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.)


  1. Barysheva T.A. Psikhologiya razvitiya kreativnosti: teoriya, diagnostika, tekhnologii [Psychology of Creativity Development: Theory, Diagnostics, Technology]. Saint-Petersburg: VVM Publ., 2016. 316 р. (In Russ.).
  2. Gudzovskaya A.A. Sotsial'naya identichnost' kak faktor produktivnosti deyatel'nosti [Social identity as a factor of performance productivity]. Vestnik MGOU. Seriya: Psikhologicheskie nauki = Bulletin of the Moscow Region State University. Series: Psychological Science, 2021, no. 4, рр. 8–20. DOI:10.18384/2310-7235-2021-4-8-20 (In Russ.).
  3. Gudzovskaya A.A., Myshkina M.S. Novyi metod graficheskoi diagnostiki sotsial'noi identichnosti (GTI) [A new method for graphical diagnosis of social identity (GTI)]. Vektor nauki Tol'yattinskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya: Pedagogika, psikhologiya = Science Vector of Togliatti State University. Series: Pedagogy, Psychology, 2022, no. 4, рр. 50–58. DOI:10.18323/2221-5662-2022-4-50-58 (In Russ.).
  4. Dubovitskaya T.D., Erbegeeva A.R. Osobennosti frustratsii i strategii preodoleniya u studentov s trudnostyami v uchebe [Elektronnyi resurs] [Frustration and Coping Strategies in Students with Learning Difficulties]. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2010. Vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 1–9. URL: (Accessed 19.05.2022). (In Russ.).
  5. Kovaleva A.I. Raznovidnosti sotsial'noi identichnosti: podkhody k klassifikatsii [Kinds of social identity: approaches to classification]. Znanie. Ponimanie. Umenie = Knowledge. Understanding. Skill, 2019, no. 4, pp. 89–103. DOI:10.17805/zpu.2019.4.7 (In Russ.).
  6. Meshkova N.V. Sovremennye zarubezhnye issledovaniya kreativnosti: sotsial'no-psikhologicheskii aspekt [Foreign Research in Creativity: The Social Psychological Aspect]. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2015. Vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 8–21. (In Russ.).
  7. Tikhomirova T. Intellekt i kreativnost' v usloviyakh sotsial'noi sredy [Intelligence and creativity in a social environment]. Litres Publ., 2022. 300 p. (In Russ.).
  8. Ushakov D.V., Valueva E.A. Signal'naya model' insaita: ot istoricheskikh predposylok k empiricheskim predskazaniyam [Signal Model of Insight: From Historical Preconditions to Empirical Predictions]. In Zhuravlev A.L., Ushakov D.V., Kholodnaya M. (eds.). Sovremennye issledovaniya intellekta i tvorchestva = Modern Studies of Intellect and Creativity. Mosсow: Institut psikhologii RAN, 2015, pp. 15–47. (In Russ.).
  9. Yurova K.I., Yurov I.A. Frustratsiya kak faktor neadekvatnogo povedeniya [Frustration as a factor in maladaptive behavior]. Gumanizatsiya obrazovaniya = Humanisation of education, 2016, no. 6, рр. 110–114. (In Russ.).
  10. Ahmad N., Ullah Z., AlDhaen E. et al. Fostering Hotel-Employee Creativity Through Micro-Level Corporate Social Responsibility: A Social Identity Theory Perspective. Frontiers in Psychology, 2022, no. 13, pp. 1–12. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2022.853125
  11. Amabile T.M., Collins M.A., Conti R. et al. Creativity in context: Update to the social psychology of creativity. Routledge, 2018. 336 р. DOI:10.4324/9780429501234
  12. Cromwell J. The Social Psychology of Creativity Skills: A Reconceptualization of the Componential Model. In Creativity at Work. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2020, pp. 21–33. DOI:10.1007/978-3-030-61311-2_3
  13. Dollinger S.J., Clancy Dollinger S.M., Centeno L. Identity and Creativity. Identity, 2005. Vol. 5, no. 4, рр. 315–339. DOI:10.1207/s1532706xid0504_2
  14. Faber N.S., Häusser J.A. Why stress and hunger both increase and decrease prosocial behaviour. Current Opinion in Psychology, 2022, no. 44, рр. 49–57. DOI:10.1016/j.copsyc.2021.08.023
  15. Gino F., Wiltermuth S.S. Evil Genius? How Dishonesty Can Lead to Greater Creativity. Psychological Science, 2014. Vol. 25, no. 4, рр. 973–981. DOI:10.1177/0956797614520714
  16. Gu J. et al. Importance of social capital to student creativity within higher education in China. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 2014, no. 12, pp. 14–25.
  17. Guegan J., Segonds F., Barré J. Social identity cues to improve creativity and identification in face-to-face and virtual groups. Computers in Human behavior, 2017, no. 77, pp. 140–147. DOI:10.1016/j.chb.2017.08.043
  18. Haslam S.A. et al. The collective origins of valued originality: A social identity approach to creativity. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 2013. Vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 384–401. DOI:10.1177/1088868313498001
  19. Hennessey B.A. Motivation and creativity. In J.C. Kaufman, R.J. Sternberg (Eds.). The Cambridge handbook of creativity. Cambridge University Press, 2019, pp. 374–395. DOI:10.1017/9781316979839.020
  20. Kaufman J.C., Glăveanu V.P. A review of creativity theories: What questions are we trying to answer? 2019, pp. 27–43. DOI:10.1017/9781316979839.004
  21. Long B.R., Ziller R.H. The Self Social Symbols Tasks. N.Y., 1968. 105 р.
  22. Lubart T., Thornhill-Miller B. Creativity: An overview of the 7 C’s of creative thought. The psychology of human thought: an introduction. Heidelberg University Publishing, Heidelberg, 2019, pp. 277–305. DOI:10.17885/heiup.470.c6678
  23. Van Dick R. et al. Shared identity in organizational stress and change. Current Opinion in Psychology, 2018, no. 23, pp. 20–25. DOI:0.1016/j.copsyc.2017.11.005
  24. Vovk M. et al. Psychological Features of Experiences of Frustration Situations in Youth Age. International Journal of Scientific and Technology Research, 2020. Vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 920–924.

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:



Total: 167
Previous month: 26
Current month: 17


Total: 100
Previous month: 14
Current month: 7