22 SES 09 B, Creativity In Context
Creativity is context dependent; it is influenced by and influences social and cultural values and perceptions (Ludwig, 1992; Nijstad, 2015). Nijstad suggested that “all creative endeavors take place within a social system” (Nijstad, 2015). Ludwig (1992) noted the profound effect that culture exerts on creative expression. The componential theory of creativity (Amabile & Mueller, 2007) posits three internal components in the process for the individual, 1) domain-relevant skills, 2) creativity-relevant processes, and 3) intrinsic task motivations, and one external component, the social environment. Individuals and their creativity, therefore, are influenced by the context of our social institutions, such as our schools.
Creativity often leads to academic success, although the nature of this relationship is unclear. Studies have found a strong relationship between measures of creativity and intellectual ability (e.g., Preckel, Holling, & Weise, 2006; Robertson, Smeets, Lubinski, & Benbow, 2010). Altman (1999) found a composite divergent thinking score was significantly correlated to overall GPA; creativity was most associated with grades in early courses and very advanced courses. Despite the correlations between creativity and academic success, less research has focused on the relationship between creativity and educational environments. It would be advantageous to explore the influence of educational settings on creativity and vice versa. Therefore, the proposed symposium will consist of four papers exploring various aspects of creativity (e.g., artistry, divergent thinking, and innovation) and its relation to students in various academic settings. The goal of the symposium is to explore how students’ creativity is related to their perceptions of the educational environment and their perceptions of themselves, on the one hand, and, on the role of creativity in fostering educational development on the other.
In a study that hypothesizes that creative ideation is context dependent, the first paper by Furtwengler, explores the development of a scale to measure the extent to which individuals suppress their creative expression. The scales seeks to answer whether individuals non-consciously suppress their creativity out of the fear that they will be perceived as atypical, The scale is piloted on a sample of secondary students enrolled at a school for the performing and visual arts. Data is analyzed using principal component analysis and the results are reported.
The second presentation, by Hussain, is an examination of the relation between ego identity, ethnic identity, and giftedness across a sample of artistically gifted immigrant high school students. Her findings indicated that all of the students were searching or unresolved in their ego identity, and that only one student was achieved in ethnic identity resolution. Insights from this study will help to push more development and research for this underserved population.
In the third paper, Lewitt and colleagues examined how visual imagery supported more focused and detailed examination of issues within the research interview process and the discourse analysis process when interview transcripts were compared and contrasted. Through this process, new meanings, connections, and juxtapositions were revealed.
The final study utilized a hierarchical cluster analysis to distinguish different student profiles based on the aspects of potential for excellence (intelligence, creativity, and GPA). Findings by Pullen and colleagues indicate that the clusters of students mainly differ in levels of creativity. Characteristics of the different clusters and how students with different excellence profiles perceive a collaborative learning environment will be discussed during the presentation.
Together, these four studies will offer compelling insight into the relationship between creativity and educational environments. Hence, this symposium will engage in a discussion on research that serves to address the gap in the current research on the social context of creativity.
Altman, W. S. (1999). Creativity and academic success. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, 59(10-A). April 1999, 3731. Amabile, T. & Mueller, J. (2007). Studying creativity, its processes, and its antecedents: An exploration of the componential theory of creativity. Handbook of Organizational Creativity. Eds. Jing Zhou and Christina Shalley. Ludwig, A. (1992). Creative achievement and psychopathology: Comparison among professions. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 46, 330–356. Nijstad, B. (2015). Creativity in groups. APA handbook of personality and social psychology, Volume 2: Group processes [e-book]. Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association; 35-65. Available from: PsycINFO, Ipswich, MA. Preckel, F., Holling, H., & Weise, M. (2006). Relationship of intelligence and creativity in gifted and non-gifted students: An investigation of threshold theory. Personality and Individual Differences, 40, 159–170. Robertson, K., Smeets, S., Lubinski, D., & Benbow, C. (2010). Beyond the threshold hypothesis: Even among the gifted and top math/science graduate students, cognitive abilities, vocational interests, and lifestyle preferences matter for career choice, performance, and persistence. Psychological Science, 19, 346–351.
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