Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Creative Studies, M.S.


Center for Studies in Creativity


Dr. Gerard J. Puccio


The FourSight theory contends that individuals exhibit a preference for the mental operations involved in creative problem solving. The four fundamental mindset preferences measured by FourSight are Clarifiers, Ideators, Developers and Implementers. Individuals can exhibit a peak preference for one, two, or three of these mindsets, or they can show an even distribution of energy across all four creative-thinking preferences. Robust and creative solutions to complex and recurrent problems are only possible if an individual or a team of individuals consciously move through the four stages of problem solving. Creative problem-solving can be taught. The ability to be creative at work confers some level of protection against job dissatisfaction. Emergency physicians as front-line workers in a high volume, high risk, problem prone and poorly resourced arena exhibit a high degree of burnout, with some studies citing a 60% burnout rate. The Maslach Burnout Inventory measures burnout along three dimensions, Emotional Exhaustion, Depersonalization, and Personal Accomplishment. This study empirically examined whether a relationship exists between an emergency physicians’ level of burnout and their mindset as determined by their FourSight creative-thinking preference tool. Results showed that the Clarifying problem-solving preference was a significant predictor of burnout. Indeed, this creative-thinking mindset showed a stronger relationship to burnout than years of service and hours worked per week. Conversely, the Ideator mindset was shown to promote a sense of personal accomplishment and therefore serves to mitigate burnout among physicians. Burnout among emergency physicians is a substantial problem. The findings of the present study may lead to ways in which self-awareness and training, relative to creative-thinking preferences and creative problem solving, can be leveraged to promote greater resiliency among emergency physicians.