Person-task fit: Emotional consequences of performing divergent versus convergent thinking tasks depend on need for cognitive closure

Marta K. Wronska, Aleksandra Bujacz, Małgorzata A. Gocłowska, Eric F. Rietzschel, Bernard A. Nijstad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

We investigated how people high (vs. low) in the Need for Cognitive Closure (NFC) experience working on divergent and convergent thinking tasks. Based on the notion of person-task fit, we hypothesized that individuals high in NFC (but not those low in NFC) would feel less competent when solving divergent (vs. convergent) thinking tasks, because, being open-ended, divergent thinking tasks do not offer closure. We also predicted that, consequently, high NFC individuals would experience less positive emotions and more negative emotions when performing a divergent (vs. convergent) thinking task. To test this idea, we measured NFC among participants (N = 549) from five European countries and asked these participants to complete a divergent (vs. convergent) thinking task and to appraise their own competence and emotions. Participants high in NFC (but not these low in NFC) felt less competent and experienced less positive and more negative emotions when solving a divergent (vs. convergent) thinking task. The association between task type and emotions was mediated by perceived competence but only for participants high in NFC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-178
Number of pages7
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume142
Early online date5 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

Keywords

  • Competence
  • Convergent thinking
  • Creativity
  • Divergent thinking
  • Emotions
  • Need for closure
  • Person-environment fit
  • Person-task fit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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