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Characteristics of the Creative Person: Perceptions of University Teachers in Relation to the Professional Literature

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Abstract

Faculty members in colleges and universities offer creativity courses in a variety of fields of study with the goal of infusing greater creativity into their respective professions. Each teacher strives toward this goal with instructional actions defined by a point of view or personal perspective. To what extent is the perspective of those teaching creativity classes influenced by the literature describing what is needed to be creative? The purpose of this study was twofold: First, it was an attempt to identify the relevant characteristics of a creative person and, second, to use this list of characteristics as a point of reference for a comparison between the perceptions of college faculty (N = 101) and the number of citations related to each characteristic identified. The list of potential characteristics was generated from a content analysis of 67 college course syllabi and used to develop the instrument to collect the reactions of a group of professors identified as teachers of creativity in an American college or university. The list of characteristics served as search descriptors to conduct several database searches yielding a citation count for each characteristic. Results indicate an overall Spearman rho correlation of .520, which will account for about 25% of the variance. Rank order of important characteristics of creative persons are imagination, openness to experience, inquisitiveness or curiosity, intuition, idea finding, tolerance for ambiguity, independence, innovation, insight, and others. Implications for the conditions of differences are discussed in terms of an indicative history, current academic themes, and a potential research agenda.
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... Unfortunately, there is a "creativity gap" between social expectations concerning the promotion of students' creativity and the 1993), high tolerance of ambiguity (Montgomery et al., 1993), and highly developed elaboration (Aish, 2014). When it comes to creative students' personality traits, teachers usually point to curiosity or inquisitiveness (Aish, 2014;Aljughaiman & Mowrer-Reynolds, 2005;Chan & Chan, 1999;Montgomery et al., 1993;Runco, 1984;Runco et al., 1993), broad interests (Aish, 2014;Chan & Chan, 1999;Runco, 1984;Runco et al., 1993), openness to experience (Aish, 2014;Chan & Chan, 1999;Montgomery et al., 1993;Stone, 2015), independence (Aish, 2014;Chan & Chan, 1999;Gralewski & Karwowski, 2018;Hoff & Carlsson, 2011;Montgomery et al., 1993;Runco, 1984;Stone, 2015), nonconformism (Chan & Chan, 1999;Hoff & Carlsson, 2011;Runco, 1984), confidence and assertiveness (Aish, 2014;Chan & Chan, 1999;Runco et al., 1993), willingness to engage in risky actions (Aish, 2014;Aljughaiman & Mowrer-Reynolds, 2005;Chan & Chan, 1999;Runco et al., 1993;Stone, 2015), and individualism (Westby & Dawson, 1995). ...
... Unfortunately, there is a "creativity gap" between social expectations concerning the promotion of students' creativity and the 1993), high tolerance of ambiguity (Montgomery et al., 1993), and highly developed elaboration (Aish, 2014). When it comes to creative students' personality traits, teachers usually point to curiosity or inquisitiveness (Aish, 2014;Aljughaiman & Mowrer-Reynolds, 2005;Chan & Chan, 1999;Montgomery et al., 1993;Runco, 1984;Runco et al., 1993), broad interests (Aish, 2014;Chan & Chan, 1999;Runco, 1984;Runco et al., 1993), openness to experience (Aish, 2014;Chan & Chan, 1999;Montgomery et al., 1993;Stone, 2015), independence (Aish, 2014;Chan & Chan, 1999;Gralewski & Karwowski, 2018;Hoff & Carlsson, 2011;Montgomery et al., 1993;Runco, 1984;Stone, 2015), nonconformism (Chan & Chan, 1999;Hoff & Carlsson, 2011;Runco, 1984), confidence and assertiveness (Aish, 2014;Chan & Chan, 1999;Runco et al., 1993), willingness to engage in risky actions (Aish, 2014;Aljughaiman & Mowrer-Reynolds, 2005;Chan & Chan, 1999;Runco et al., 1993;Stone, 2015), and individualism (Westby & Dawson, 1995). They also mention that a creative student is artistic (Aish, 2014;Aljughaiman & Mowrer-Reynolds, 2005;Chan & Chan, 1999;Runco, 1984;Runco et al., 1993) and good at designing (Runco, 1984). ...
... Unfortunately, there is a "creativity gap" between social expectations concerning the promotion of students' creativity and the 1993), high tolerance of ambiguity (Montgomery et al., 1993), and highly developed elaboration (Aish, 2014). When it comes to creative students' personality traits, teachers usually point to curiosity or inquisitiveness (Aish, 2014;Aljughaiman & Mowrer-Reynolds, 2005;Chan & Chan, 1999;Montgomery et al., 1993;Runco, 1984;Runco et al., 1993), broad interests (Aish, 2014;Chan & Chan, 1999;Runco, 1984;Runco et al., 1993), openness to experience (Aish, 2014;Chan & Chan, 1999;Montgomery et al., 1993;Stone, 2015), independence (Aish, 2014;Chan & Chan, 1999;Gralewski & Karwowski, 2018;Hoff & Carlsson, 2011;Montgomery et al., 1993;Runco, 1984;Stone, 2015), nonconformism (Chan & Chan, 1999;Hoff & Carlsson, 2011;Runco, 1984), confidence and assertiveness (Aish, 2014;Chan & Chan, 1999;Runco et al., 1993), willingness to engage in risky actions (Aish, 2014;Aljughaiman & Mowrer-Reynolds, 2005;Chan & Chan, 1999;Runco et al., 1993;Stone, 2015), and individualism (Westby & Dawson, 1995). They also mention that a creative student is artistic (Aish, 2014;Aljughaiman & Mowrer-Reynolds, 2005;Chan & Chan, 1999;Runco, 1984;Runco et al., 1993) and good at designing (Runco, 1984). ...
Article
The aim of the present study was to examine teachers’ beliefs about creative students’ characteristics and the possible gender differences in this respect. The study took the form of in-depth individual interviews conducted with 15 Polish secondary school teachers. We found that the interviewed teachers described a creative student mainly in terms of his or her personality traits relevant from the perspective of creativity, cognitive predisposition towards creativity, and motivation. Moreover, a creative student was described in terms of characteristics relating to artistic abilities, intelligence, and functioning at school. The interviewed teachers described a creative boy differently than they described a creative girl. As opposed to a creative girl, a creative boy was described as impulsive, independent, rule-breaking, courageous, willing to take risks, capable of defending his opinion, self-confident, individualistic, spontaneous, go-getting, and quickly getting down to action, whereas a creative girl was described mainly as diligent, conscientious, systematic, persistent, calm, acting according to plan, consistent, and well-behaved, but also as submissive and conformist, obeying all kinds of rules and regulations, avoiding risk, and acting according to instructions or a plan. The causes of these differences are discussed in the context of creativity types and styles, gender stereotypes, and different educational expectations for students of different genders.
... The Asian Conference on Education 2013 Official Conference Proceedings Osaka, Japan (Montgomery, Bull, & Baloche, 1993) as well as being private (Plucker & Makel, 2010), while the below-average reader was exercising a trait called 'collaborative creative process' (Romero, Hyvonen, & Barbera, 2012). It is a trait needed as nowadays technology requires continuous learning between people sharing a situation that involves technology. ...
... Next, the above-average reader prepared extensively by reading other articles besides the given two articles, and searching for related videos on plastic surgery. This is another characteristic of creativity called inquisitiveness or idea finding (Montgomery, Bull, & Baloche, 1993). The below-average reader, however, thought that the information to develop his digital story was already adequate and concentrated more on how to have a lively digital story. ...
... This could reflect his relaxed and lively nature which is another creativity trait (Botella, Glaveanu, Zenasni, Storme, Myskowski, Wolff, & Lubart, 2013). He also reported that he completed his work through trial and error which means that he had adopted the role of a creative person by being an explorer who could embrace ambiguity and intuition (Montgomery, Bull, & Baloche, 1993). The above-average reader wanted to be different from the other students, self-critical and was not easily satisfied with his work. ...
Conference Paper
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Creativity is an essential trait for engineering students to be innovative and successful in current and future global economy. Thus, it is important for their creative potential to be nurtured. Since digital storytelling has been portrayed by previous studies as being influential in enhancing creativity, the purpose of this study is to explore the creative processes of two engineering students in their development of digital stories in the English reading class. Both of them were chosen based on their reading performance in an English reading placement test. One of them was considered an above-average reader, while the other a below-average reader. The duration for the digital storytelling project was three weeks. The study employed a case study research method. Data sources included observational field notes, interview transcripts and digital stories. The findings of this study showed that both students exhibited the preparation, incubation, illumination and verification steps of the creative process as proposed by Wallas (1926). However, it was found that the above-average reader prepared extensively, wanted to be different from the other students, and was more self-critical of and not easily satisfied with his work. The below-average reader, on the other hand, completed his work through trial and error, did not worry much of the project and was generally satisfied with his work.
... In a similar vein, we can also use this content structure (i.e., Warmth × Competence) to classify the related characteristics of a creative person, base on the research of the implicit theories of creative persons. (Chan & Chan, 1999;Rudowicz, Hui, & Ku-Yu, 1995;Lim & Plucker, 2001;Montgomery et al., 1993;Rudowicz et al., 2009;Runco et al., 1993;Runco & Johnson, 2002;Seng et al., 2008;Yue, 2001). A summary of this categorization is illustrated in Table 3. ...
... From the above-mentioned description of creative persons, according to the implicit theory of creativity, laypeople are likely to perceive a creative person as highly competent (Chan & Chan, 1999;Ku-Yu, 1995;Lim, 2001;Montgomery, 1993;Rudowicz et al., 2009;Runco et al., 1993;Runco & Johnson, 2002;Seng, 2008;Yue, 2001). In one study, Hopp, Händel, Stoeger, Vialle, and Ziegler (2016) asked German secondary school students to draw a picture of a creative person, and judge the creative person in the picture regarding talents in different domains. ...
Article
This study builds from the implicit theory of creative individuals to an understanding of the social perceptions of creative individuals. Stereotypes and prejudice about creative students were examined utilizing the self-developed stereotype and prejudice scales among German adolescents. The results indicate that German adolescents hold positive images of creative students, seeing them as competent, warm and popular. Their primary perception of a creative student was admiration, which could be predicted by their stereotypes. In addition, the gender and age effects on adolescents' social perception were examined. The results show that boys and girls tend to expect the creative student to be the same gender as themselves; and the ratings of stereotype and prejudice in the pre-teens group were significantly higher than in the teens group. These findings provide a refined image of creative individuals from a social perception perspective and partially explain the observed variations due to gender and age factors.
... The literature falls largely into two camps regarding the origins of creativity. One camp sees it as a personality trait [16] i.e. you are creative or you are not. The other sees creativity as malleable, either through changes in the person and/or in the environment [8], such as in the case of the creative state of a person e.g. ...
... Factors thought to influence creativity are many but they can be broadly categorized as either individualistic, group/team, or organizational. Variables such as team diversity [7], personality characteristics [4,9,13,16,20], and culture [15,18] can have a bearing on creative expression. The thought processes associated with "being creative" are often characterized as divergent (coming up with many ideas), although convergent (seeing the forest for the trees) may be just as important [6], especially for engineers. ...
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Is creativity important in engineering design? If it is, then why do most undergraduate engineering programs spend so little time teaching creativity? And therefore, as a result of our programs, do our students emerge more creative, less creative or no different compared to when they arrived? If creativity is worth developing, can we accurately measure it in our students, and can we enhance it systematically?These were some of the questions that motivated the initiation of a creativity research program in the College of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan. The assumption was that creativity is important in engineering, especially in design. The intent was to understand how we could assess creativity in our students and then enhance it.The focus of this initial study is a precursor to many of these more applied questions. We had students and faculty from a variety of Colleges, including Engineering, answer an online survey that probed attitudes towards creativity, respondent personality characteristics, opinions regarding conditional influences on creativity, and potential demographic factors influencing the creativity of individuals. As well, we employed a validated creativity attitudes and beliefs measurement tool (rCAB) as an accepted benchmark for assessment.The survey included both closed- and open-ended questions. The results from some of the open-ended questions have been analyzed to determine emerging groups of similar types of answers, and then efforts have been made to relate the groups in a meaningful framework.The results for the Engineering students are emphasized, but they are also compared with students and faculty from other Colleges. Closed questions were analyzed using inferential statistical tests (distributions, means, standard deviations, t-tests, ANOVA, Cronbach’s alpha), while the open-ended responses are compared more qualitatively when they cannot be quantified easily.The survey went through ethics approval and was distributed in the latter half of the Fall 2015 term.
... In Table 1, we present a comparison of entrepreneurial competencies and characteristics of a creative personality. (Montgomery, Bull & Baloche, 1993). ...
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Fostering entrepreneurship as a competence leads to the divergence from the traditional education paradigms and the teachers and students focus on new, contemporary educational concepts. Teaching staff and students are seen as motivated, decisive, innovative and creative individuals willing to contribute to high quality of everyday life whereby entrepreneurial skills are fostered and integrated in all segments of life. Creativity is regarded as one of the crucial skills related to entrepreneurial spirit. A creative attitude towards life entails an individual (that is, society) who is conscious, nonconformist, independent and capable of critical thinking, ready to take risks in order to implement their ideas. Therefore, the aim of this paper is primarily to indicate the importance of stimulating creativity in children from an early age, and then to consider the ways of fostering and cultivating creativity in both students and teachers as a prerequisite for the development of entrepreneurial skills. For the purpose of this paper, we have analyzed the Arts Education and Serbian Language Curricula for primary schools and considered the compatibility of the teaching topics with the development of entrepreneurial competencies. Practical implications of integrating entrepreneurial skills into Arts Education and Serbian Language Curricula will be represented in the paper.
... Although the frequency of the characteristics decreases with increasing order (1-5), the characteristics in later ranks are also mentioned as important and necessary for creativity such as being critical and questioning. It can be inferred that the majority of characteristics specified by the participants are consistent with many characteristics linked with creativity in previous studies (Aljughaiman & Mowrer-Reynolds, 2005;Chan & Chan, 1999;Lee & Seo, 2006;Montgomery et al., 1993;Sak, 2014;Tugrul et al., 2014). Furthermore, characteristics which are mentioned in earlier studies such as risk-taking, energetic, sense of humor, need for loneliness, intuitive, artistic, knowledgeable, experienced, ethical, emotional (Davis & Rimm, 1998;Sak, 2014) are not mentioned very often or mentioned by very few people in the current study. ...
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How special education teacher candidates perceive the creative children in learning environments? To examine this question, we asked teacher candidates about their feelings for creative children, and their perceptions of creative children’s characteristics, gender, and effects on the learning environment. In this qualitative study, an online form was developed and data were gathered from 105 special education teacher candidates. Findings revealed that the majority of the participants considered males to be more creative, and the most frequently expressed characteristics have been original, curious, different, productive, flexible, imaginative, and intelligent. Most of the participants had positive feelings about having a creative child in the classroom and also thought that a creative child had positive effects on the entire learning environment including peers and teachers. On the other hand, participants expressed that creative child would be negatively affected because of feeling bored, being excluded from peers and being envied by peers. This study can contribute to the literature on the awareness of the characteristics, gender bias, and effects of the creative children to the learning environment from the viewpoint of special education teacher candidates who are responsible to teach not only gifted students but also students with disability.
... W dalszej części rozdziału omówione zostaną korelaty wyobraźni z kreatywnością i inteligencją. Zdolności wyobrażeniowe są bowiem jedną z poznawczych składowych kreatywności , a bogata wyobraźnia (imaginativeness) przez wielu badaczy i teoretyków traktowana jest jako cecha osób zdolnych (Montgomery, Bull, Baloche, 1993). Przegląd badań poprzedzony zostanie dyskusją na temat statusu wyobraźni w wybranych modelach zdolności. ...
Book
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For over two hundred years there has been a relatively strong and constant attention paid to imagination called ‘queen of abilities’ (Górniewicz, 1997, p. 43). Therefore, studies on imagery abilities have longer tradition than studies on divergence thinking (Betts, 1909; Galton, 1880) which gave rise to a greater interest in the subject of creativity (Guliford, 1950). Many works of theoretical, conceptual (ex. Ribot, 1900) and empirical character (ex. Limont, 1996) have been done on creativity understood as ability involved in the creative process. There are, however, few studies that have undertaken systematic analyses of the development of creative imagery abilities in childhood and its environmental determinants (Uszyńska-Jarmoc, 2003). Researchers specialized in creativity have shown their interest in the subject of development of creativity, mainly creative thinking, for almost half a century (Gralewski, Lebuda, Gajda, Jankowska, Wiśniewska, 2016; Kim, 2011; Smith, Carlsson, 1983, 1985, 1990; Torrance, 1968). Nonetheless, it seems desirable to analyze the relationship of imagination with other abilities, such as intelligence and creative thinking. This particular analysis would determine the psychological conditions of creative activity. The key questions in this context concern the trajectory of the development of creative imagination in childhood, family circumstances of that development, and potential correlations of the imagination. Understanding the dynamics of development of creative imagery abilities and other interdependent factors, with particular emphasis on the crises of development of imagination, gender and individual differences in this field, could serve not only basic research but also educational practice aimed at supporting the creative potential of children. Synergy of those advantages was the main impetus of the research described in this book. The reflections taken up in this work are aimed at showing the trajectory of the development of creative imagery abilities in pre-school and early school age in the context of the development of creativity (Karwowski, 2009b, 2010), as well as family and educational determinants of this process. Four main research questions were put forward in the project. The first one, crucial for the analyzed problem, was the accuracy of changes in creative imagination among preschool and early school children. The answer to this question has enabled us to examine the occurrence of the crisis in the development of creative imagination at the very beginning of school education. Moreover, it was the basis for describing changes in the development of creative imagination between ages 4 and 7. The second research question concerned diversity between the sexes in terms of creative imagination. The analyses carried out aimed at showing whether and what kind of differences in the level of creative imagination are observed in preschool and early school children. Third research question referred to the basic determinants of the development of creative imagination. More specifically, whether and what relationship (strength and direction) exists between the socialization space and socio-economic status of the family, and the level of creative imagination in children at this age. The last question referred to the importance of early educational experiences in the creative development of the imagination. The study covered 534 pupils from 5 kindergartens (groups of 4- and 5-year-olds) and 5 primary schools (year 0 and 1). The research project also included parents of the children taking part in the study. The first questionnaire about socio-economic status of the family was filled by 49% (N = 265). The second one, including habitus information, was provided only to parents of children learning at school and was filled by 59% of parents surveyed (N = 166). Children’s creative imagination was measured by the Test of Creative Imagery Abilities (Jankowska, Karwowski, 2015). It additionally included measurement of creativity (The Test for Creative Thinking - Drawing Production) and divergent thinking (Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking-Figural). Among the independent variables were: socialization space, socio-economic status of the family, early educational experience, age and gender of the child. The quantitative analyzes allowed us to formulate the following conclusions: 1. In preschool and early school stage creative imagination develops, although it has a non-linear character. The biggest upward trend occurs in the pre-school stage and before school education starts, in the field of imaginative fluency. At the beginning of school education, the pace and dynamics of creative imagery growth is not as great as in pre-school education. At the same time, among children in early school age, we observe greater variation in the level of creative imagination (imaginative fluency and originality of created images) than in pre-school children. 2. These creative imagery development trajectories coincide with the lines of the development of creativity, especially the originality of thinking. 3. The biggest differences between the sexes in childhood appear in terms of transformation of imageries. 4. Age factor turned out to be the most consistent and one of the strongest predictors in the results of the Test of Creative Imagery Abilities. In the case of image and originality, the SES was important, especially mother’s education. In tranformativeness, habitus constituted additional important factor. Formulated conclusions are a prerequisite for continuing further in-depth studies, such as longitudinal or sequential. This kind of research approach would enable more precise analysis of the dynamics of development of creative imagery abilities. Presented results might however be the starting point for reflections on the possibilities to support development of creative imagination in pre-school and early school children.
... A review of research devoted to teachers' implicit theories of creativity shows that while describing creative students, teachers focus chiefly on their cognitive functioning, personality traits, and motivation (Aljughaiman et al., 2005;Andiliou & Murphy, 2010;Chan & Chan, 1999;Gralewski & Karwowski, in press;Maksić & Pavlović, 2011;Montgomery, Bull, & Baloche, 1993;Runco, Johnson, & Bear, 1993). A detailed analysis of research results on this subject, performed by Gralewski and Karwowski (in press) indicates that, when describing creative students, teachers mention their characteristics relat-Creativity. ...
Article
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The aim of the present study was to research teachers’ be-liefs about creativity and possibilities for its development in Polish high schools. The study consisted of in-depth inter-views. It was conducted with a group of 15 high school teachers, all of whom taught the key subjects (math, Polish and foreign languages) for the final school-leaving examina-tion. The qualitative thematic analysis applied to the collect-ed data revealed eight themes. Each of them concerned the teachers’ understanding of what creativity really is, their atti-tude towards students’ creative activity at school, aims that they formulated to stimulate their creativity, as well as the role and place of students’ creative activity at school. In addi-tion, the themes referred to actions that had been taken by the teachers to stimulate their students’ creativity and fac-tors that inhibited or stimulated the development of students’ creativity at school. The teachers, who were the subject of the analysis, understood creativity as creative potential, that is, the ability to think independently, to give new and original solutions to all sorts of tasks and problems, as well as creative activity oriented towards everyday innovation. Additionally, the study revealed that there exists a creativity gap between verbal support for developing students’ creativi-ty at school and classroom practice.
Chapter
The chapter outlines and critically discusses basic mental mechanisms underpinning creativity, arguing that they can be identified in different kinds of people, cultures, and historical periods. Mechanisms that define and explain creativity can be grouped within three broad categories: widening, connecting, and reorganising. Each category is discussed by the way of presenting culturally relevant examples. These examples lead to a discussion of the possible universal cognitive processes underlying creativity. Examples derived from different cultures, populations (non-eminent people vs. eminent people) and different historical times are used to support the concept of universality. As a last step, cultural variations in relation to creativity are examined. If neurological and evolutionary evidence tends to support the previously discussed concept of universality, individual evaluation of creative behaviours and conceptions about creativity varies across cultures. So, if creativity intended as a mental process could be defined as universal, two of the main features that are commonly associated to it (novelty and social appreciation) largely depend on cultural and social aspects that have to be considered when creativity is assessed.
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Depending on whether creativity is studied by an economist, a sociologist, a psychologist, or some other social scientist, different terms—such as innovation or entrepreneurship‐are used to describe it. Therefore it is difficult to have a clear idea of what the boundaries of creativity research are, and what belongs to it. In this article a conceptual matrix is used to create a typology for creativity research, and it is applied to a sample of dissertations abstracts written in the last year for which complete documentation was available. The goals of the article are: (a) to provide a useful model for classifying studies in the field of creativity; (b) to provide an example of systematic library research on the topic; and (c) to show what the biases of different disciplines that study creativity are in terms of goals, methods, and perspectives.
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Rank has written of 3 phases "in man's winning his own individuality and in realizing his own creative potential." Sometimes Rank wrote of these as 3 types of persons––the adapted type, the neurotic type, and the creative type. 3 samples of architects were studied: I. Highly Creative Architects. II. Architects with "at least 2 yr. of work experience and association" with one of the architects qualified for sample I. III. Architects, none of whom had ever worked with any of the nominated highly creative architects. The mean creativity ratings for the 3 groups are 5.46, 4.25, and 3.54 respectively. "The differences are in the expected direction and are statistically highly significant." Rank's ideas about the constructive formation of personality and creative development are discussed. What is "most impressive about Architects I is the degree to which they have actualized their creative potentialities. Architects III appear to have incorporated into their egos, and into their images the more conventional standards of society and of their profession. Arichitects II, by and large less creative than Architects I but more creative than Architects III, show an overlapping of traits with both of the other groups."
  • Taylor, I. A.