Adolescents’ implicit theories of a creative person: A longitudinal investigation in three countries

Danielle E. DELANY, Yuen Man Rebecca CHEUNG, Yusuke TAKAHASHI, Cecilia S. CHEUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Our research examined whether adolescents in the United States, China, and Japan differed in their conceptions of a creative person. Participants were American (n = 321), Chinese (n = 235), and Japanese (n = 393) adolescents in 7th and 8th grades who completed surveys at 3 time points. Using an open-ended questionnaire, adolescents were asked to list up to 10 attributes of a creative person. The responses were coded into 4 categories: action, emotion, characteristics, and self (vs. others). Results indicated that adolescents in the United States used more action and emotion descriptors (e.g., draws, happy) when conceptualizing a creative person, compared to Chinese and Japanese adolescents. In contrast, Chinese (vs. American and Japanese) adolescents were more likely to use descriptors about the characteristics of a person (e.g., hardworking, smart) in their conceptualizations of a creative person. Changes over time in adolescents’ conceptions of a creative person were evident, with the rates of such changes being uneven across countries. Findings provide evidence in support of the idea that adolescents’ implicit theories of creativity may be rooted in their cultural experiences. Copyright © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-61
JournalCreativity Research Journal
Issue number1
Early online date02 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019



Delany, D. E., Cheung, R. R. M., Takahashi, Y., & Cheung, C. S. (2019). Adolescents’ implicit theories of a creative person: A longitudinal investigation in three countries. Creativity Research Journal, 31(1), 52-61. doi: 10.1080/10400419.2019.1577648