Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Psychology



First Advisor

Stephanie E. Miller

Second Advisor

Kara E. Hawthorne

Third Advisor

Matthew Reysen

Relational Format



Creativity is a multifaceted construct influenced by task constraints (Glucksberg & Wesiberg, 1966; Runco, 1986), cognitive processes (Bijvoet-Van Den Berg, & Hoicka, 2014; Claxton, Pannells, & Rhoads, 2005) and motivational factors (dweck, 2006; lucas & nordgren, 2015), and is hypothesized to have significant "slumps" where the development slows, such as the "fourth-grade slump" (Torrance, 1967; 1968). The purpose of the present study was to examine the hypothesized "fourth-grade slump" in creativity and determine whether cognitive factors, such as executive function (i.e., cognitive control, Zelazo, Muller, Frye & Marcovitch, 2003), motivation factors (i.e., mindset and persistence), and situational factors (i.e., language used within a task) would interact with age to show different patterns of influence during different times of development. Although there was not a fourth-grade slump, we did find differences between children and adults where children had lower creativity but sholinks to ef abilities in working memory. People at all age groups undervalued their persistence in a creative task and mindset was not related to creative ability. Taken together, these results indicate that children utilize cognitive factors such as ef when performing a creative task and as people age they rely less on cognitive factors, but have overall higher levels of creativity and all age groups undervalue the role of persistence in creative tasks.


Emphasis: Experimental Psychology



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