Creativity for Deliberate Harm: Malevolent Creativity and Social Information Processing Theory

Melissa B. Gutworth, Lily Cushenbery, Samuel T. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (SciVal)


Both popular press and academic research laud the benefits of creativity. Malevolent creativity, however, is the application of creativity to intentionally harm others. This study examines predictors of malevolent creativity, considering both contextual and individual difference influences. Social information processing theory suggests that situational cues might be more influential in shaping malevolent creativity. Two experimental laboratory studies test the effects of both formal and informal situational cues and find that these factors are predictive of malevolent creativity components above and beyond individual differences such as personality and cognitive ability. Implications of these findings for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-322
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Creative Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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