Great British Creativity Test

Even minimal creative activity, like making music, boosts wellbeing

A three-part study, commissioned by BBC Arts, of nearly 49,000 people found that regardless of skill level, taking part in creative activities like making music helps people manage their emotions, build confidence and explore solutions to problems.

Participants in the Great British Creativity Test, produced in partnership with University College London (UCL), were asked about which creative activities they took part in, including options in performing arts and music, visual arts, literature, and digital arts.

It was found that trying new creative activities – regardless of the level of skill involved – had a particularly positive impact on emotions and wellbeing, moving one respondent to say: “I feel happier after playing or listening to music.”

Researchers identified three key ways that creativity is used:
* as a ‘distraction tool’ to avoid stress
* as a ‘contemplation tool’, creating the mental space to reassess problems and make plans
* and for ‘self-development’, building self-esteem and confidence.

The findings have been used to create an online ‘Feel Good Test’ which provides respondents with a personalised ‘feel good formula’.

Dr Daisy Fancourt, the leader of the UCL research team said: “This study is the first to show the cognitive strategies the brain uses to regulate our emotions when we’re taking part in creative activities.”

BBC Arts editor Lamia Dabboussy said: “Lots of us lead increasingly busy lives and this research shows that even a small amount of time spent on creative pursuits can really make a difference.”

Image from Pixabay, reproduced under Creative Commons CC0.

SOURCES:
Arts Professional: https://www.artsprofessional.co.uk/news/even-minimal-creative-activity-boosts-wellbeing-research-finds?utm_source=300-special&utm_medium=email&utm_content=nid-211363&utm_campaign=3rd-January-2020
Plos One: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0211362
BBC Arts: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/h0Wf2JL3GnG52jLp7j1ydk/take-the-feel-good-test-to-improve-your-wellbeing

DETAILS:

BENEFIT: IMPROVED EMOTIONAL WELLBEING AND INCREASED CONFIDENCE
TARGET GROUP: ADULTS
AGE: 25-47 YEARS-OLD
MUSIC TYPE: GENERAL
TYPE OF STUDY: ACADEMIC RESEARCH
NOs INVOLVED: 48,829
PERIOD OF STUDY: 3-4 MONTHS
DATE: 2019
PLACE: UK

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