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The role of emotional creativity in practicing creative leisure activities and in the preference of college majors remains unknown. This study aims to explore how emotional creativity measured by the Emotional Creativity Inventory (ECI; Averill, 1999) is interrelated with the real-life involvement in different types of specific creative leisure activities and with four categories of college majors. Data were collected from 251 university students, university graduates, and young adults (156 women and 95 men). Art students and graduates scored significantly higher on the ECI than other majors. Humanities scored significantly higher than technical/economic majors. Five creative leisure activities were significantly correlated with the ECI, specifically, writing, painting, composing music, performing drama, and do-it-yourself home improvement. Keywords: Creativity, Emotional Creativity, Emotions, Creativeness, Affect, Feelings, Leisure Activities, Creative Ability, Artistic Creativity, Creative Thinking, Creativeness, Aging, Cognitive Deficits, Performance. MeSH Headings: Emotions, Creativity, Leisure, Leisure Activities, Hobbies, Recreation, Affect Affective Symptoms, Creativeness
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Creativity Research Journal, 2016, Vol. 28, No. 3, 348-356
EMOTIONAL CREATIVITY AND REAL-LIFE INVOLVEMENT IN DIFFERENT TYPES OF CREATIVE
LEISURE ACTIVITIES
Radek Trnka 1, 2, Martin Zahradnik 3, Martin Kuška 1
Affiliations:
1 Prague College of Psychosocial Studies, Prague, Czech Republic
2 Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
3 Charles University Environment Center
This is the final version of the manuscript, the Version of Record of this manuscript has been published and is available at
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10400419.2016.1195653
Abstract
The role of emotional creativity in practicing creative leisure activities and in the preference
of college majors remains unknown. The present study aims to explore how emotional
creativity measured by the Emotional Creativity Inventory (ECI; Averill, 1999) is interrelated
with the real-life involvement in different types of specific creative leisure activities and with
four categories of college majors. Data were collected from 251 university students,
university graduates and young adults (156 women and 95 men). Art students and graduates
scored significantly higher on the ECI than other majors. Humanities scored significantly
higher than technical/economic majors. Five creative leisure activities were significantly
correlated with the ECI, specifically, writing, painting, composing music, performing drama,
and do-it-yourself home improvement.
Overall creative capacities are related to various emotional variables, especially to stable
emotional characteristics. The significance of stable emotional characteristics is recognizable
in experimental creative tasks (Gutbezahl & Averill, 1996), divergent thinking tasks (Zenasni
& Lubart, 2008) as well as in creative artistic performance (Agular-Vafaie & Runco, 2008).
Ma (2009) classified three main areas of general creativity in his extensive meta-analysis: (a)
creativity with less evaluation, including nonverbal and verbal; (b) creativity in problem
solving, with more evaluation; and (c) emotional creativity.
Emotional creativity (EC) is a pattern of cognitive abilities and personality traits related
to originality and appropriateness in emotional experience (Ivcevic, Brackett, & Mayer,
2007). It involves the particularly effective application of an already existing emotion or, at a
more complex level, the modification of a standard emotion to better meet the needs of the
individual or group (Averill, 1999). Divergence from the ordinary emotional experience is a
key feature of EC, because EC involves the ability to diverge from the common and generate
novel emotional reactions (Ivcevic, Brackett, & Mayer, 2007). The theoretical
conceptualization of EC within other related creativity constructs was previously provided by
Gutbezahl and Averill (1996). The most common measurement of EC is a self-report
questionnaire, the Emotional Creativity Inventory (ECI; Averill, 1999) developed by James
R. Averill.
Previous empirical research examined, for example, the relationship between EC and a
closely related construct, emotional intelligence (Ivcevic, Brackett, & Mayer, 2007). A series
of statistical tests as well as confirmatory factor analyses supported the distinction between
emotional and cognitive creativity abilities. Whereas emotional intelligence requires
convergent thinking and solving emotional problems, EC requires divergent thinking and
generation of an appropriate, as well as original, response. Ivcevic, Brackett and Mayer
(2007) specified EC in terms of generation of personalized combinations of emotions.
"Emotional creativity can involve a manipulation and transformation of experience that leads
to problem solving in the domain of emotions, but experience alone, rather than problem
solving, is sufficient for a response to be considered emotionally creative." (p. 228).
Zenasni and Lubart (2008) examined the relation of EC to the creative potential of
undergraduate students. Participants performed two divergent thinking tasks, specifically the
“unusual uses of a box” test from the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (Torrance, 1976 in
Zenasni & Lubart, 2008) and the fictitious situation task concerning traffic (Abele, 1992).
“Unusual uses of a box” test is focused on the ability to generate as many unusual uses as
possible for a cardboard box. In the fictitious situation task, participants had to imagine what
would happen if there was no traffic in their city, and to generate as many unusual ideas as
they could. EC did not play a significant role in these creative performances.
Different results were yielded when doing other creative tasks. Gutbezahl and Averill
(1996) tested the relationships of narrative creative potential and drawings with EC. In Study
1, participants wrote about three emotionally significant events: (a) an event that occurred at
the time they were starting college, (b) a serious love relationship or intense crush that they
had experienced, and (c) an unspecified (open-ended) but unusual event, either real or
imagined. Only creativity scores for the love narrative were significantly correlated with EC.
Further, participants drew crayon pictures of 5 emotions: anger, joy, desperation, hope, and
shyness. The drawings were analyzed in two creative domains: expressionistic and
pictographic. The expressionistic factor includes the number of colors and their creative use,
creative use of space, and complexity of drawings while the pictographic factor comprises
figurativeness, use of words, and narration of a story. The pictographic factor corresponded
more to a literal representation of the emotion depicted. Participants who scored high on the
ECI were more expressionistic than participants who scored low on the ECI. High-scoring
participants showed more creative use of color and space, and they were likely to use
symbolic (nonfigurative) representations of emotions. On the other hand, participants who
scored low on the ECI were more pictographic, they were more likely to rely on figurative
forms and to tell a story through the picture.
Another written task and creation of a collage were used in Study 2 of the same paper
(Gutbezahl & Averill, 1996). Participants wrote the conclusion to a story involving a specific
emotional conflict (two dormitory roommates who dislike each other). Further, participants
were instructed to create a collage of three emotions, joy, anger, and despair, from pieces of
paper of various colors, shapes, and sizes. The composite creativity score for the story was
correlated with EC, but the composite creativity score for the collage was not.
Ivcevic, Brackett, and Mayer (2007) used the Remote Associates Test (Shames, 1994 in
Ivcevic, Brackett, & Mayer, 2007) to test the ability to make connections between distant
ideas. Participants were presented with three words and asked to respond with a fourth word
that connects the three stimuli. They also conduct the American Haiku task (Amabile, 1985),
writing a five-line, non-rhymed poem according to specific instructions. The assessed novelty
of word choice and overall creativity of the poem were positively correlated with EC.
Furthermore, only one of four subscales of Averill's (1999) Emotional Creativity Inventory
(subscale Novelty) was correlated with the Remote Associates Test.
The results of the above outlined experiments indicated what cognitive creative abilities
are related with EC and what cognitive creative abilities work probably independently of EC.
Some studies also tested the relationship of EC with self-report measurements of cognitive
creativity. For example, the Creativity Styles QuestionnaireRevised (Kumar & Holman,
1997) was administrated to university students in the study by Fuchs, Kumar, and Porter
(2007). EC was measured by the Emotional Creativity Inventory (Averill, 1999) and
correlated with the Creativity styles questionnaire. It seems that cognitive and emotional
creativity are partly overlapping constructs when measured by self-report instruments.
Authors pointed out that cognitive creativity typically occurs within an interpersonal context,
and from this view cognitive and emotional creativity may involve similar skills, or attitudes.
However, they also stressed the role of individual differences. "Some individuals may be
more technique-oriented in the way they deal with interpersonal situations, whereas others
may be more spontaneous and rely on unconscious process, and still others may use
strategies based on superstition." (Fuchs, Kumar, & Porter, 2007, p. 242). It is reasonable to
suppose that cognitive creativity, although primarily concerned with intellectual abilities,
does involve an emotional investment, as well as the ability to work in interpersonal contexts.
On the other hand, it is not likely that EC does not include any intellectual cognitive
processing.
Besides the field of creativity research, previous studies have explored many other
aspects of EC. EC has been tested in relation to cognitive intelligence (Averill & Thomas-
Knowles, 1991; Ivcevic, Brackett, & Mayer, 2007), Big Five personality traits (Averill, 1999,
Study 3; Ivcevic, Brackett, & Mayer, 2007), self-esteem (Averill, 1999, Study 4), alexithymia
(Averill, 1999, Study 5; Fuchs, Kumar, & Porter, 2007; Zenasni & Lubart, 2008),
authoritarianism (Averill, 1999, Study 4), leadership preferences (Humpreys, 2008), social
desirability (Averill, 1999, Study 1), religious orientation (Averill, 1999, Study 4), locus of
control (Averill, 1999, Study 4), ways of coping (Averill, 1999, Study 4), peer evaluation
(Averill, 1999, Study 2), prior traumatic experiences (Averill, 1999, Study 6), solitude (Long,
Seburn, Averill, & More, 2003), dispositional emotional expressivity (Zenasni & Lubart,
2008), or in relation to change of the participant's actual emotional state (Zenasni & Lubart,
2008). Despite previous research, many questions remains unanswered. For example, little
attention has been given to educational and leisure domains.
Creativity and Field of Study
Students of business, humanities and social sciences, and science and technology were
tested in verbal divergent production, creative personality traits, and self-reported creative
products (Cheung, Rudowitz, Yue, & Kwan, 2003). Verbal divergent production involved
five tasks, which generated measures of divergent thinking as verbal fluency, flexibility,
novelty, innovativeness, and originality. Students of humanities and social sciences scored
higher in terms of originality and fluency in verbal divergent production, whereas students of
science and technology scored higher in verbal innovativeness.
Charyton & Snelbecker (2007) compared specifically engineering and music students by
various creative measures. Musicians had higher levels of general creativity as well as higher
levels of music creativity than engineers. No significant difference was found in terms of
scientific creativity.
Similarly, self-rated creativity, divergent thinking, and everyday creative achievement of
art and science students were compared in a study by Furnham, Batey, Booth, Patel, and
Lozinskaya (2011). Art students scored higher in self-rated creativity and also in creative
achievement, meaning involvement in various creative activities in the past 12 months (such
as writing a short story, composing a piece of music, creating one’s own website, designing
and planting a garden, etc.).
As seen above, previous research of cognitive creativity revealed interesting findings in
respect to different college majors. This field remains, however, unexplored in the case of
EC. Although Sánchez-Ruiz, Hernández-Torrano, Pérez-González, Batey, and Petrides
(2011) examined the relationship between trait emotional intelligence, creative cognitive
abilities, and self-reported creative personality scale, to our knowledge, no study explicitly
concerned with the relationship between EC and student's fields of study has been conducted.
Addressing this gap was one of incentives for conducting the present study.
The Present Study
As mentioned above, little is known about the relationship of field of study and EC in
university students. Given the results of previous studies in cognitive creativity research, it
seems tenable to hypothesize that levels of EC may vary in different college majors. The
present investigation aimed to explore how the choice of college majors is interrelated with
EC in the sample of university students.
The previous study by Ivcevic, Brackett, and Mayer (2007) explored the relationship of
EC with behavioral creativity that was measured by the Artistic Activity and Artistic
Expression and Appreciation Scales (Brackett, 2003 in Ivcevic, Brackett, & Mayer, 2007).
Authors concluded that EC is an ability that significantly predicted involvement in the arts
and that EC may play a role in the involvement in self-initiated artistic activities. They also
pointed out that the relationship between EC and creative behavior could be better understood
by conducting further research focused on real-life creative activities. The present study
followed this line of research and aimed to find out what kinds of particular leisure creative
activities are related to EC. Such findings were not included in the study of Ivcevic, Brackett,
and Mayer (2007), because the authors worked only with two general variables focused on
the involvement in performing visual arts and creative writing. The Artistic Activity and
Artistic Expression and Appreciation Scales includes two general scales, the Artistic Activity
scale and the Artistic Expression and Appreciation scale. The Artistic Activity scale includes
items referring to visual arts and creative writing and the Artistic Expression and
Appreciation scale is focused on involvement in performing arts and cultural events (e.g.
attending an opera or ballet performance). However, the range of real-life creative
involvement is much larger and covers plenty of various types of creative activities and
hobbies. To our knowledge, no study has explored interrelations of EC and real-life
involvement in specific creative activities. Therefore, the present study was focused on the
appraisal of relationships of EC with different types of real-life creative activities and
creative hobbies as well as to consider gender differences in EC.
METHOD
Participants
Data were collected from university students, university graduates and young adults of
similar age. The majority of participants were young people, often college students (68%, age
between 18 33), educated mostly in the humanities 41% (technical or economic 29%;
natural science or medicine 9,6%). The final sample consisted of 251 respondents (156
women and 95 men), the median age was 26 years. Participants were recruited from Czech
universities of different types and from random data collection in the capital of the Czech
Republic. Participation in the study was fully voluntary and anonymous with no explicit
incentives provided for participation.
Instruments
Emotional Creativity Inventory
EC was measured by the self-report questionnaire, the Emotional Creativity Inventory
(ECI; Averill, 1999). This ECI version consists of 30 items, rated on a 5-point scale, with
anchors of 1 (strongly agree) and 5 (strongly disagree). The total sum range is from low 30 to
high 150. Two of the 30 items are reversely coded. The ECI has three subscales that reflect
several aspects of EC: preparedness (e.g. I think about and try to understand my emotional
reactions), novelty (e.g., I sometimes experience feelings and emotions that cannot be easily
described in ordinary language), and effectiveness/authenticity (e.g., My emotions help me
achieve my goals in life).
Cronbach's Alpha of the 30-item scale (based on 232 cases) was .89. The total score on
the 30-item ECI scale (rated from 1 to 5, respectively sum from 30 to 150) was from 59 to
145 with mean value 99.67. Such a result corresponds well to the literature (Averill's 1999
analysis of 489 respondents sample with range from 59 to 145 and mean of 103.46). The
scale thus shows a high degree of internal consistency and allows us to explore the relation
between EC and leisure activities.
Real-life involvement in creative leisure activities
Considering free time activities, seven creative leisure activities were included as options
with a 3-point scale assessing the frequency of its practicing (1 = often, 2 = sometimes, 3 =
never). The proposed leisure activities were: writing poems or prose, including blogs;
composing music or music improvisation; performing drama or dance improvisation; drawing
pictures or other fine art activities; sculpture or ceramics designed originally by the
respondent; any kind of inventing; do-it-yourself, and “any other” category to catch possible
left behinds and explore respondents’ subjective interpretations of creative activity. The
category “any other” was an open question, respondents were allowed to name another
creative leisure activity in case that they did not find the appropriate category in the proposed
options. The numbered list of the creative leisure activities is provided in the Result section.
The open question “any other creative leisure activity?“ was transformed from a 3-point
scale into a dichotomous variable: if any additional activity was reported, then it was
categorized as presence, when no activity was added, it was considered as absence of
additional creative hobby. The decision about whether an activity is creative or not was left to
respondents, except in the case of sports. Sports and outdoor activities was a category of their
own.
We avoided offering options involving only passive participation in arts like visiting the
theatre, or semi-creative activities like playing a musical instrument by reading notes. All the
creative leisure time battery was transformed into one dichotomous variable providing
information about the presence or absence of any creative activity (if there was presence of
value 1 and 2 in at least one of the variables in the battery = presence; if all were rated 3 =
absence).
Field of study
Students sorted their field of study into four main categories: arts, humanities, natural
science/medicine, and technical/economics. The arts category included solely artistic fields of
study (such as acting, film making, painting, music, dance, etc.) in accordance with the
approach taken by Hartley and Greggs (1997).
RESULTS
Reliability Analysis
There are three dimensions of the ECI scale considered in the literature: preparedness,
novelty and effectiveness/authenticity (Averill, 1999). Factor analysis allowed us to consider
three factors. Explained variance by the first three factors (26%, 10%, and 5%; see Table 1)
corresponded quite well with Averill's (26%, 11% and 3.f. 6%), but a more appropriate
solution appeared to take into account only one factor and consider the ECI scale as one
dimensional.
When the three factor solution was tested, the best options proposed by Factor analysis
did not match the theoretical assumptions. Items loaded to factors across the expected
structure regardless of the application of Varimax (see Table 2) and/or Oblimin rotation
(which was used by Averill 1999 and which confirmed the theoretical structure). Also
Cronbach's Alpha reduced from .89 to .75, resp. .72 when the three dimensions were tested.
Therefore the ECI scale was applied primarily as one dimensional in subsequent analysis.
Table 1. ECI Scale - Total Variance Explained
Component
Initial Eigenvalues
Extraction Sums of Squared Loadings
Rotation
Sums of
Squared
Loadings
Total
% of Variance
Cumulative %
Total
Cumulative %
Total
1
7.76
25.85
25.85
7.76
25.85
6.40
2
2.98
9.94
35.79
2.98
35.79
5.10
3
1.60
5.33
41.13
1.60
41.13
2.96
4
1.44
4.80
45.93
5
1.29
4.30
50.23
6
1.11
3.69
53.91
7
.98
3.27
57.18
Etc.
Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis.
When components are correlated, sums of squared loadings cannot be added to obtain a total variance.
Gender Differences in EC
The hypothesis about women displaying generally higher EC was tested before going into
leisure time details. Statistical tests (Mann Whitney and t-test) proved that women scored
significantly higher on the ECI than men (see Table 3). The population sample confirmed the
hypothesis about more “emotionally creative” women. This finding is in line with previous
empirical research (Averill, 1999).
Popularity of Individual Creative Leisure Activities
The popularity of particular creative leisure activities among students with respect to
gender differences is presented in Figure 1 (number of respondents who reported practicing
the activity “often” or “sometimes”; total number of women is 156, men 95): fine arts and do-
it-yourself were the most popular creative leisure activities. Inventing was very popular
among men (second place while women place it as fourth). Ceramics and sculpture creating
were reported rarely. On one hand, gender differences are visible in ceramics and drama
which appear to activities preferred by women while music and inventing are activities
preferred by men. On the other hand, when the numbers to equal weight of men and women
were standardized, the majority of creative activities were equally distributed between both
genders (Figure 2).
Table 2. ECI Scale- Rotated Component Matrix (Varimax)
Component
1
2
3
ECI_1 prepardeness
.56
ECI_2
.62
ECI_3
.57
ECI_4
.60
ECI_5
.57
ECI_6
.45
ECI_7_rev
.60
ECI_8 novelty
.60
ECI_9
.58
ECI_10
.60
ECI_11
.78
ECI_12
.62
ECI_13
.52
ECI_14
.59
ECI_15
.60
ECI_16
.43
ECI_17
.50
ECI_18
.58
ECI_19
.71
ECI_20
.39
ECI_21 effectiveness/authenticity
.42
.43
ECI_22
.47
.46
ECI_23
.46
ECI_24
.66
ECI_25_rev
.31
ECI_26
.56
ECI_27
.44
ECI_28
.65
ECI_29
.72
ECI_30
.51
Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis. Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization.
A Rotation converged in 8 iterations.
EC and Real-Life Involvement in Creative Leisure Activities
First, the general relationship between the practice of any creative leisure activity with the
ECI score was found. Correlations between ECI and creative activities were tested primarily
by Pearson's coefficient, secondly by Kendall's tau-b and Spearmen's rho.
Almost everyone has at least some kind of creative leisure activity. Only 9 of the 251
respondents referred to no such activity at all and they scored significantly lower on the ECI
scale (see Table 4). Not surprisingly, real-life involvement in creative leisure activities and
the ECI were strongly correlated (correlation r = .187 is significant on p = .01).
Looking in more detail, five of the seven proposed types of creative hobbies were found
to be significantly correlated positively with the ECI score, specifically:
(1) writing poems or prose, including blogs (r = .326, p = .01)
(2) painting: drawing pictures or other fine art activities (r = .251, p = .01)
(3) DIY: do-it-yourself (r = .196, p = .01)
(4) drama: performing drama or dance improvisation (r = .144, p = .05)
(5) music: composing music or music improvisation (r = .141, p = .05)
Table 3. ECI scores of men and women
Sex
n
Mean
SD
SE Mean
ECI_sum
Women
142
102.09
15.24
1.28
Men
90
95.86
19.70
2.08
Table 4. Real-life involvement in creative leisure activities
H_dich
n
Mean
SD
SE Mean
ECI_sum
NO creative activity
9
83.56
14.66
4.89
YES creative activity
223
100.32
17.15
1.15
Table 5. ECI scores in different college majors
ECI_sum
n
Mean
SD
SE Mean
Arts
14
111.14
15.84
4.23
Humanities
94
102.09
14.88
1.53
Natural sciences / Medicine
22
96.59
13.44
2.87
Technical / Economics
67
95.82
19.16
2.34
Total
197
99.98
16.82
1.20
The overall involvement in selected creative leisure activities from a gender perspective is
equal (523 activities chosen by men and 526 activities chosen by women). No relation
between the popularity of a specific creative leisure activity and higher ECI score of women
was found. There was positive correlation between people who refer to additional creative
leisure activities and their ECI score (r = .187, significant on p = .05).
An interesting list of additional creative activities was identified which can provide useful
tool for follow up research. Besides those creative activities which can be included in the
proposed categories (DJing and singing into the music category 3x; dancing into drama 4x;
diary, essay and other writing in the writing category 3x; furniture reconstruction and nesting
box construction in do-it-yourself 2x), the respondents reported:
sewing / knitting 11x
photography / film making 7x
jewelry making 6x
gardening, garden design, plant growing 6x
cooking 4x
activities with children (inventing and creating their leisure activities, including creation of
fairytales) 3x
flower arrangement 2x.
and single occurrence of items like: creating strategies in PC and top desk games,
architecture, thinking, marketing, managing events.
Figure 1. Popularity of individual creative leisure activities
Figure 2. Weighted popularity of individual creative leisure activities
Figure 3. Real-life involvement in creative leisure activities according to field of study
EC and Field of Study
When the relation of the ECI to field of study was explored, it seems to be related at least
to some extent. A series of statistical tests (ANOVA and t-tests) conducted among university
students and university graduates proved that arts students scored significantly higher on the
ECI than other majors. Humanities scored significantly higher than technical/economic
majors. The difference between humanities and natural sciences/medicine did not reach the
threshold of significance, although students of humanities scored higher on the ECI than
students of natural sciences/medicine majors (see Table 5).
The distribution of real-life involvement in creative leisure activities according to field of
study is described in Figure 3. Each column presents percentages of students of different
majors who conduct a particular leisure activity. The percentage was calculated from the total
number of students in the discipline for each activity, therefore, it does not count 100%
together. For easier orientation just the hobbies that were correlated with EC are presented.
DISCUSSION
The results of this study correspond with general assumption concerning different
emotionality in art and humanities students in comparison to students of technical and
economic majors. We provided new specific evidence in the given area, when investigating
EC in relationship to university students' field of study. These results may extend the findings
by Hartley and Greggs (1997) which pointed to the significant thinking differences in arts and
science students. Also Furnham and Crump (2013) provided further confirmation of
differences between art and science students by applying a combination of intelligence tests.
Arts students scored higher on factors such as warmth, sensitivity, vigilance, tension or
openness to change and lower on factors such as rule conscientiousness or perfectionism in
comparison to science students.
Arts students and graduates scored significantly higher on the ECI than other college
majors in the present study. Further, humanities students and graduates scored significantly
higher than technical and economic majors. The question arising from our results is, why?
Inspiration for a possible causal explanation is suggested by e.g., Hartley and Greggs (1997),
who stressed the key importance of the role of secondary school teachers on pupils' thinking
and may function as a crucial factor for the future choice of college major. Teachers’
personality including teaching style, how attractively they present their subject area as well as
their charisma may promote students' interest in a given field of study. Although such
interests are developed in the course of both primary and secondary education, secondary
level may play a more important role because it directly precedes university studies.
An alternative reasoning accompanied the results of Furnham and Crump's study (2013)
turn our attention to childhood: “Thus one may expect the school pupil who does better at
English than Mathematics to favour languages and that their results are in part a function of
the verbal vs numerical ability. Equally the social and emotional sensitivity of a pupil may
lead them to find arts subjects like poetry, music or literary criticism more attractive than the
arts which are perceived as cold and “boring”.” (p. 154). These assumptions worked with
emotional sensitivity as an important influence on the development of preferences for various
subjects. It is reasonable to understand emotional sensitivity as an overlapping construct with
EC in this context, because preferences for subjects may be formed not only by heightened
perception of emotional content, but also by their subsequent processing and storage into the
memory. Such processing may be closely related to students' emotional creative capacities.
Thus, EC, distinct from emotional intelligence, seems to be primarily determined socially
via the influence of parents, teachers, and peers. This statement is inline also with the
delimitation of EC provided by Runco (2007, see p. 121). EC is a learned ability, developed
in society and can be seen as a specific adaptation tool or mechanism to cope effectively with
various everyday's situations via creative management of one’s own – and/or manipulation of
societal - emotions.
Another point to discuss here is how stable personal characteristics, such as EC, influence
the choice of college majors among students. To explain this issue, Holland's theory of
vocational choice (Holland, 1997) has been widely used to investigate students' personality
types (realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, conventional) (see Helson, 1996;
Ludwig, 1998), e.g., in relation to the choice of specific college majors (Pike, 2006; Smart,
Feldman, & Ethington, 2000). It stressed the importance of students' socialization into the
selected major's environment, which corresponded to the mentioned specific personality
types. The question is whether students are sufficiently aware of their personal dispositions to
choose a suitable major environment. This point could also influence our interpretation of
results, because individual Holland's personality types may be related to different levels of
various emotional traits. However, it would be speculative to estimate in more details which
Holland's personality types are more, or less, emotionally creative.
Turning to the role of real-life involvement in creative leisure activities, our research was
based on the frequency of practicing of various leisure activities in relation to the emotional
creative capacities measured by the ECI. Going into more detail, we found five of seven
proposed types of creative hobbies significantly correlated positively to the ECI score: (1)
writing poems or prose, including blogs (significant on p = .01); (2) painting: drawing
pictures or other fine art activities (significant on p = .01); (3) DIY: do-it-yourself (significant
on p = .01); (4) drama: performing drama or dance improvisation (significant on p = .05); (5)
music: composing music or music improvisation (significant on p = .05). Surprisingly,
“producing original ceramics and sculpture” and “any kind of inventing” was not in
correlation with the ECI score. If we try to find any differences between activities correlating
and not correlating with the ECI score, items (1) to (5) with an exception of (3) are similar in
their creative artistic emphasis. On the other hand, DIY abilities are distinctive in that the
primary motivation for their practice is oriented toward material outputs for daily use. Let us
briefly introduce the specific status of DIY in the Czech post-communist culture.
DIY products are traditionally appreciated by the family as well as by others in the Czech
post-transitional society. DIY abilities are usually useful at home when repairing broken
electrical appliances, furniture, by car maintenance and at lots of amateur creative handicraft
activities at home. A significant part of the Czech population was used to building their
family houses alone or with the reciprocal help of neighbors. This is partially a result of the
burden of 40 years of communist totality (1948 1989), when particularly DIY activities at
weekend houses were the only way of self-realization, while travel, not-officially approved
music, drama or literature was forbidden. DIY products are usually made with high personal
involvement and emotional concern. Thus, the Czech historical context may explain the
relationship of DIY with ECI in the Czech population sample.
On the other hand, “producing original ceramics and sculpture” and “any kind of
inventing” seem to be activities not demanding high levels of EC. We believe that inventing
does not belong in the artistic area, although creativity must be definitely present in the
inventing process. However, it is tenable to assume that inventing is much more dependent on
some types of cognitive creative abilities than on emotional creative abilities.
The present study has several limitations. The total number of 251 respondents allowed us
to apply statistical tests reasonably. However, when the respondents were divided into field
of study categories, the load of arts and natural science/medicine categories were
disproportionate in comparison to the others. This fact was difficult for statistical comparison
of the mean ECI scores especially between the two low numbered categories. Nevertheless,
additional nonparametric tests (Mann Whitney U and Wilcoxon W) proved the difference
between arts and natural science. In respect to the results, we propose for further research to
ensure a more balanced sample of respondents to verify the exceptional EC of arts students.
Furthermore, the influence of previous secondary school teachers on the students' choice
of college majors was not controlled in the present research design. It represents an important
factor that may be also included in the design exploring the role of creative capacities in the
choice of college majors. Measuring preferences of secondary school subjects as well as the
popularity of the subjects’ teachers could be a contributing for possible follow-up research on
EC and college majors in the future.
Acknowledgements
Many thanks to Karel Balcar and Vaclav Grepl for their support during the preparation of
the research design. This publication was supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and
Sports - Institutional Support of the Long-term Development of Research Organizations
(Charles Univ, Fac Human and Env Cetnter St 2015) and by the Grant Agency of the Czech
Republic, project 14/36005S (Competence based innovation and quality enhancement in
higher education for sustainable development).
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