Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Education

Department

Educational and Counseling Psych

First Advisor

Dr. Kenneth M. Tyler

Abstract

Creativity research is an underdeveloped area of educational psychology. For example, studies of students’ creativity as a predictor of academic achievement are uncommon in the field. Moreover, perseverance—which is an integral part of the definition of creativity (Sternberg, 2012)—is not typically measured in creativity research. To address these issues, the current study sought to discern within an academic context whether perseverance serves as a mediating factor between creativity and academic achievement. Two undergraduate student samples (N = 817; N = 187) participated in a survey measuring their creativity and perseverance. This multiple manuscript dissertation sought to examine the psychometric properties of a measure of creativity: the Runco Ideational Behavior Scale (RIBS) and a measure of perseverance: the Grit Scale and to explore the relationships between creativity, perseverance, academic motivation, and academic achievement. Study 1 found that the RIBS had a correlated two-factor structure with two subscales: the Scatterbrained Subscale and the Divergent Thinking Subscale. Grit had a correlated two-factor structure reflecting interest and effort, and this reinforced previous findings regarding this scale These two scales hold promise as measures of the creative process. Study 2 found that although traditional motivation measures consistently predicted grades, grit only predicted grades in one sample, and creativity had no relationship with grades. Creativity appears to be orthogonal to academic achievement as measured by grades. There was evidence that grit can mediate the relationships between motivation and grades, but only in one sample. This research shares the limitations of other self-report surveys, but the psychometrics behind the measures were strong. Future research should continue to examine creativity and perseverance as important noncognitive constructs in academic contexts especially among diverse populations.

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