Gender differences in means and variability on creative thinking: Patterns in childhood, adolescence, and emerging adulthood

Jing Mavis HE WU, Wan-Chi WONG, Anna Na-Na HUI

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Gender differences in creative thinking remain an unresolved research question. Researchers have increasingly recognized that both mean and variability analyses should be conducted to uncover a complete picture of gender differences. Moreover, it has been suggested that gender differences in intellectual abilities are dynamic across age, and gender differences need to be analyzed developmentally. This study aimed to reframe the study of gender differences in creative thinking by (1) using both mean and variability analyses and (2) employing a developmental perspective. Creativity was assessed with the Test for Creative Thinking–Drawing Production (TCT–DP) which was developed based on the componential model of creativity. The TCT–DP scores of six age groups (N = 2,224), which included participants of ages 3–4 years, 5–7 years, 10–12 years, 13–15 years, 18–19 years, and 20–22 years, were analyzed. Results showed that while mean analyses generally revealed trivial gender differences, variability analyses tend to support great gender differences. Furthermore, developmental data demonstrated that the magnitude and the direction of gender differences change across age. While greater female variability (favoring girls) was observed in young children, a reverse pattern that was found in adolescents and young adults. The findings shed lights on the different developmental trajectories of boys and girls in creativity. Copyright © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media Singapore.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCreativity, culture, and development
EditorsAi-Girl TAN, Christoph PERLETH
Place of PublicationSingapore
ISBN (Electronic)9789812876362
ISBN (Print)9789812876355
Publication statusPublished - 2015



He Wu, M. J., Wong, W.-C., & Hui, A. N.-N. (2015). Gender differences in means and variability on creative thinking: Patterns in childhood, adolescence, and emerging adulthood. In A.-G. Tan, &C. Perleth (Eds.), Creativity, culture, and development (pp. 85-98). Singapore: Springer Singapore.


  • Gender difference
  • Creative thinking
  • Significant gender difference
  • Developmental perspective
  • Variability analysis