Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Creative Studies, M.S.


Center for Studies in Creativity


Dr. Gerard J. Puccio


This thesis explored the extent of influence of culture on implicit theories of creativity among laypeople from the United States and Singapore, as well as the ethnic groups in Singapore - the Chinese, the Malays, and the Indians, in regard to adaptive and innovative styles of creativity as well as their own conceptions of creativity. A total of 523 participants were involved in this study. They comprised 139 participants from the United States and 199 participants from Singapore, 84 Chinese, 54 Malays, and 47 Indians. The participants completed the first part of a questionnaire that consisted of a ten-point scale to rate the creativity level for the descriptors of the Adaptor and Innovator derived from Kirton’s explicit theory of creativity called the Adaptor-Innovator Theory. They also completed the second part of the questionnaire where they were asked to give words they believed were associated with creativity. The data were analyzed and compared with each other as national cultures as well as amongst the three ethnic groups in Singapore. The results revealed that the participants had an implicit belief that high creativity was associated with Kirton’s innovative style of creativity. Also, the words they believed were associated with creativity seemed to have an innovator bias. Implications of these findings raise new questions on the extent of influence of culture on laypeople’s perceptions of creativity. Recommendations for future research were also discussed.


This thesis received the 'Outstanding Master's Thesis Award' in 2006.