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The creative world of middle childhood: Creativity, imagination, and self-image from qualitative and quantitative perspectives

Författare:
Publiceringsår: 2003
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 238
Dokumenttyp: Doktorsavhandling
Förlag: Department of Psychology, Box 213, SE-221 00 Lund,
Ytterligare information: I. Hoff, E. (2000). A Painter’s Mystery: A Story as a Starting-Point to Study Creativity in 10-Year-Old Children. Published in Swedish in Nordisk Psykologi, 52, 37-77. II. Hoff, E. V., & Carlsson, I. (2002). Shining Lights or Lone Wolves? Creativity and Self-Image in Primary School Children. Journal of Creative Behavior, 36, 17-41. The study is reprinted with permission from The Creative Education Foundation. III. Hoff, E. V. (2003). Imaginary Companions, Creativity, and Self-Image in Middle Childhood. Manuscript submitted for publication. IV. Hoff, E. V. (2003). A Friend Living Inside Me: The Forms and Functions of Imaginary Companions in Middle Childhood. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Sammanfattning

Four studies on creativity, imagination and self-image in 10-year-old children constitute the basis of this dissertation. A total of 179 participants were involved. Study I investigated two new creativity measurements comprising The Drawing Task, which had its starting-point in a brief story, and The Activity Questionnaire, which included questions about the children’s spare time activities. The hypothesis was that there would be a relationship between these tasks and an established test of creativity, The Unusual Uses Test. A qualitative perspective was also undertaken through the use of interviews. Study II aimed at describing aspects of the creative personality in middle childhood and at investigating the relationship between different tests of creativity. In addition to the tests mentioned above, The Creative Functioning Test and the self-image inventory How I Think I Am were also used. Study III scrutinized the relation between creativity, self-image and imaginary companions, and Study IV, using qualitative interviews, analyzed the forms and functions of imaginary companions.

As a whole, this project has contributed to the study of creativity in three ways. First, it has put a more general emphasis on the creativity of middle childhood. Creativity in middle childhood has received little attention in the literature. This project showed that children in middle childhood could be very imaginative and innovative. To learn more about creativity in this age group, creativity was related to self-image estimations and the occurrence of imaginary companions and drawing motifs. Among those children whose self-image was tested, it was difficult to discern one creative personality profile. Children who were well adjusted and accepted among peers as well as those who were maladapted and felt rejected by others were found among the highly creative participants. A relation between creativity and having imaginary companions was found. There was also a link between more elaborated companions and higher levels of creativity. Furthermore, children with imaginary companions had less positive self-images.

Second, the complexity of the creativity concept has been demonstrated. This was accomplished by relating different ways of measuring creativity to one another. These results showed that different measurements were moderately related and may to some extent capture different aspects of creativity.

Third, through qualitative interviews with children, creativity was embraced from a new perspective. The children were given a voice as regards their sources of inspiration, their notions of reality and imagination as well as the forms and functions of their imaginary companions. The invention of imaginary companions was scrutinized as an example of a natural creative phenomenon, in which children demonstrated great variation, elaboration and originality. The imaginary companions were found to provide important assistance to children in their identity formation process.

A fourth aim of the dissertation was to discern possible gender differences. However, the four studies demonstrated very few such differences.

Disputation

2003-05-16
13:00
Lecture hall of Kulturen, Lund
  • Lars Ryhammar (Associate Professor)

Nyckelord

  • Social Sciences
  • self-image
  • middle childhood
  • drawings
  • Unusual Uses Test
  • qualitative interviews
  • Development psychology
  • Utvecklingspsykologi
  • Creativity
  • imaginary companions

Övriga

I. Hoff, E. (2000). A Painter’s Mystery: A Story as a Starting-Point to Study Creativity in 10-Year-Old Children. Published in Swedish in Nordisk Psykologi, 52, 37-77. Reprinted with permission from Nordisk Psykologi. II. Hoff, E. V., & Carlsson, I. (2002). Shining Lights or Lone Wolves? Creativity and Self-Image in Primary School Children. Journal of Creative Behavior, 36, 17-41. The study is reprinted with permission from The Creative Education Foundation. Reprinted with permission from Creative Education Foundation. III. Hoff, E. V. (2003). Imaginary Companions, Creativity, and Self-Image in Middle Childhood. Manuscript submitted for publication. IV. Hoff, E. V. (2003). A Friend Living Inside Me: The Forms and Functions of Imaginary Companions in Middle Childhood. Manuscript submitted for publication.
  • ISBN: 91-628-5633-2
  • ISRN: LUSADG/SAPS--03/1116--SE

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