Relationship between anticipated communication and creativity: the moderating role of construal level

LUAN Mo1,2 WU Shuang2,3 LI Hong2,4

(1.Business School, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China 100029)
(2.Department of Psychology, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China 100084)
(3.Rady School of Management, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 92093, USA)
(4.Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School, Shenzhen 518055)

【Abstract】The current research examines the influence of anticipated communication on creativity and the moderating role of construal levels in this process. Experiment 1 adopted a structured imagination task to explore the main effect of anticipated communication on creativity. The results of Experiment 1 showed that compared with the no anticipated communication group, the anticipated communication group showed higher creativity. Experiment 2 used a creative generation task to measure creativity and examined the moderating role of construal levels. Results of Experiment 2 suggested that when completing abstract and high construal-level tasks, the anticipated communication group showed higher creativity in dimensions of originality and flexibility, but there was no difference in creativity between the two groups in terms of concrete and low construal-level tasks. That is to say, anticipated communication promotes creativity only when creative tasks require abstract and high construal-level thinking. In conclusion, this study, based on previous studies on communication and creativity and construal level and creativity, found that for abstract creative tasks, merely anticipated communication enhances creativity even though the actual communication has not yet occurred.

【Keywords】 anticipated communication; creativity; construal level; moderating effect;


【Funds】 National Natural Science Foundation of China (71871124) The National Social Science Fund of China (20AZD085)

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This Article


CN: 11-1911/B

Vol 52, No. 10, Pages 1178-1188

October 2020


Article Outline


  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Experiment 1: the effect of anticipated communication on creativity
  • 3 Experiment 2: the role of construal level in the ef­f­ect of anticipated communication on creativity
  • 4 General discussion
  • References