A two part study of the creative process
Fairweather, Elizabeth Catharine
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The effects of mood on the creative process among early adolescents were explored in a two-part study that comprised the research behind this dissertation. The overall hypothesis of this study was that individuals have different experiences of the creative process based on their moods. The first part of the study involved developing and validating an instrument for assessing early adolescents’ self-reported levels of engagement in components of the creative process (preparation, problem development, idea generation, implementation, incubation/illumination, and evaluation). Participants were 57 sixth and eighth grade students. Reliability estimates derived from responses of the 57 participants signaled appropriateness for the use of this instrument in the second part of the study and showed promise for its use in future research as well as practical applications. Also, analysis of creative process observations and creative products of twelve sixth grade participants correlated with their self-reports on the instrument to provide validity evidence. This first part of the study is presented in the form of a manuscript to be submitted to a professional journal. The second part of the study involved comparing data gathered from this creative process instrument with data about mood. Information about dispositional mood was gathered from 30 eighth grade students via the PANAS-C, a measure of positive and negative affect in children. The results yielded limited support for the hypothesis. In accordance with the large amount of research linking positive affect to idea generation, participants’ dispositional positive affect was related to their self-reports of levels of idea generation. Positive affect was also related to incubation, as expected as well. These and other results are discussed in a manuscript intended for submission to a professional journal. Another manuscript provides a theoretical backdrop for the study. Finally, advice and suggestions about how to help students in the creative process, based on knowledge from this dissertation research, is provided in a short manuscript intended for submission to a practitioner journal.