Dark, gray, or bright creativity? (Re)investigating the link between creativity and dishonesty


The question of whether and, if so, how creativity and unethical behavior such as dishonesty are related to each other has been addressed in multiple studies, with mixed results overall. The aim of this Registered Report is to shed further light on this issue. We first present a meta-analysis on the relation between creativity and dishonesty comprising the samples from a pre-registered multi-lab study (on a different topic), which indicated no relation between the constructs in question ( k = 19, N = 2,154, r p = .02). Next, we examined the relation between creativity and dishonesty in a study ( N = 1,152), in which we addressed several limitations of previous research. Specifically, we examined relations between comprehensively assessed creativity and dishonesty using subjective and objective indicators for both constructs. We found mixed results concerning the relation between creativity and dishonesty. In the majority of the confirmatory statistical tests, subjective creativity was positively related, whereas objective creativity was negatively related to dishonesty in the mind game. However, in exploratory analyses, we found that neither subjective nor objective creativity was related to dishonesty in the second dishonesty measure, the sender–receiver game.

European Journal of Personality