The First Step Toward Being Creative Is Believing That You Can Be Creative

A new study suggests we can add creativity to the list of things that are more likely to change when you believe it’s possible for them to change:

Attempts to maximize creativity pervade corporate, artistic, and scientific domains. This research investigated how individual’s lay beliefs about the malleability of creativity affect several measures of creative potential. Two correlational and 1 experimental study examined the relationship between malleability beliefs about creativity and creative problem-solving and prior creative achievement. In Study 1, incremental beliefs in creativity were associated with interest in creative thinking, self-reported creativity, and creative problem-solving. In Study 2, incremental beliefs were associated with prior creative achievement in a cross-cultural, professional sample. In Study 3, incremental primes of creativity led to improved creative problem-solving. All studies provide discriminant validity and domain-specificity for malleability beliefs in creativity. Specifically, Studies 1 and 2 controlled for individual differences in beliefs about the malleability of intelligence, suggesting that malleability beliefs of creativity and intelligence are meaningfully distinct. Meanwhile, Study 3 found that incremental beliefs of creativity enhance creative problem-solving but not problem-solving more generally.

3 Responses to The First Step Toward Being Creative Is Believing That You Can Be Creative

  1. Eric,

    Thanks for this great find!

    Just finished checking out your site and enjoyed reading the wonderful variety of posts you have written, especially about education. Your articles are well research and to the point. Thanks for finding this academic journal article, now if we could only read them for free!

    Hope to see more great articles ahead! Keep up the great work.

    Thanks again,


  2. Pingback: Always Be Creating : The New ABC’s of Well-Being (Or How I Found The Artist’s Way)

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