The Impact of Implicit Self-Theory on Rated Creativity in Third and Sixth Graders

Jillian Brass, Pace University


This study aimed to examine the influence of directions emphasizing implicit self-theories on rated creativity in third and sixth graders. Previous research has suggested that having an incremental implicit theory of intelligence is correlated with higher grades and mastery goals, while previous research on creativity indicates that changing the wording of task directions in even subtle ways can lead to enhanced creativity. Participants were 114 students in an urban elementary school. Participants were assigned by school classroom to an entity or incremental implicit theory condition. Participants were given a set of directions emphasizing either an incremental or entity implicit theory of creativity, depending on their assigned condition, then were asked to complete a drawing task and a writing task. Implicit theories of creativity of participants were measured pre- and post-study. Creativity was rated by a panel of graduate students and elementary school teachers. Analyses suggested that participants' implicit self-theories of creativity changed as a result of the experimental manipulation; participants in the incremental group showed increased incremental views following the manipulation, while participants in the entity group showed no significant change. Participants in the incremental group were rated as significantly more creative than participants in the entity group on the writing task, but not on the art task. The effect on the writing task was significantly stronger for third graders than for sixth graders, suggesting that implicit theory interventions are more effective with younger children. ^

Subject Area

Education, Educational Psychology|Psychology, Cognitive

Recommended Citation

Brass, Jillian, "The Impact of Implicit Self-Theory on Rated Creativity in Third and Sixth Graders" (2012). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3521153.



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