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Task and Motivational Influences on the Assessment of Creative and Intellective Ability in Children NICHD

Kogan, Nathan; Morgan, Frank T.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
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Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Academic Achievement, Creativity, Elementary School Students, Motivation, Student Evaluation, Test Anxiety


The present study was designed to test two major hypotheses: (1) that game-like contexts will induce higher creativity levels than will test-like contexts, and (2) that in game-like contexts creative and intellective performance will be unrelated to each other, whereas in test-like contexts, these two kinds of performance will be positively related. A total of 104 fifth-grade children (52 males and 52 females) in four separate classrooms participated in the study. Two of the classrooms were assigned to the game-like condition and the other two to the test-like condition. Two creativity tasks of an associative type and a vocabulary test were administered. Kuhlman-Anderson IQ scores were available for almost all subjects. No clear cut superiority for test- or game-like contexts in reference to creativity level was observed. Rather, effects varied dependent upon the task, the criterion of creativity, anxiety and defensiveness levels of subjects, and the sex of the subject. With regard to the second hypothesis, overall correlational differences were not found. However, when test anxiety was employed as a moderator variable, results consistent with the hypothesis were obtained. Implications for future creativity research with children are spelled out in the paper.

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