Positive schizotypy and the experience of creativity: The distinctive roles of suspiciousness and dispositional mindfulness

Heather McDonald, Mariam Babunashvili, Ariane Finn, Aiyana Willard, Lucia Valmaggia, Paul Chadwick, Elena Antonova

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8 Citations (Scopus)
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Positive schizotypy has been shown to predict emergence of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, with suspiciousness/paranoia regarded a key risk factor. However, magical thinking and unusual perceptual experiences, other aspects of positive schizotypy, are associated with creativity. We investigated whether suspiciousness attenuates the relationship of magical thinking and unusual experiences with creative experience, and explored the interaction of dispositional mindfulness with positive schizotypy and creative experience. 342 (256 females) healthy adults (mean age: 25.9; SD 8.4) completed online self-report measures of schizotypy, creative experience, and dispositional mindfulness. Moderation analysis showed that suspiciousness attenuated the positive relationship of magical thinking (b = −0.29, p =.03) and unusual perceptual experiences (b = −0.23, p =.01) with an aspect of creative experience related to positive affect – power/pleasure. This effect was not present for 4 other aspects of creative experience. Multiple linear regressions revealed higher dispositional mindfulness to interact with aspects of positive schizotypy associated with heightened creative experience of power/pleasure (b = 0.06, p =.03), clarity/preparation (b = 0.03, p =.004), and differing levels of anxiety associated with creative engagement (b = −0.06, p =.003; b = 0.03, p =.047). Higher dispositional mindfulness was also associated with lower suspiciousness (r s = −0.33, p <.001). The study highlights the importance of considering the role of suspiciousness/paranoia when investigating the relationship between positive schizotypy and creativity. The findings provide support for the application of mindfulness-based interventions for mitigating psychosis-risk associated with suspiciousness, whilst supporting the otherwise favourable association of positive schizotypy with creativity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-158
Number of pages8
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • schizotypy
  • schizophrenia
  • psychosis
  • paranoia
  • dispositional mindfulness
  • creativity


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