Date of Award

Fall 2005

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

John D Mayer


A series of studies investigated domain generality and specificity in creativity. Preliminary studies developed behavior report measures based on act-frequency and life-space approaches. The main studies examined two aspects of generality and specificity in creativity. A first group of studies analyzed the structure of creative behavior and the second group of studies concerned personality correlates of creativity. Dimensions of creative behavior were identified in a factor analysis of behavior reports and referred to creative life-style, arts, and intellectual achievement. Moreover, these dimensions were replicated in college students and professional adults. Groups of individuals with similar patterns of behavior were identified in a cluster analysis and described as conventional, everyday creative, artist, scholar, and renaissance people. A systems approach to personality was employed to select creativity relevant traits based on prior research and theories of creativity. Selected traits concerned global personality, emotions and motivation, cognition, social expression, and self-regulation. Creative behaviors were related to multiple areas in personality, which supported conceptions of creativity as a syndrome requiring multiple resources in the person (Amabile, 1996; Mumford & Gustafson, 1988; Sternberg & Lubart, 1995). Regression and discriminant function analyses showed that it was possible to identify both traits general to different dimensions and patterns in creativity and traits that are specific to one dimension or pattern in creative behavior.