Data for ʺCreative thinking and executive functions: associations and training effects in adolescentsʺ

Published: 26 January 2021| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/xfg4c3kf4f.1
Joseph Maes,


Previous research has revealed mixed results regarding the association between different aspects of cognitive functioning, including basic and executive functions on one hand, and measures of creative thinking on the other. Identifying the strongest association(s) might inform the design of cognitive training programs that aim to enhance creative performance. Therefore, in Study 1, 13–15-year-old adolescents performed tasks measuring general information processing speed, working memory (WM) maintenance, WM monitoring and updating, interference control, response inhibition, task-switching ability, convergent creative thinking, and divergent thinking. The results revealed that only WM updating was significantly associated with most aspects of convergent and divergent thinking. Based on these results, in Study 2, 12–14-year-old adolescents were randomly assigned to a WM updating training condition or an active control condition. Before and after training, all participants performed a non-trained WM updating task, and convergent and divergent thinking tasks, to assess near- and far-transfer effects of the training, respectively. Using the performance of the participants from the control condition as comparison, the WM updating training resulted in training-induced beneficial performance effects on the WM updating transfer task and on most measures of the convergent and divergent thinking tasks. These results, together with the outcome of previous studies, are promising in suggesting the potential of cognitive training programs that specifically target WM updating to enhance aspects of creative thinking. One SPSS data file is provided for each of the two studies. The files contain, for each participant, the computed, pre-processed outcome score(s) for each of the tasks used. Based on these scores, bivariate, zero-order Pearson correlations, repeated measures analyses of variance, and regression analyses were performed as manipulation check of the various tests, to examine the association between the various outcome measures, and to assess training effects, as described in the target article. The exact meaning of each column is described under “Variable View” --> “Label”. Raw data are available upon request.



Northwest Normal University, Radboud Universiteit


Adolescent, Working Memory, Executive Functions, Creative Thinking