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Consequences of Beliefs about the Malleability of Creativity

  • Author(s): O'Connor, Alexander J.
  • Nemeth, Charlan J.
  • Akutsu, Satoshi
  • et al.
Abstract

Attempts to maximize creativity pervade corporate, artistic, and scientific domains. This research investigated how individual’s implicit theories about the malleability of creativity affect several creativity related constructs. Through two correlational and one experimental study we examine the relationship between implicit theories about creativity and their effect on both creative problem solving and lifetime creative achievement. In Study 1 incremental theories in creativity are associated with interest in creative thinking, self-reported creativity, and creative problem-solving. In Study 2, incremental theories are associated with lifetime creative achievements in a cross-cultural, professional sample. In Study 3, incremental primes of creativity led to increased creative problem-solving. Further, all studies establish discriminant validity and domain-specificity for implicit theories of creativity. Specifically, Studies 1 and 2 control for individual differences in implicit theories of intelligence, suggesting that implicit theories of creativity and intelligence are meaningfully distinct. Study 3 finds that incremental theories of creativity enhance creative problem-solving but not problem-solving more generally.

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