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The creative process in counterfactual reflection: daydreaming other worlds

Grant number: 19/27236-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2020
Effective date (End): August 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Cognitive Psychology
Principal researcher:Patrícia Waltz Schelini
Grantee:Mariana Prado
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Creative action adds multiple factors, including cognitive processes and socio-emotional variables. Guilford theorized some factors that were later associated with the creative person, namely fluency, flexibility, elaboration, and originality. On the other hand, when imaginative thinking goes back to the past and hypothetical alternatives to events and their outcomes, we call it counterfactual. There are four axes of classification of counterfactual thinking: related to direction, structure, referential, and function. But alternative realities to the past does't interesse just the science. The gothic fiction literature, born with the novel "The Castle of Otranto" (Walpole, 1764), brings a theatrical life with ghostly characters and, same as the counterfactuals, appropriates of the past looking mostly to the affections. Thus, this research wants to investigate the differences in the ability to elaborate counterfactual thoughts in different age groups, also to examine the levels at which creative parameters appear in narratives that rewrite the events of novels with gothic influence. The older age group is expected to produce more counterfactuals and make more use of elaboration in their creative process. The analysis of results will be based on narrative content analysis and will be subject to comparison between groups using the T Test.

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