An observation of a negative effect of social cohesion on creativity in musical improvisation

Adrian Kempf, Mathias Benedek, Andrea Schiavio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although various social factors can significantly impact creative performance, it is still unclear how social cohesion (i.e., how close we feel to others) influences creativity. We therefore conducted two studies exploring the association between social cohesion and creativity within the domain of musical improvisation, a prime example of creative performance, which usually plays out in social contexts. The first study (n = 58 musical novices) showed that music-induced synchrony facilitates social cohesion. In our second study (n = 18 musical novices), we found that in two out of three experimental conditions, increased social cohesion is associated with less creative musical outcomes, as rated by nine expert musicians. In our subsequent analysis we related measures of social cohesion and creativity. This approach highlights how, within a musical setting, creativity unfolds in the context of social contingencies as social cohesion and related factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2922
Number of pages13
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2024.


  • Brain
  • Music
  • Social Cohesion
  • Creativity
  • Emotions

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