A study of aptitudes, cognitive styles, and personality characteristics as facilitators and differentiators of creativity in four distinct disciplines



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Although the primary purpose of this study was to try and determine if creativity in different disciplines was a function of differential cognitive variables, i.e., aptitudes and cognitive styles, or if it was a generalized cognitive ability, several concomitant issues were also examined. First, Guilford's (1967) theoretical position that individuals, creative in different disciplines, should have specifically different aptitudes was contrasted with Mednick's (1963) stance that creative aptitude is the same irrespective of the discipline in which it is exhibited. Secondly, Merrifield's (1964) statement that there are both facilitators and differentiators of creativity was pursued by operationally defining facilitators as those variables which could distinguish creative individuals from non-creative individuals, and defining differentiators as those variables which would separate creative individuals into discipline-oriented groups. Thirdly, personality variables were assessed to determine their role as either facilitators or differentiators of creativity. Accordingly, an initial sample, composed of 146 upper level college students majoring in one of the four fields of art, writing, mathematics or music, was identified and tested. The test battery consisted of 16 Structure of Intellect measures, one for each of the divergent production aptitudes hypothesized by Guilford as indicative of creative ability; the Remote Associates Test of Mednick; the Thinking Interest Survey, a measure of cognitive style developed for this study; and the 16 Personality Factor Test of Cattell. [...]



Creative ability