Exploring shy minds: Relations between shyness and creativity
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Description: The relation between shyness and creativity has not been fully elucidated. The aim of present study was to examine if shy individuals express their creativity in different ways, as indexed by the relation between shyness and open-mindedness and its three facets: intellectual curiosity, aesthetic sensitivity, and creative imagination. We analyzed two separate structural equation models: first treating overall open-mindedness as a predictor of shyness, and the second in which we examined the three separate facets of open-mindedness (i.e., intellectual curiosity, aesthetic sensitivity, and creative imagination). Young adults (N = 727, Mage = 22.19 years) self-reported their levels of shyness and the three facets of open-mindedness. Results revealed that although shyness was unrelated to the broader construct of open-mindedness, the differentiation of the open-mindedness facets resulted in a good model fit to the data. Specifically, shyness was negatively associated with creative imagination, but positively associated with aesthetic sensitivity. Our findings illustrate the importance of examining different components of creativity, as these seem to be differentially associated with personality dimensions such as shyness. Our findings also have theoretical implications for understanding how shy individuals may express their creativity.