Various studies have reported the difference in bioactive compounds in matcha as compared to green tea and other tea formulations. The content and composition were mostly affected by the cultivation and processing techniques. Analysis of marketed samples in various countries have shown the variable content of the bioactive compounds. Thus, there is a need for proper standardization for maintaining the quality. Matcha as a whole, its extract and compounds have shown promising biological activities in in vitro and animal studies. However, comparatively only a few clinical studies are performed, which need future attention. There should also be detailed study regarding matcha-containing foods’ formulation.
... El acto creativo se orienta hacia la esencia heurística para resolver problemas y se dirige en dirección a la creación de escenarios novedosos aún con prescindencia de la susceptibilidad de basarse en ideas previas o productos elaborados (Manes y Niro, 2014;Fink et al. 2018). La creatividad es considerada como el conjunto de ideas innovadoras que se manifiestan a partir de patrones únicos y originales resultantes de la producción cognitiva con un alto nivel de flexibilidad interhemisférica, más que de una alta actividad intrahemisférica (De Bono, 2008;Jiménez, 2008;Huang et al. 2018). Al respecto, Vecina (2006) (2018), indican que el acto creativo es un proceso mental asociativo que se desprende de las secuencias comunes del pensamiento, mediante la exploración de múltiples posibles soluciones con el fin de producir secuencias diferentes y productivas que resulten en desenlaces heurísticos. ...
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Este estudio investigó el impacto que tuvo el uso focal de la extremidad superior fina izquierda en la Prueba de Creatividad Figurativa no verbal de Torrance en alumnos de educación superior. Los participantes fueron 40 estudiantes de la Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas en el Periodo Escolar 2018-1, conformados en cuatro grupos: 10 mujeres diestras (Edad, M=23, DE=.816), 10 mujeres zurdas (Edad, M=23.20, DE=1.033), 10 varones diestros (Edad, M=23.20, DE=1.814) y 10 varones zurdos (Edad, M=23, DE=1.155). El estudio se inclinó hacia el enfoque cuantitativo con diseño transeccional a fin de conocer el rendimiento creativo figurativo al utilizar la mano predominante y no predominante durante las pruebas. Los resultados mostraron mayor puntaje de manera general en todos los grupos sin distinción de género cuando utilizaron su extremidad superior fina izquierda en la prueba, aunque estas diferencias no fueron significativas (p>.05) respecto a cuando utilizaron la extremidad motora derecha.
Purpose This study aims to investigate the effect of knowledge hiding on individual task performance and examine the moderating influence of transformational leadership. Design/methodology/approach This study included 256 participants employed by financing companies in Indonesia. In addition, to analyze the data, descriptive statistics were computed using SPSS 25, and the structural equation model-partial least square (SEM-PLS) was used for hypothesis testing. Findings The findings revealed the negative effects of knowledge hiding on individual task performance and its potential consequences for individuals and organizations. However, it also suggested that transformational leadership may not be sufficient to reduce the negative effects of knowledge hiding on individual task performance. Research limitations/implications This study only focused on the context of a specific industry or country, which limited the generalizability of the findings. Practical implications This study enriches the understanding of the importance of addressing knowledge-hiding behaviors and investigating additional factors that can enhance task performance in organizations. Originality/value This study adds value to the existing literature by emphasizing the importance of investigating supplementary factors other than transformational leadership that have the potential to reduce the negative effects of knowledge hiding on organizational performance.
The importance of creativity to organizations is significant, ergo, scholars have begun to investigate how sensory elements in the workplace might impact creative performance. Our research examines effects of the sensory experience of taste, specifically sweetness, on creativity. Using a range of real taste tests and imagination tasks, we demonstrate that sweet taste facilitates creative performance. We argue that this is because sweet taste, as a positive implicit affective cue, increases cognitive flexibility and creativity independent of the elicitation of positive emotions. However, when the positive associations of sweet taste are externally overridden, such as when health risks are made salient, the positive impact of sweet taste on creativity is attenuated. We further demonstrate that sensory experience of sweetness increases performance on related tasks that require cognitive flexibility, but does not increase performance on non-creative tasks.
This chapter explores ways for us to enhance our ability to design through cognitive enhancement. It discusses the effectiveness of a variety of methods, from various types of incubation and mind practices through more active means of mind-altering substances and technological interventions.KeywordsCognitive enhancementIncubationSleepDreamsImaginationMeditationHypnosisFoodDrinkDrugsNeurofeedbackTranscranial stimulationBrainwave entrainment
Tea consumption has been extensively shown to be closely related to physical health and cognitive abilities. However, there are no definite conclusions on the relationship between tea consumption and convergent thinking. Convergent thinking requires top-down cognitive processing, which focuses on searching for an appropriate idea based on well-defined criteria. It is a necessary part of the creative process and is inextricably linked to divergent thinking that requires people to search for many different ideas with less defined criteria within a wider search span. It has been found that tea consumption is beneficial to divergent thinking in creativity. Given that convergent thinking is related to divergent thinking, we hypothesized that drinking tea may also promote convergent thinking. This research was to investigate the enhancing effects of tea on convergent thinking and test its possible mediating mechanism (i.e., the role of positive emotions) and marginal conditions (e.g., the moderating roles of intelligence and tea preference). In Experiment 1, participants completed the Remote Associates Test (RAT) which requires the solver to create a meaningful link (word association) that mediates three seemingly unrelated cues (e.g., Same–Tennis–Head is mediated by Match) after drinking tea or water. The results showed that the type of drinks and tea consumption habits had a significant interaction effect on RAT scores. The participants who drank tea (v.s. water) performed best in the RAT. A “split half effect” was found. That is, participants' performance in different groups was significantly different in the second half of the RAT, suggesting that drinking tea leads to persistent problem-solving convergent thinking. Experiment 2 aimed to replicate the findings in Experiment 1 using a different convergent thinking task, namely, riddle tasks, where participants needed to solve riddles with different levels of difficulty. The results revealed that performance in the tea group on the difficult tasks was significantly higher than that in the water group; after controlling for knowledge level and intelligence, the differences in the performance in the medium- and high-difficulty riddle tasks between the two groups were significant. Although no experiments found a mediating effect of positive emotions, Experiment 2 showed that the participants in the tea group were happier and more interested in the task than those in the water group. To conclude, the positive effects of tea drinking on convergent thinking was demonstrated, and the moderating effects of knowledge level, intelligence, and tea drinking habits were elaborated. The results have important practical significance for those who are engaged in creative work or those who are prone to fatigue.
There are numerous papers published for geographical discrimination of tea. However, few research works focused on the authentication and traceability of Westlake Longjing green tea from the first‐ and second‐grade producing regions because the tea trees are planted in a limited growing zone with identical cultivate condition. In this work, a comprehensive analytical strategy was proposed by ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography‐quadrupole time‐of‐flight mass spectrometry‐based untargeted metabolomics coupled with chemometrics. The automatic untargeted data analysis strategy was introduced to screen metabolites that expressed significantly among different regions. Chromatographic features of metabolites can be automatically and efficiently extracted and registered. Meanwhile, those that were valuable for geographical origin discrimination were screened based on statistical analysis and contents in samples. Metabolite identification was performed based on high‐resolution mass values and MS/MS spectra of screened peaks. Twenty metabolites were identified, based on which the two‐way encoding partial least squares discrimination analysis was built for geographical origin prediction. Monte Caro simulation results indicated that prediction accuracy was up to 99%. Our strategy can be applicable for practical applications in the quality control of Westlake Longjing green tea. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
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The present research examined whether possessing multiple social identities (i.e., groups relevant to one's sense of self) is associated with creativity. In Study 1, the more identities individuals reported having, the more names they generated for a new commercial product (i.e., greater idea fluency). In Study 2, multiple identities were associated with greater fluency and originality (mediated by cognitive flexibility, but not by persistence). Study 3 validated these findings using a highly powered sample. We again found that multiple identities increase fluency and originality, and that flexibility (but not persistence) mediated the effect on originality. Study 3 also ruled out several alternative explanations (self-affirmation, novelty seeking, and generalized persistence). Across all studies, the findings were robust to controlling for personality, and there was no evidence of a curvilinear relationship between multiple identities and creativity. These results suggest that possessing multiple social identities is associated with enhanced creativity via cognitive flexibility.
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Creativity has been conceptualized as involving two distinct components; divergent thinking, the search for multiple solutions to a single problem, and convergent thinking, the quest for a single solution either through an analytical process or the experience of insight. Studies have demonstrated that these abilities can be improved by cognitive stimulation, mood, and meditation. Here, we investigated whether convergent and divergent thinking can be enhanced by non-invasive transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). In different sessions, participants received bilateral stimulation over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex - DLPFC (Experiment1) and over the posterior parietal cortex - PPC (Experiment2), while performing the Compound Remote Associative task (CRA) assessing convergent thinking and the Alternative Uses Task (AUT) assessing divergent thinking. In Experiment1, anodal-left cathodal-right stimulation over the DLPFC significantly enhanced CRA performance. In Experiment2, stimulations over the PPC significantly increased insight solutions and decreased analytical solutions compared to the no stimulation condition. These findings provide direct evidence for the role of the left DLPFC in convergent and divergent thinking and a mediating role of the PPC in problem-solving behavior, presumably through attentional processes. From a methodological perspective, brain stimulation can be used as a tool to modulate and to explore components of creativity.
Though much research has been conducted on the causes and processes underlying mind wandering, relatively little has addressed what happens after an episode of mind wandering. We explore this issue in the context of reading. Specifically, by examining re-reading behaviours following mind wandering episodes. Results from 2 studies reveal that after mind wandering, participants re-read nearly half the time. This re-reading occurs whether mind wandering is self-caught or probe-caught, and it typically involves retracing a line or 2 of text. Based on subjective reports, it appears that individuals re-read when they feel that clarification of the text is needed, suggesting that a key concept of the text is missed during a mind wandering episode. Future work aimed at understanding how individuals refocus their attention following mind wandering in different settings should provide additional insights into the fluctuation of attentional focus and the immediate impact of a mind wandering episode.
An important yet unresolved question regarding visual working memory (VWM) relates to whether or not binding processes within VWM require additional attentional resources compared with processing solely the individual components comprising these bindings. Previous findings indicate that binding of surface features (e.g., colored shapes) within VWM is not demanding of resources beyond what is required for single features. However, it is possible that other types of binding, such as the binding of complex, distinct items (e.g., faces and scenes), in VWM may require additional resources. In 3 experiments, we examined VWM item-item binding performance under no load, articulatory suppression, and backward counting using a modified change detection task. Binding performance declined to a greater extent than single-item performance under higher compared with lower levels of concurrent load. The findings from each of these experiments indicate that processing item-item bindings within VWM requires a greater amount of attentional resources compared with single items. These findings also highlight an important distinction between the role of attention in item-item binding within VWM and previous studies of long-term memory (LTM) where declines in single-item and binding test performance are similar under divided attention. The current findings provide novel evidence that the specific type of binding is an important determining factor regarding whether or not VWM binding processes require attention. (PsycINFO Database Record
Background: Green tea is traditionally known to induce mental clarity, cognitive function, physical activation and relaxation. Recently, a special green tea, matcha tea, is rapidly gaining popularity throughout the world and is frequently referred to as a mood- and brain food. Matcha tea consumption leads to much higher intake of green tea phytochemicals compared to regular green tea. Previous research on tea constituents caffeine, L-theanine, and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) repeatedly demonstrated benefits on mood and cognitive performance. These effects were observed when these phytochemicals were consumed separately and in combination. Methods: A review was conducted on 49 human intervention studies to summarize the research on acute psychoactive effects of caffeine, L-theanine, and EGCG on different dimensions of mood and cognitive performance. Conclusions: Caffeine was found to mainly improve performance on demanding long-duration cognitive tasks and self-reported alertness, arousal, and vigor. Significant effects already occurred at low doses of 40 mg. L-theanine alone improved self-reported relaxation, tension, and calmness starting at 200 mg. L-theanine and caffeine combined were found to particularly improve performance in attention-switching tasks and alertness, but to a lesser extent than caffeine alone. No conclusive evidence relating to effects induced by EGCG could be given since the amount of intervention studies was limited. These studies provided reliable evidence showing that L-theanine and caffeine have clear beneficial effects on sustained attention, memory, and suppression of distraction. Moreover, L-theanine was found to lead to relaxation by reducing caffeine induced arousal.
Osteoporosis is a skeletal disease characterized by a deterioration of bone mass and bone quality that predisposes an individual to a higher risk of fragility fractures. Emerging evidence has shown that the risk for low bone mass and osteoporosis-related fractures can be reduced by nutritional approaches aiming to improve bone microstructure, bone mineral density, and strength. Tea and its flavonoids, especially those of black tea and green tea, have been suggested to protect against bone loss and to reduce risk of fracture, due to tea's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Based on the results of animal studies, moderate intake of tea has shown to benefit bone health as shown by mitigation of bone loss and microstructural deterioration as well as improvement of bone strength and quality. Epidemiological studies have reported positive, insignificant, and negative impacts on bone mineral density at multiple skeletal sites and risk of fracture in humans with habitual tea consumption. There are limited human clinical trials that objectively and quantitatively assessed tea consumption and bone efficacy using validated outcome measures in a population at high risk for osteoporosis, along with safety monitoring approach. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge of laboratory animal research, epidemiological observational studies, and clinical trials assessing the skeletal effects of tea and its active flavonoids, along with discussion of relevant future directions in translational research.
Tea has historically been associated with mood benefits. Nevertheless, few studies have empirically investigated mood changes after tea consumption. We explored immediate effects of a single cup of tea up to an hour post-consumption on self-reported valence, arousal, discrete emotions, and implicit measures of mood. In a parallel group design, 153 participants received a cup of tea or placebo tea, or a glass of water. Immediately (i.e. 5 minutes) after consumption, tea increased valence but reduced arousal, as compared to the placebo. There were no differences at later time points. Discrete emotions did not differ significantly between conditions, immediately or over time. Water consumption increased implicit positivity as compared to placebo. Finally, consumption of tea and water resulted in higher interest in activities overall and in specific activity types compared to placebo. The present study shows that effects of a single cup of tea may be limited to an immediate increase in pleasure and decrease in arousal, which can increase interest in activities. Differences between tea and water were not significant, while differences between water and placebo on implicit measures were unexpected. More servings over a longer time may be required to evoke tea's arousing effects and appropriate tea consumption settings may evoke more enduring valence effects.
After water, tea is the most commonly consumed beverage worldwide, with over 80% of adults drinking tea in the UK. Lay concerns about caffeine have led to questions about the suitability of tea as a source of hydration. Several controlled trials have examined the effect of moderate caffeine consumption on fluid balance, from tea or other sources, concluding that intakes of up to 400 mg of caffeine, or six to eight servings of tea daily, are consistent with normal hydration. Unlike water, or other caffeinated beverages, tea is rich in flavonoids: plant compounds associated with health. There is now a growing body of evidence linking regular tea consumption with heart health, cognitive health, dental benefits and bodyweight management suggesting that tea may offer a healthy source of hydration. These studies are discussed in the context of typical tea intakes in the UK.
This article investigates whether self-reports about playfulness are related to self-reports about creativity and the alternate uses of objects. An on-line survey was conducted of how people think about themselves. One thousand, five hundred and thirty-six people completed the survey. They were asked whether a variety of statements were very characteristic of themselves through to whether they were very uncharacteristic. Respondents were then asked to offer alternative uses for 2 different objects. Those people who characterized themselves as being playful clearly thought of themselves as being creative. The self-reports of their playfulness, creativity, and innovation were positively correlated with each other and were validated with their suggested uses for 2 different objects. Personality measures were derived from the respondents' self-assessments. On the openness scale, the measure was positively correlated with the respondents' assessments of their own playfulness and with the number of alternative uses for two objects.