The cognitive and socioemotional effects of a short-term light painting intervention

Jun Hu1, Lidong Lu2, Mengjing Zhu1, Zhaoyi Li3, Chu Wang1, Shengli Gu1, Linghao Meng3, Hongyan Liu3, Zhiguo Hu2, Yun Xu4
1Department of Fine Arts Education, Hangzhou Normal University, People’s Republic of China
2Center for Cognition and Brain Disorders, Hangzhou Normal University, People’s Republic of China
3Department of Psychology, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, People’s Republic of China
4Department of Psychology, Zhejiang University of Technology, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Hu, J., Lu, L., Zhu, M., Li, Z., Wang, C., Gu, S., Meng, L., Liu, H., Hu, Z., & Xu, Y. (2020). The cognitive and socioemotional effects of a short-term light painting intervention. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 48(8), e9270.

Volume 48 Issue 8 | e9270 | Published: August 2020 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.9270

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We investigated the cognitive and socioemotional effects of a light painting intervention, which is a new type of creative arts therapy. Participants were 60 university students, 30 of whom were assigned to the light painting (LP) group and attended 5 light painting sessions for 1 hour every other day, and 30 of whom were assigned to the control group and engaged in classroom self-study on the same schedule. Both groups completed a spatial orientation task and the Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule before and after the intervention. Compared to the control group, the LP group showed significant improvement in speed of performing the spatial orientation task. Moreover, the LP group reported increases in imagination, creativity, emotional and mental health, and social skills. Our findings provide preliminary empirical evidence supporting the positive effect of LP in some cognitive and socioemotional domains, and indicate that LP could be a promising creative arts therapy intervention for treating psychiatric disorders.

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