Effect of a Single Chiropractic Adjustment on Divergent Thinking and Creative Output: A Pilot Study, Part II

June 2011
Chiropractic Journal of Australia;Jun2011, Vol. 41 Issue 2, p67
Academic Journal
Objective: The responses of sixteen subjects to a single chiropractic adjustment are described in terms of structured divergent thinking tasks and post-adjustment interview of the subjects. Clinical Features: subjects were respondents to a call for subjects. They ranged from 28 to 73 years of age. All of the subjects except Subject 25 were currently involved in a real-world task involving some form of creative thinking. (Note: The numbering of subjects in this report begins with Subject 11. Subjects 1-10 were discussed in Part I.) Thirteen of the subjects were also experiencing pain or other musculoskeletal symptoms at the time of the study. Subjects 12 and 14 also reported emotional stress at the time of the study. Interventions and Outcomes: Two versions of the alternate uses test were administered before and a third version after a chiropractic adjustment. This test is an established outcome measure related to divergent thinking, which is a component of creativity. Each subject was also interviewed one to nine days after the adjustment, to ascertain their own impressions of any changes they experienced in the realm of creative thinking. The chiropractic adjustments were performed according to Diversified and Applied Kinesiology protocols. Pooled data from this paper and the previous paper were analyzed. Mean alternate uses test scores for two dimensions of performance (fluency and originality) were greater on the post-adjustment trial than the mean scores for either of the pre-adjustment trials. However, this change was not statistically significant. On interview, subjects were asked if they had noticed any change regarding their engagement with their real-world creative task. Fourteen subjects reported in increase in creativity, while nine reported an increase in their level of energy or quality of focus with respect to creative work. Three subjects reported no change in creativity or energy/focus. None of the subjects gave any indication on interview that their creativity had suffered in any way. Chi-square analysis of the interview data indicates that the observed distribution differs from a random distribution to a statistically significant degree (p = 0.030189). An exploration of possible confounders of the data suggests false negative alternate uses test results to be more likely than false positive interview results. Conclusions: A statistically significant short-term enhancement of creative thinking or energy/focus when involved in creative work following a chiropractic adjustment is indicated by the interview data, with a latency of zero to nine days. Speculations regarding the nature of this latency are discussed. The results of a pilot study must be approached with caution. Therefore, we devote much of our discussion to the topic of how future research can overcome the limitations of the present study.



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