You Do What You Are: The Relationship between the Scale of Creative Attributes and Behavior and Vocational Interests

By Kelly, Kathryn E.; Kneipp, Lee B. | Journal of Instructional Psychology, March 2009 | Go to article overview

You Do What You Are: The Relationship between the Scale of Creative Attributes and Behavior and Vocational Interests


Kelly, Kathryn E., Kneipp, Lee B., Journal of Instructional Psychology


Previous research has found relationships between measures of creativity and Vocational Interests, especially the artistic type. To partially examine the validity of a new self-report measure of creativity, 115 college students were administered the Vocational Preference Inventory (Form C) (VPI-C; Holland, 1985; Lowman & Schurman, 1982) and the Scale of Creative Attributes and Behavior (SCAB; Kelly, 2004). Similar to findings using other creativity measures, artistic vocational interests were significantly, positively correlated with creativity. The results and directions for future research are discussed.

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Although creativity has no precise and universal definition (Torrance, 1997), there have been a number of attempts to measure this elusive concept over the past decades (see Simonton, 1999; Tardif & Sternberg 1997). Most of these measures of creativity have focused on divergent thinking (Torrance, 1974) and creative personality (Gough, 1979).

It is also established that creativity is influenced by personality, motivation, individual style (Gardner, 1997), as well as a high level of absorption in and devotion to their creative activities. These activities often lead to a high level of production, although outstanding ideas or products are rare (Simonton, 1997). It seems that many individuals choose activities conducive to original thinking, although only a handful of those individuals are considered to have creative genius, such as Hemingway, Einstein, and Monet. They were blessed with a personality style and abilities giving them persistence and productivity that led them to be revered as geniuses.

Such genius, however, is characteristic of few individuals. More common, are numerous other individuals who often participate in creative thinking and activities without achieving reverence or universal acclaim. Examples of such individuals might include a mother creating a holiday costume for her child, or homeowners who design their own living space in an attractive and unique way.

Many individuals choose a career path that lends itself to creative expression in some form. Indeed, Holland (1997) posits that individuals choose a career based on their personality. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between creativity among "normal" individuals and an established measure of vocational interest. It is well-established individuals in a career matching their personality not only have longer job tenure but are also healthier and happier (Holland, 1997).

Based on a literature review, Kelly (2004) developed a measure of creativity--the Scale of CreativeAttributes and Behavior (SCAB), designed to be an easily administered, reliable, and valid self-report measure of creativity as a multidimensional phenomenon. The scale was intended to measure self-perceived creativity and the creative personality (e.g., characteristics of individuals considered to be creative, regardless whether or not they have outstanding creative achievements. Specifically, the SCAB was designed to measure what seem to be five components of creativity: creative engagement, creative cognitive style, spontaneity, tolerance, and fantasy.

Kelly (2004) interpreted these five components as follows: creative engagement refers to a preference for creative activities and often spending time working on something creative. Creative cognitive style refers to the cognitive aspect of creativity involving divergent thinking and problem solving. This is the classic definition which has often been linked with intelligence (Gardner, 1997). Spontaneity is a style characterized by impulsivity and novelty seeking. Tolerance is the attitude of flexibility and openness to others' ideas and experiences. And finally, fantasy is a mental activity of creativity, usually in the form of daydreaming and imagination. Based on a factor analytic analysis, Kelly concluded that the SCAB assessed these essential components; thus demonstrating some degree of construct validity. …

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