General and Domain-Specific Contributions to Creative Ideation and Creative Performance

Donggun An, Mark A. Runco


The general objective of this study was to reexamine two views of creativity, one positing that there is a general creative capacity or talent and the other that creativity is domain-specific. These two views were compared by (a) testing correlations among measures of domain-general and domain-specific creativity and (b) examining how the general and the specific measures was each related to indices of knowledge, motivation, and personality. Participants were 147 college students enrolled in a foreign language course. Data were collected on participants’ domain knowledge, motivation, and creative personality, as well as four measures representing “General or Domain-Specific Creative Ideation” or “Creative Performance and Activity”. Results indicated that the four measures of creativity were correlated with one another, except for “General Performance and Activity” and “Domain-Specific Ideation.” A canonical correlation indicated that knowledge, motivation, and personality were significantly correlated with the four creativity measures (Rc = .49, p < .01). Multiple regressions uncovered particular relationships consistent with the view that creativity has both general and domain-specific contributions. Limitations, such as the focus on one domain, and future directions are discussed.


general creativity; domain-specific creativity; creative ideation; creative performance

Full Text: PDF HTML

Citing articles (via Crossref)

  • Vaibhav Tyagi, Yaniv Hanoch, Stephen D. Hall, Mark Runco, Susan L. Denham (2017)
    The Risky Side of Creativity: Domain Specific Risk Taking in Creative Individuals
    Frontiers in Psychology, 8
    doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00145
  • Mark A. Runco (2017)
    Comments on Where the Creativity Research Has Been and Where Is It Going
    The Journal of Creative Behavior, 51(4), p. 308(ff.)
    doi: 10.1002/jocb.189
  • Sue Hyeon Paek, Mark A. Runco (2017)
    Dealing with the Criterion Problem by Measuring the Quality and Quantity of Creative Activity and Accomplishment
    Creativity Research Journal, 29(2), p. 167(ff.)
    doi: 10.1080/10400419.2017.1304078
  • Mark A. Runco (2017)
    Active Ethical Leadership, Giftedness, and Creativity
    Roeper Review, 39(4), p. 242(ff.)
    doi: 10.1080/02783193.2017.1362618
  • Mark A. Runco, Selcuk Acar, Nur Cayirdag (2017)
    A closer look at the creativity gap and why students are less creative at school than outside of school
    Thinking Skills and Creativity, 24, p. 242(ff.)
    doi: 10.1016/j.tsc.2017.04.003