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The role of implicit theories, age, and gender in the creative performance of children and adults

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Given its importance in current society, understanding the individual differences that might encourage creative productivity should be an important focus for research. In this two-study paper, we suggest that an individual’s beliefs about the malleability of abilities and traits plays an important role in their creative performance. This relationship was examined in both children (Study 1) and adults (Study 2). For Study 1, data was collected from 58 pupils (aged 4-7 years). Participants completed a divergent thinking task, and their implicit theories of intelligence were measured. Results showed that holding an entity theory of intelligence was associated with lower scores on the divergent thinking task. For Study 2, 131 adults participated, completing an online divergent thinking task as well as reporting their implicit theories of creativity. Leading on from the findings of Study 1, endorsing an entity theory of creativity was associated with lower scores on the divergent thinking task. In both studies, the role of age and gender was examined. Results are discussed in relation to a potential avenue for interventions designed to encourage creativity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-109
Number of pages12
JournalThinking Skills and Creativity
Volume28
Early online date31 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

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