Talk title: “No Pain No Gain”: Predicting Creativity Through Body Signals


Lirong Sun a b, Peter A. Gloor a 1, Marius Steinc, Joscha Eirichd, Qi Wenf

Talk abstract:

Creative people are highly valued in all parts of society, be it companies, government, or private life. However, organizations struggle to identify their most creative members. Is there a “magic ingredient” that sets the most creative individuals of an organization apart from the rest of the population? This paper aims to shed light on a part of this puzzle by introducing a novel method based on analysing body language measured with sensors. We assess an individual’s creativity with the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, while their body signals are tracked with the sensors of a smartwatch measuring heart rate, acceleration, vector magnitude count, and loudness. These variables are complemented with external environmental features such as light level measured by the smartwatch. In addition, the smartwatch includes a custom-built app, the Happimeter, that allows users to do mood input in a two-dimensional framework consisting of pleasance and activation. Using multilevel regression, we find that people’s creativity is predictable by their body sensor readings. We thus provide preliminary evidence that the body movement as well as environmental variables have a relationship with an individual’s creativity. The results also highlight the influence of affective states on an individual’s creativity.