Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dollinger, Stephen


AN ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS OF LAURA A. KISE, for the Master of Arts degree in CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY, presented on April 14, 2010, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: PERFORMANCE ART AS SUBLIMATION: THE CASE OF DANCE MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. Stephen Dollinger Creativity and sublimation have been linked throughout the theoretical literature on psychological defense, especially in relation to artistic creativity. As a performance art, dance has been included as a creative form in one of the commonly used measures of creative accomplishments. These links suggest the possibility that dance and sublimation may be related. The purpose of this study was to determine whether dancers endorsed sublimation more than did non-dancers. Participants consisted of 126 female participants recruited from two psychology courses and a university dance company. They completed a questionnaire about level of involvement in dance, Hocevar's Creative Behavior Inventory (including a number of dance items), and the Defense Styles Questionnaire with additional sublimation items (modeled after the sublimation item already in the DSQ) embedded within it. Results indicated that sublimation was a significant predictor of dance, as was SES. SES had a curvilinear relationship with dance such that those identified as well-off were most likely to dance. Four of the six individual sublimation items correlated significantly with dance. Particular motivations to dance also correlated significantly with sublimation and dance. Dance correlated with some of the other CBI creativity scales, but not all, suggesting domain specificity.




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