Social Identity as a Context of Creativity in Situation of Frustration



Objective. Analysis of the influence of the nature of social identity on the manifestation of visual creativity in an experimental situation of frustration.
Background. Social identity, being an integral characteristic of a person's attitude to himself as a representative of different communities, acts as a context for the productivity of his activities, including creativity. In recent decades of dynamic changes in the world, creativity has become one of the most sought-after qualities of a modern person. The definition of social factors that actualise/inhibit creative productivity is extremely significant.
Participants. The participants were 74 18-20 year olds (M = 20,2, SD = 1,8) randomly allocated into two experimental and one control groups.
Study design. The scheme of experiments with priming was used. The independent variable was the priming experimental influence: in the first experimental group – frustrating, in the second experimental group the influence was neutral-positive. In the control group, there was no exposure to the independent variable. As a dependent variable, creativity indicators (flexibility, elaborateness and originality) were measured. The type of social identity was considered as an additional context variable. To assess the reliability of the influence of frustration, ANOVA, Pearson correlation coefficient, Mann Whitney criterion were used.
Measurements. Graphical Identity Test (GTI) – author's modification of B. Long's "Symbolic Tasks for Identification of the Social Self" technique. O.M. Diachenko's technique for completing unfinished pictures.
Results. Individuals with multiple social identity and egocentric social identity demonstrated higher levels of creativity as compared to individuals with diffuse social identity. In situations of frustration, creativity is more stable in individuals with multiple social identities who are aware of their simultaneous involvement in different social communities.
Conclusions. Social identity is a contextual factor in the realisation of creativity. Multiple social identities promote originality of ideas and elaboration of details and maintain their stability in situations of frustration. Diffuse social identity has a moderating effect on flexibility, originality, and elaboration.

General Information

Keywords: social identity; identity type; frustration; creativity; originality; graphic diagnostic method

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The reported study was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project number 20-013-00567.

Received: 31.08.2022


For citation: Gudzovskaya A.A., Dobrynina E.I., Myshkina M. S. Social Identity as a Context of Creativity in Situation of Frustration. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2023. Vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 193–210. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2023140212. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Alla A. Gudzovskaya, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor of the Department of Social Psychology, Samara National Research University; Academy for Gifted Children (Nayanova), Senior Researcher at the Academy for Gifted Children (Nayanova), Samara, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Ekaterina I. Dobrynina, Master, Samara National Research University, Samara, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Marina . Myshkina, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor of the Department of Social Psychology, Samara National Research University, Samara, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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