Article | Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin | 1995

The Positive Impact of Creative Activity: Effects of Creative Task Engagement and Motivational Focus on College Student's Learning

by R. Conti, T. M. Amabile and S. Pollack

Abstract

This study assessed the effectiveness of engaging students in a creative activity on a topic as a means of encouraging an active cognitive set toward learning that topic area. This technique was examined in three motivational contexts. Before reading a short instructional passage, subjects completed either, a creative or a noncreative pretask and heard one of three sets of directions: task focused (emphasizing intrinsic involvement), test focused (emphasizing external evaluation), or task/test focused (previous two combined). After reading the passage, subjects answered questions assessing immediate retention, wrote a creative essay, and responded to a questionnaire assessing intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Long-term retention was assessed 5 days later with a phone quiz. Creative task engagement was found to be an effective means of enhancing creativity (in the absence of evaluation expectation), intrinsic motivation, and long-term retention.

Keywords: Creativity; Cognition and Thinking; Behavior; Performance; Motivation and Incentives; Training;

Citation:

Conti, R., T. M. Amabile, and S. Pollack. "The Positive Impact of Creative Activity: Effects of Creative Task Engagement and Motivational Focus on College Student's Learning." Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin 21 (1995): 1107–1116.