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Journal Articles Current Psychology Year : 2021

Stay at home! When personality profiles influence mental health and creativity during the COVID-19 lockdown

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Abstract

With the COVID-19 outbreak, the population was suddenly forced to “stay at home”. Although research suggests that social isolation affects health and wellbeing, reactions may vary depending on individuals. The current study assessed the relationships between personality variables (preference for solitude and Big Five personality), mental health (anxiety, stress, loneliness), and creativity, and tried to determine whether the identified personality profiles affect individuals’ mental health and creativity. French respondents (N = 430) filled in an online questionnaire during the first lockdown in Spring 2020. The results showed that the preference for solitude and personality variables of the Big Five predicted individuals’ mental health and creativity. Moreover, a cluster analysis revealed three profiles of individuals: “Affiliation”, “Emotionally Stable Lonely” and “Emotionally Unstable Lonely”. Results showed that individuals with “Affiliation” and “Emotionally Unstable Lonely” profiles expressed higher stress and anxiety, and the latter performed better on a divergent creative thinking task. By contrast, those with an “Emotionally Stable Lonely” profile expressed a lower level of loneliness, and performed better on a creative insight task. These findings reveal the importance of personality profiles in psychological reactions during lockdowns. With this knowledge, health professionals could develop appropriate interventions to accompany high-risk individuals in situations of social isolation.

Dates and versions

halshs-03260587 , version 1 (15-06-2021)

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Estelle Michinov, Nicolas Michinov. Stay at home! When personality profiles influence mental health and creativity during the COVID-19 lockdown. Current Psychology, 2021, ⟨10.1007/s12144-021-01885-3⟩. ⟨halshs-03260587⟩
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