BACKGROUND: The possible link between creativity and psychopathology has been a long-time focus of research up to the present day. However, the research results in this field are heterogeneous and contradictory. Links between creativity and specific psychiatric disorders have been confirmed and refuted in different studies. This disparity is partly explained by the methodological challenges peculiar to this field.
METHODS: In this systematic review of the literature from 1950, research articles in the field of creativity and psychopathology are presented, focusing on the methodology and results of the collected studies.
RESULTS: This review confirms the methodological problems and the heterogeneity of the study designs and results. The assessment of psychopathology, but more so of creativity, remains a fundamental challenge. On the whole, study results cautiously confirm an association between creativity and both bipolar disorder and schizotypy.
CONCLUSION: The research on creativity and psychopathology is hampered by serious methodological problems. Study results are to be interpreted with caution and future research needs more methodological rigor.