Who is creative and how,

from everyday life to professional achievement?

Ivcevic, Z., Grossman, E., & Ranjan, A. (2020). Patterns of psychological vulnerabilities and resources in artists. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. Advanced online publication. Doi: 10.1037/aca0000309

The present study was inspired by Barron’s (1963) description of creative individuals as “occasionally crazier, yet adamantly saner” than the general population. As suggested by this description, we hypothesized that some individuals embody a pattern of both psychological vulnerabilities and resources and that this pattern is more likely to be present in artists than non-artists. We analyzed intra-individual patterns of psychological vulnerabilities (anxiety, depression, stress) and resources (psychological well-being, ego-resilience, hope) and identified distinct clusters of individuals, including those expected from the negative correlation between resources and vulnerabilities (high vulnerabilities, low resources; low vulnerabilities, high resources), and also a cluster including both moderately high vulnerabilities and resources. As hypothesized, the cluster with both vulnerabilities and resources had more artists than non-artists. Exploratory analyses showed that creative achievement is predicted by the interaction of high vulnerabilities and resources and that this effect is significant beyond the predictive power of openness to experience and age.

Hoffmann, J. D., Ivcevic, Z., & Brackett, M. A. (2016). Creativity in the age of technology: Measuring the digital creativity of Millennials. Creativity Research Journal, 28, 149-153. https://doi.org/10.1080/10400419.2016.1162515

Digital technology and its many uses form an emerging domain of creative expression for adolescents and young adults. To date, measures of self-reported creative behavior cover more traditional forms of creativity, including visual art, music, or writing, but do not include creativity in the digital domain. This article introduces a new measure, the Creative Behavior Questionnaire: Digital (CBQD), which assesses self-reported creative behavior in the digital domain. High school students (N = 230) completed the CBQD, as well as several other measures of creativity and personality. Factor analysis revealed 3 factors: digital creativity achievement, school-based everyday creativity, and self-expressive digital creativity. Factor-based scales showed expected correlations with other creativity measures, as well as Big-Five personality traits and Unconventionality, supporting construct validity. Results indicate that the CBQD can be used as an independent or a supplemental measure of creative behavior.

How people think about their own abilities is an important predictor of educational and work attainment. This study examines group differences in the self-concept of intelligence and creativity. We compared self-concept of ability in relation to ethnic group membership (White, African American, and Hispanic) and social class (working class, middle class) in a large sample of undergraduate students (N = 3289). Both ethnicity and social class were related to self-estimates of ability (favoring White and middle class students), with group differences being stronger for intelligence than creative abilities. White middle class students show an advantage in their self-concept of intelligence in comparison to minority working class students. For self-estimates of creativity, however, White middle class students show an advantage only in relation to working class Hispanic, but not African American students.

Kaufman, J. C., Beghetto, R. A., Baer, J., & Ivcevic, Z. (2010). Creative polymathy: What Benjamin Franklin can teach your kindergartener. Learning and Individual Differences, 20, 380-387. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2009.10.001

Creative polymathy at the very highest levels is rare, but this is largely the result of a long period of training usually necessary to become proficient in any field. We explain why creative polymathy is not ruled out by arguments for the domain specificity of creativity and argue that consideration of multiple levels of creativity (Big-C, Pro-c, little-c, and mini-c) leads to the conclusion that creative polymathy may actually be fairly common. We introduce a hierarchical model of creativity (the APT Model) to help understand some constraints on and possibilities for creative polymathy, suggest different ways creative polymathy may be expressed, and offer guidelines for recognizing and nurturing creative polymathy in students.

Charyton, C., Ivcvic, Z., Plucker, J. A., & Kaufman, J. C. (2009). Creativity assessment in higher education. In C. Schreiner (Ed.), Handbook of research on assessment technologies, methods, and applications in higher education (pp. 78-96). IGI Global.

This chapter discusses creativity assessment as a means for evaluating skills required in higher education. Creativity is assessed in the context of the creative person, process, product and press or environment. Creativity is also measured differently in various domains, which we illustrate using divergent thinking tests. A historical view of creativity assessment is addressed with a substantive approach to understanding the construct of creativity, its measurement and evaluation, and the broader implications for use in higher education settings. The authors provide a comprehensive overview of the different ways creativity is assessed and hope to inform researchers concerned about finding ways to better individualize instruction and to evaluate the effectiveness of educational programs.

Ivcevic, Z., & Mayer, J. D. (2009). Mapping dimensions of creativity in the life-space. Creativity Research Journal, 21, 152-165. https://doi.org/10.1080/10400410902855259

Three studies examined content dimensions of creativity. A life-report questionnaire was developed to measure everyday, artistic, and intellectual creativity. Multiple life areas were assessed, including self-presentation, education and work, arts and crafts, culture and media consumption, everyday relations and activities, and memberships in groups that encourage creativity. Study 1 indicated that everyday creativity could be empirically distinguished from artistic creativity. Factor analyses in Studies 2 and 3 identified three broad dimensions of creativity in college students and professional adults: creative life-style, arts, and intellectual achievement. Both similarities and differences among these dimensions were observed in relation to gender and personality traits.

Ivcevic, Z. (2009). Creativity map: Toward the next generation of theories of creativity. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, Special issue: New scholars in the field, 3, 17-21. doi: 10.1037/a0014918

What is creativity and how should it be studied after more than 60 years of research? In this paper I call for more terminological clarity in creativity research, especially regarding the distinction between creative potential and creative behavior. The former concerns cognitive abilities and processes and personality dispositions facilitating creative expression. The latter refers to observable behavior, communicated ideas, or products that result from the interaction between individual potential and situational or cultural influences. Much research has focused on different attributes of creative potential, such as creative personality or divergent thinking abilities. I argue that future work in this area will have to specifically address domain-specific creative potential as well as the interaction between attributes of creative potential and situational or social attributes. The interaction of personal potential and social environment will determine whether creativity is expressed and how it is expressed.

Scholars often distinguish everyday creativity and creativity in more formal domains, such as the arts. However, everyday creativity has been rather neglected in research. This paper compares artistic and everyday creativity. Three studies examine the content of behavior in artistic and everyday creativity, as well as similarities and differences in their relationships with personality traits, psychological well‐being, and psychopathology. Typical artistic creativity acts referred to time investment in the arts, generation of art works, and achievement in the arts, whereas typical everyday creativity acts concerned humor and self‐expression in daily activities. Both kinds of creativity were related to openness to experience, a personality trait described as the disposition towards creativity. However, artistic creativity was related to higher rates of psychopathology, while everyday creativity was related to extraversion, conscientiousness, and personal growth.

Ivcevic, Z., & Mayer, J. D. (2006). Creative types and personality. Imagination, Cognition, and Personality, 26, 65-86. https://doi.org/10.2190/0615-6262-G582-853U

The present study aimed to identify types of creative activities and to examine which personality traits differentiate these behavioral types. Participants reported their activities concerning creative life-style, artistic creativity, and intellectual achievement. Also, they completed measures of personality traits concerning whole personality, emotions and motivation, cognition, social expression, and self-regulation. Five types of individuals were identified based on the profiles of creative activities in which they participated: conventional, everyday creative individuals, artists, scholars, and renaissance individuals. One set of traits distinguished conventional from other groups (traits general to different kinds of creativity) and another set of traits distinguished scholars from other groups (traits specific to one kind of creativity).

Implications for the study of creative personality and development of creativity are discussed.