Creativity has long been viewed as a significant aspect of human behavior. Theorists suggest that creativity is responsible for the progress of human cultures, necessary for the well-being of individuals and societies in an era of rapid change, and essential for the highest levels of healthy human functioning. Previous research has shown that the social environment can significantly influence creative performance, perhaps by influencing an individual's intrinsic/ extrinsic motivational orientation. The proposed research will examine the motivational, affective, and cognitive mechanisms by which these influences occur. The research has three major specific aims, each addressed in a different phase of the research program.
The aim of Phase I is to more precisely determine the impact of both trait (chronic) and state (situationally- induced) motivational orientation on creativity.
The aim of Phase II is to examine the role of affect in creativity, investigating the extent to which affect mediates the influence of motivational orientation on creativity and the extent to which affect is an integral part of motivational orientation.
The aim of Phase III is to investigate the cognitive mechanisms by which motivational orientation and affect might influence the creative process. Drawing on the methods of social, personality, and cognitive psychology, 14 studies will use both experimental and nonexperimental methods to achieve the specific aims. Subject populations will include artists, writers, computer programmers, and college students; creativity tasks will be drawn from the domains of art, writing, and computer programming. The broader objectives of the research are to connect the motivation- creativity findings to the growing literatures on: (1) the components of creative performance; (2) the relationships between motivation, affect, and cognition; and (3) the roles of both psychological health and affective disorder in creative productivity.
|Amabile, T M; Hill, K G; Hennessey, B A et al. (1994) The Work Preference Inventory: assessing intrinsic and extrinsic motivational orientations. J Pers Soc Psychol 66:950-67|