Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Elena Karpova

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine creativity assessment and antecedents and the role of creativity training. The specific research objectives included 1) investigate relationships among different types of creativity assessments; 2) examine creativity before and after training to determine how it is influenced by past creative experience and attitude toward risk-taking; 3) evaluate effectiveness of a creativity training program based on participants' evaluations, change in participant creativity, different samples, and individual participants' performance. Two studies, in 2012 and 2013, were conducted to collect data. The research participants were enrolled in AESHM 222 Creative Thinking and Problem Solving course in the College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University. In the 2012 sample, a total of 47 students participated. The paired data (collected at the beginning and at the end of the course) sample size was 40. In the 2013 sample, a total of 66 students participated in the study. The paired data sample size was 46.

Based on three theories-- investment theory (Sternberg & Lubart, 1996), Vygotsky's cultural-historical theory (Kaufman & Beghetto, 2009), and growth mindset theory (Dweck, 2006)--a theoretical framework for the study was developed and hypotheses were proposed. The following creativity constructs were selected and tested: (a) divergent thinking measured by the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking, (b) self-assessment of creative ability, and (c) expert assessment of creative product. Preliminary analysis included descriptive analysis, factor analysis, reliability test, and correlation analysis. Structural equation modeling, general linear model of repeated measures, simple regression, and t-test were used to test the proposed model and hypotheses.

The research findings indicate that the three assessments examined in the study measured different creativity attributes. Participants' ability to generate multiple and different ideas over a short period of time was not related to their self-perceived ability to generate multiple and original ideas, or expert evaluated creative products. This implies that even though people may believe in their own creative abilities, it does not mean they can produce original ideas and translate them into creative products.

Past creative experience did not contribute to creativity directly. The research results demonstrated that even though certain experiences are typically referred to as "creative" (e.g., painting, drawing, playing musical instrument, knitting, etc.), participants engaged in these activities were not necessarily producing creative products. The importance placed on past "creative" activities in relation to the ability of generating novel ideas might be overestimated in the previous research. Risk-taking directly positively influenced self-assessment of creativity. This research, for the first time, reported a negative relationship between risk-taking and creativity, suggesting a non-linear relationship between the constructs. The finding suggests that there is no endless contribution from risk-taking to self-assessment of creativity. Similar to the U-shape relationship between experience and creativity reported in the literature, this study proposed the same relationship between creativity and risk-taking.

The current investigation was the first to report how creativity (self-assessed and expert-evaluated) and risk-taking were increased by training. The training was effective based on: (a) the participant's perspective; (b) comparison of creativity constructs in the pre- and post-test; (c) comparison of two samples; and (d) individual performance. In addition, this study, for the first time, offered explanations as to why individual participants might decrease creativity after completing a training program whereas the sample as a whole demonstrated an increase in creativity. The research findings have implications for educators and trainers in businesses and organizations which want to enhance participants' creativity in order to stimulate generation of innovative ideas, or for individuals who are interested in advancing their own creative potential. The results of this research contribute to creativity training curriculum development as it advances our understanding of creativity training outcomes

Copyright Owner

Anna Llingling Perry

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

176 pages

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