Graduation Date

Spring 2017

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Psychology, option Academic Research

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Mari Sanzhez

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Ethan Gahtan

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Dr. Gregg Gold

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



This study examines the relationship between cannabis use (infrequent, moderate, and heavy use) and one’s mood (neutral, positive, and negative) on creativity. Folk ideas of creativity and the relationships between cannabis use and mood may not reflect the real relationship between these factors (e.g. regarding cannabis use, it is perceived to be linked with higher rates of creativity; regarding mood, negative states [i.e. tortured artist] are thought to fuel creativity). Although both cannabis use and mood have been found to influence creativity independently, the current study is unique in its aims to identify whether cannabis use and mood interact to influence one’s creativity.

Participants (n=242) engaged in a creativity task over three different mood blocks (neutral, positive, and negative), where mood was induced via sound stimuli. Creativity was measured by the number of alternative uses for common objects produced by the participants in the alternative use task (AUT). The AUT was followed by a cannabis use survey and the Creative Achievement Questionnaire (CAQ).

Although no significant interaction or main effects of cannabis use frequency and mood was found, post hoc analysis of the survey data suggest self-report creativity and one’s education level are linked to higher rates of creativity. Post-hoc analyses also suggest that heavy cannabis users reported a higher CAQ score, thus higher lifetime creativity. Limitations to this study include a failed manipulation check of mood inducement. Future research directions and implication of this study will be discussed.

Citation Style