Title

Hemisphericity and Flexibility in Problem Solving Strategies in Creative Test Performance

Date of Award

12-1-1981

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

The present study was designed to provide further data regarding the contribution of hemisphericity to the creative process. A flexibility variable was suggested as another contributing factor in the creative process. A set of four questionnaires yielding seven scores reflecting behavioral, personal preference, and personality indices was used to assess hemisphericity. A concept formation task that would theoretically reflect analytic and holistic processing was developed to assess flexibility in problem solving strategies. The hemisphericity and flexibility measures, along with the creativity measure, were administered to 37 females and 13 males. All subjects were right handed with no familial sinistrality.

The set of hemisphericity measures failed to account for a significant amount of variance associated with the creativity scores. Furthermore, when the set of flexibility scores was considered in conjunction with the hemisphericity scores, the flexibility variable failed to account for significantly more variance than the set of hemisphericity scores alone. However, a subject's ability to make conceptual switches was associated with a higher creativity score. Also, subjects who responded with more non lateral eye movements in response to questioning were more likely to perform higher on the creativity measure. Analysis of the flexibility scores revealed that a subject's ability to switch from an analytic task to a holistic task was significantly associated with better performance on the creativity task.

The failure of the set of hemisphericity measures to significantly relate to the creativity scores, the personality variables, or the flexibility task was suggested to reflect that these measures may be inadequate in assessing the theoretical construct of hemisphericity.

Cerebral specialization and an attentional-arousal theory based on frontal lobe functioning was used to better understand the contribution of the non lateral eye movement index and the flexibility score to creative performance. While this model allowed better understanding of the variables, further research needs to be conducted in order to clarify the meanings of these variables and their relationship to creativity.

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