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  • The initial submission of this article was received on March 12th, 2018 and was peer-reviewed by 2 reviewers and the Academic Editor.
  • The Academic Editor made their initial decision on May 23rd, 2018.
  • The first revision was submitted on August 8th, 2018 and was reviewed by the Academic Editor.
  • The article was Accepted by the Academic Editor on August 21st, 2018.

Version 0.2 (accepted)

· Aug 21, 2018 · Academic Editor


Thank you for the changes implemented.

# PeerJ Staff Note - this decision was reviewed and approved by Stephen Macknik, a PeerJ Section Editor covering this Section #

Version 0.1 (original submission)

· May 23, 2018 · Academic Editor

Minor Revisions

Dear authors

Please find enclosed comments on your ms. Sorry for the delay as we had to change the Academic Editor to myself (the prior Editor was unavailable).

Pleas pay close attention to all the comments from both reviewers. We look forward to your revisions.

Gerhard Andersson

[# PeerJ Staff Note: It is PeerJ policy that additional references suggested during the peer-review process should only be included if the authors are in agreement that they are relevant and useful #]


Basic reporting

The current manuscript reports on a study that investigates whether creative ability is explained by variation in schizotypy and schizotypy-related health observations (general health complaints, insomnia). This study question is to me exciting, and I was very pleased to be invited reviewing this manuscript. The authors observed that indeed the link between creativity and schizotypy was moderated by insomnia and general health, but not always in the expected direction. Thinking as to how and why these results have occurred, I stopped reading focussing on the first sections instead. I feel there is too much to be tested, verified and calculated before going to a discussion.

To reiterate, the study question is interesting. I am also not worried about the methodology. I am equally pleased about the sample size. I have theoretical and data processing suggestions I strongly advice the authors to take into consideration.

The introduction would profit from some more rigorous implementations of the previous literature. When reading this section, I had the impression the authors are rather informed on sleep but less so on schizotypy. They used the o-life questionnaire, in the abstract they refer to the impulsive component, which is, however, missing in the result section. If they include the impulsive component, they should have a good think in which theoretical concept they consider it. Indeed, many schizotypy researchers would consider the impulsive non-conformity component not to be representative of schizotypy but to rather reflect borderline tendencies or also hypomanic ones. Also, cognitive disorganisation is often thought to largely reflect social anxiety / Neuroticism. The authors cited our study (Mohr and Claridge). In the same issue, we published our contribution the authors can find many important other ones that summarize the latest trends and considerations in the schizotypy literature.

Having said so, if the authors take our contribution serious (Mohr and Claridge), they should have tested for a much different assumption, i.e. that positive schizotypy alone is linked to creativity. If so, they should have selected participants who are high in positive schizotypy and relatively low in the other dimensions. One could then also assume that these sub-group should have lower insomnia and health complains problems, because they have less cognitive disorganisation and introvertive anhedonia. The reasoning, the theoretical part of the introduction could be turned into a much more literature driven development of interesting research questions the authors can tackle. Indeed, approaching the data the way suggested here would allow them arguing that previous studies were heterogeneous because this reasoning was not considered. In general, I would have liked to see more recent studies on schizotypy and creativity, and also more on health related issues. I consider it appropriate to refer to the work by Kerry Schofield and Gordon Claridge. I also feel the recent work by Maggie Webb could be accounted for, Andreas Fink is always active in the domain of creativity. A deeper digging into the literature on creativity and schizotypy would profit this interesting study, polishing the reasoning and shaping a priori predictions.

Experimental design

no comment

Validity of the findings

The data and analysis approach: I consider regressions a good choice. Personally, I do not find it always the easiest choice to decide which type of regression to use. The current authors chose a step-wise hierarchical regression. I am not too sure why they chose this version and not one in which all variables were entered at the same time. Spontaneously, I would have expected them to add “confounds” to the first step to continue working on the variance in the second step when the contribution of the variables in the first step have been eliminated. Now, I am not sure whether they consider the schizotypy and health related information to be equally important or whether it would be better to think again in a stepwise fashion (the authors might have wanted to achieve so, they report on step 2a and 2b). Is it the case that they wanted now to first account for the variance explained by schizotypy and then the other variables or vice versa? What would be the logical reasoning? Was collinearity accounted for? Where is the information on the skewedness of the variables? Also, I got very confused about the presentation of the 3-way interaction of the variables in e.g. Figure 3. I would consider it more appropriate to present the data along the x-y-z axes. Yet, the results as presented do not indicate that there is a 3-way interaction. I doubt that the current treatment of the results is appropriate. Yet, I do not claim to be a statistical expert and would advise the authors to consider the advice of a statistician. But before doing so, I consider it more important to be sure about the previous literature and the precise study question. Knowing this will allow the choice of statistical analysis.

At this point, the authors would also change Figure 1 into a Table. Ideally, one would see the correlation coefficients and the respective p-values, e.g indicated by stars. The colour coding does not seem very pertinent to me. Likewise, I found it difficult to see the relevance of the results shown e.g. in Figure 4. A more informative table on the regression results would be more comprehensive to me.

A very important point to me is the lack of expected findings. One can look for the significant ones and explain them, but in my view, one should equally look at those who were not significant. For instance, one should have expected a relationship between positive schizotypy and divergent thinking as well as the remote associates tasks. Yet, no such result was observed. Why not? How does the current study diverge from studies that found such links? Moreover, where relationships were found, we were mainly dealing with self-report measures. Are the current results a response biases finding? Here studies on schizotypy and signal detection theory are informative. Schizotypes not being higher in one thing or another, but being “simply” more inclined to say “yes”. Thus, not a higher d-prime, but a lower response criterion.

Some “minor” observations.
1) In the first paragraph, it would be appropriate to also cite some seminal studies here. Ettinger’s study is more about cognitive functioning. When it comes to the concept of schizotypy other references are more appropriate, either the classical ones by Meehl or Claridge, but also overview and theoretical studies on the construct(s), e.g. by Tom Kwapil or also Lenzenweger.
2) The study by Acar and Sen seems very critical to the current study and some more information what was actually found by these authors would be perfect to learn about. I cannot imagine that the study had not more crucial findings that are relevant to the current study.
3) Data clearning under participant section would better go to the data analysis section. Using age in the regression analysis in a first step would also mean that no participant needs to be excluded for age.
4) The authors have an excellent distribution of gender. Gender differences are known for schizotypy, and thus, it should be added to the regression analysis.
5) I am not sure what the two forms of the verbal divergent thinking mean. If the outcome of the coding was not so good for form 2, why using the data of this form?
6) Control fluency for total number of ideas. In the case of the current measures, “creative” ideas might be higher because people created more ideas, or even better, they provided a higher number of mainly creative ideas. Thus, when calculating the number of original ideas as a function of the overall output, the proportion is a more meaningful variable.
7) How was the study introduced?
8) What else was assessed in this study? Probably the current reasoning would profit from controlling for other variables the authors have assessed. Do the authors have former drug use (e.g. alcohol, cannabis, nicotine – for which we found a role on the link between schizotypy and cognition).
9) For the sleep analysis, did the authors assess objective measures of sleep? Is it not the case that the subjective sleep appreciation and actual sleep measures frequently deviate substantially?

Additional comments

I hope my observations will help the authors to further work on their manuscript.
Christine Mohr


Basic reporting

Article raises and reports on an important consideration in creativity/schizotypy research: that of the effect of sleep disorder on cognitive control, and thus the role that impacted control might have for creativity and schizotypy.


1) schizotypy as a multi-dimensional construct that is dimensionally associated with creativity
2) creativity as a multi-dimensional construct which is impacted by cognitive control
3) Link between schizotypy/ sleep/ cognitive control/creativity

- Insert a paragraph on link between schizotypy and creativity through cognitive control before the paragraph on sleep. This will enable a stronger rationale for sleep/creativity/schizotypy through cognitive control.
Paragraph 3 currently has unclear logic. It outlines the link between sleep disorders and schizotypy, and states "therefore, we can assume" an averse effect of sleep on creativity. Clarifying the role of cognitive control may attenuate this.
The following paper may help in elucidating here: Carson, S. H., Peterson, J. B., & Higgins, D. M. (2003). Decreased latent inhibition is associated with increased creative achievement in high-functioning individuals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(3), 499–506.

- Consider differentiating the type of creativity that sleep disorder is likely to affect (e.g., do you expect the same or different effects of schizotypy/sleep on convergent vs. divergent thinking? (i.e., arguably CRAs vs. DT)

(METHOD and RESULTS dealt with in Experimental design and Validity)

1) Reports results:
positive schizotypy associated with CAQ, when controlling for general mental health.
disorganised schizotypy positively predicts remote association problem solving performance, if insomnia partialled out.
no dimension of schizotypy associated with fluency and creativity of divergent thinking, not even when the effect of general mental health or insomnia was statistically controlled.

2) Support for positive schizotypy & CAQ - Rawlings and Nelson; Holt.
Consider also including discussion of the role of intelligence in creative achievement - as you note there may be buffers for sleep deprivation (e.g., Jauk et al. 2014 - included below)

3) Positive association between disorganised schizotypy and CRAs.
The speculation underlying why this might be the case is reasonable (i.e., controlling for negative effect of lack of sleep enables a facilitative effect of disorganised schizotypy through an extended semantic search). This is an interesting and possibly very important finding. However, as noted by the authors, this finding is inconsistent with a meta-analysis conducted by Acar and Sen (2013). It is also inconsistent with more recent findings (e.g., Webb, Little, Cropper and Roze, 2017 - included below). Given the evidence to the contrary, the likelihood that this is a statistical artefact seems quite possible, and replication is definitely required before strong claims can be made.

4) No association between schizotypy and DT.
Reviewer speculation: Evidence indicates that unusual ideas (originality) is most consistently associated with psychoticism (e.g., Acar & Runco, 2010), which is associated with positive schizotypy (as Acar and Sen state in their 2013 meta-analysis). Is it possible that, because uniqueness of ideas is not being scored in this study, this is the reason that there is no observed relationship between schizotypy and DT? Re-scoring the data according to fluency, flexibility, and originality may change the results - would perhaps be interesting to compare.

Further research to consider:

Acar, S., & Runco, M. A. (2012). Psychoticism and Creativity: A Meta-analytic Review. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 6(4), 341–350.

Burch, G. S. J., Pavelis, C., Hemsley, D. R., & Corr, P. J. (2006). Schizotypy and creativity in visual artists. British Journal of Psychology, 97(2), 177–190.

Fink, A., Slamar-Halbedl, M., Unterrainer, H. F., & Weiss, E. M. (2012). Creativity: Genius, madness, or a combination of both? Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 6(1), 11–18.

Jauk, E., Benedek, M., & Neubauer, A. C. (2014). The road to creative achievement: A latent variable model of ability and personality predictors. European Journal of Personality, 28(1), 95–105.

LeBoutillier, N., Barry, R., & Westley, D. (2014). The Role of Schizotypy in Predicting Performance on Figural and Verbal Imagery-Based Measures of Creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 26(4), 461–467.

Webb, M. E., Little, D. R., Cropper, S. J., & Roze, K. (2017). The contributions of convergent thinking, divergent thinking, and schizotypy to solving insight and non-insight problems. Thinking & Reasoning.

Zabelina, D. L., Condon, D., & Beeman, M. (2014). Do dimensional psychopathology measures relate to creative achievement or divergent thinking? Frontiers in Psychology, 5(SEP), 1–11.

Writing is generally clear and concise. A few instances in which statements could be made clearer still. Please see the following for persnickety corrections:

Line 53: If the claim is "often regarded", consider including more than one study that uses it as such.

Line 59 the grammar within the phrase "loosened thinking, speech, and inadequate emotional reactions" does not make clear that disorganised speech is part of loosened thinking - consider "loosened thinking and speech" to clarify.

Line 75: "Although positive schizotypal traits may have benefits in the non-clinical population, some of the individuals with high schizotypal traits face with subclinical mental-health problems (e.g., anxiety, insomnia, depression, diffuse somatic complaints)" - this seems a little strong. Consider revising as "are associated with subclinical mental health problems", and note studies in which this is the case.

APA errors (e.g., citations not listed in reference list author within brackets/ use of & outside of brackets)
89, 93, 156, 268, 272,

Experimental design

Research questions:
Well defined, relevant, meaningful


Generally well written and clear, but would appreciate clarification of the following:

== Divergent thinking measures:
Given only two forms of Just Suppose test are implemented, it would be nice to know what the two questions were.

Line 143: Authors report selecting 10-10% of ideas - is this the true range?

== CRAs:
Who developed the Hungarian form of the CRAs? (Bowden and Jung-Beeman provide an English test)

== Sleep measure:
Would be nice to have an explanation for why a sleep *questionnaire* used, when the rationale for investigating sleep was built regarding physiological measures. Might a questionnaire produce a different effect/relationships compared to physiological indicators?

Validity of the findings

Standards of PeerJ generally met.


Decisions regarding missing/filtered data are clearly set out. Data analysed in a fitting manner.

Request for further information regarding analysis of compound remote associates: what was done with time-outs vs. incorrect responses? Loose-associative thinking, perhaps exacerbated by lack of cognitive control, could lead to inaccuracies in CRAs.

Additional comments

This study has clear implications for the literature. It would be nice if there was a replication included in this, and if there were intelligence measures/other convergent thinking tasks to compare with the CRAs and DT measure. However, that seems a task for future research, which I for one will be excited to read.

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