ERIC Number: ED221886
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Does Productivity Precede Creativity in Writing? Implications for the Clinical Treatment of Writing Blocks.
A study attempted to measure the effects of contingency management, conditions that essentially forced subjects to write, on their writing productivity and creative ideas. Subjects were 27 published college faculty with doctorates, divided into three groups of nine. The first or contingency group participated in a "baseline phase" during which they wrote on scheduled days only if they felt like it. At the end of this phase, the subjects established a daily writing output goal and contracted for a strong external contingency--a personal financial penalty for every day they did not meet that goal. The second or noncontingent group also participated in the baseline phase, after which they were just verbally encouraged to write during each scheduled writing day. The third or control group agreed to defer all but the absolutely necessary academic writing tasks until 10 weeks had passed. The writing output of all three groups was charted by the subjects. The results indicated that the contingency group produced a clearly higher level of written pages per day than did either of the other groups during the equivalent period. The introduction of instructions to write more appears to have produced a moderate increase over baseline levels in the noncontingent group. Subjects in the control group did not produce a substantial amount of nonacademic writing despite maintenance of graphs and logs. Contingency management of writing productivity also facilitated rather than impeded the appearance of creative ideas for writing. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (90th, Washington, DC, August 23-27, 1982).