Individual differences in creativity: measurement, structure, aetiology and prediction

Toivainen, Teemu. 2021. Individual differences in creativity: measurement, structure, aetiology and prediction. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

Creativity is becoming an increasingly important research topic, with implications for education. However, many issues remain unresolved, including the underlying structure of creativity and factors influencing individual differences in childhood creativity. This thesis presents four empirical studies, based on different datasets, addressing questions in relation to the measurement, structure, aetiology and prediction of creativity. The first study, examining 13 creativity measures, found that the structure of creativity is non-unitary. This finding suggests that creativity is multidimensional; or, alternatively, that creativity is a collective term for largely unrelated processes, rather than a meaningful construct. The second study, using the cross-cultural design, explored the relationship between a verbal Remote Associates Test and its newly developed visual version. The associations between linguistic and visual versions of the test were moderate. This, together with the finding of non-unitary structure of creativity, demonstrates that there is no one measure that could be used as a proxy for creativity. The third study corroborated previous finding that Openness to Experience is the most robust personality predictor of creativity. The study found that Openness to Experience was related to self-rated creativity, creative self-efficacy and to the ability to think divergently, among adolescents selected for high achievements in Science and Art & Literature. The role of other personality traits and intelligence was small if not negligible in these samples. The fourth study used the Consensual Assessment Technique to evaluate creativity in children’s writing; and explored longitudinal associations of this measure with educational achievement, beyond intelligence and motivation. Additionally, a genetically sensitive analysis showed that creative content is children’s writing is moderately heritable, with some variance also explained by shared environmental effects. The findings of this thesis will guide measurement and planning of interventions in educational contexts.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

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creativity; individual differences; twin study; education

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



30 April 2021

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

14 Jul 2021 15:00

Last Modified:

30 Apr 2024 01:26


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