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ERIC Number: EJ894359
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0175
Creativity as a Matter of Choice: Prior Experience and Task Instruction as Boundary Conditions for the Positive Effect of Choice on Creativity
Chua, Roy Yong-Joo; Iyengar, Sheena S.
Journal of Creative Behavior, v42 n3 p164-180 2008
This study investigates the effects of prior experience, task instruction, and choice on creative performance. Although extant research suggests that giving people choice in how they approach a task could enhance creative performance, we propose that this view needs to be circumscribed. Specifically, we argue that when choice is administered during problem solving by varying the number of available resources, the high combinatorial flexibility conferred by a large choice set of resources can be overwhelming. Through two experiments, we found that only individuals with high prior experience in the task domain and given explicit instruction to be creative produced more creative outcomes when given more choice. When either of these two conditions is not met (i.e., low prior experience or given non-creativity instruction), more choice did not lead to more creative performance. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed. (Contains 2 tables and 2 footnotes.)
Creative Education Foundation. 48 North Pleasant Street Suite 301, Amherst, MA 01002. Tel: 508-960-0000; Fax: 413-658-0046; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A