Evaluation of Poetic Creativity: Predictors and the Role of Expertise - A Multilevel Approach

Chaudhuri, Soma; Dooley, Maura; Johnson, Dan; Beaty, Roger and Bhattacharya, Joydeep. 2023. Evaluation of Poetic Creativity: Predictors and the Role of Expertise - A Multilevel Approach. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, ISSN 1931-3896 [Article] (In Press)

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Abstract or Description

Poetry is one of the most creative expressions of language, but how we evaluate the creativity of a poem is not properly characterized. The present study investigated the role of various subjective qualities – clarity, aesthetic appeal, felt valence, arousal, and surprise – in predicting the creativity judgment of English poems. Participants (N=129) were presented with a broad range of English poems; they rated each poem on six characteristics: clarity, aesthetic appeal, felt valence, felt arousal, surprise and overall creativity. Linear multilevel analysis showed that aesthetic appeal was the strongest predictor of poetic creativity, followed by surprise and felt valence. Multilevel mediation analysis indicated significant mediation by surprise and felt valence on the relationship between aesthetic appeal and creativity at both within and between-participant levels. Further, expertise in English literature was found to significantly moderate the effects of all three predictors on the evaluation of creativity. The study simultaneously captured the surprise-evoking line(s).
Using the semantic distance computing approach, we have shown the objective validation of the subjectively chosen line(s) of surprise. Altogether, our findings suggest a parsimonious model of evaluation of creativity of poems and its interaction with expertise.

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Additional Information:

“©American Psychological Association, [2023]. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. The final article will be available, upon publication, at: https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/aca/”

Data Access Statement:

Data and codes are available in Open Science Framework (OSF): https://osf.io/rqxm5/?view_only=b5ce75bf5d924d0ba2373ccb3c647803


poetry, creativity, evaluation, expertise

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature


22 August 2023Accepted

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

06 Sep 2023 10:04

Last Modified:

28 Nov 2023 09:57

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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