Women are more creative during ovulation

Women tend to generate more new ideas during ovulation compared to the infertile phases of the cycle.

According to a new study from the SWPS University of Social and Human Sciences in Warsaw, creativity plays a role in sexual selection. According to the authors, creativity seems to be a very old evolutionary trait. It is defined as the ability to make something new and useful, so it probably helped our ancestors to survive.

However, creativity is not just about solving problems, it is also associated with the expression of beauty. This means it may be linked to reproduction as a way of helping to attract mates. It is difficult to show that creativity evolved through sexual selection, but indirectly, if it were used as a signal to attract sexual partners, it should be potentiated, for example, during the fertile phase of the ovulatory cycle in women.

In their study, researchers used saliva and urine-based test kits to determine menstrual cycle phases in 72 women aged 18 to 35. Participants were not pregnant, breastfeeding or using hormonal contraceptives.

The women completed creativity measures during the follicular, ovulatory, and luteal phases of their menstrual cycle. One of the creativity tests was the alternative uses test, in which women were asked to list as many alternative uses as possible for an everyday object. The other assessment was the Remote Associates Test, in which participants were shown three words and asked to invent a fourth word related to all of them.

Consistent with the previous study, the researchers found that the ideas generated during the alternative use test tended to be the most original during the ovulatory phase. In one of the previous studies carried out by the researchers, creativity was tested in women using contraceptives and, in this case, no variations were found throughout the cycle. This indicates that more studies are needed to see how hormones influence this brain function.

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Enhanced originality of ideas in women during ovulation: an in-subject design study

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