Overexcitabilities as important psychological attributes of creativity: A Dabrowskian perspective

Jing Mavis HE WU, Wan-chi WONG, Mei Ki CHAN

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to examine the contribution of overexcitabilities (OEs) to creativity from a Dabrowskian perspective, which posits that OEs are important psychological attributes of creativity. A total of 1,055 (50.4% female) students in grades 7-11 in Hong Kong participated in the study. OEs and creative thinking were assessed using the Overexcitability Questionnaire–Two (OEQII) and the Test for Creative Thinking–Drawing Production (TCT–DP), respectively. While the OEQII was developed based on Dabrowski’s thesis of overexcitability, the TCT–DP was developed according to the componential model of creativity that aims to capture various components of creativity by applying a gestalt approach. Several important findings are worthy of highlighting. First, the five forms of OE together explained 18.6% of the variance in creativity. Second, imaginational OE was ranked as the most significant predictor of creativity, followed by intellectual, emotional, sensual, and psychomotor OEs. Third, the OEQII showed significant discriminating power in the identification of highly creative individuals with a 71.8% accuracy rate. Theoretically, the findings lent empirical support to the Dabrowskian perspective regarding the predictive role of OEs to creativity. The findings also enrich Dabrowki’s thesis relating to the OE–creativity relationship and promote understanding of the nature of creativity. Practically, the findings may facilitate the identification of creatively gifted individuals. They may also inform good practices in enhancing creativity development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-35
JournalThinking Skills and Creativity
Early online dateJul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


He, W.-j., Wong, W.-c., & Chan, M.-k. (2017). Overexcitabilities as important psychological attributes of creativity: A Dabrowskian perspective. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 25, 27-35.


  • Overexcitability
  • Creativity
  • Dabrowskian perspective
  • TCT–DP
  • Gifted Education


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