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Durham e-Theses
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Creativity and play in children

Hargreaves, David J. (1973) Creativity and play in children. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This research looks at conceptions of creativity and at the question of its measurement in the broad context of psychological assessment and the potentialities of mental tests. It falls into three parts. The studies described in Pert 1 establish, by correlational and factorial techniques, that "creativity" implies an integrated range of abilities, represented by divergent thinking tests, which although related to intelligence in subjects of average I.Q., remains factorially distinct from it. This "dimensionality" issue is affected by individual differences in motivation which are aroused by the conditions of test administration; Part 2 looks at the effects of three situational factors on divergent test scores. The atmosphere in which they are administered (play-like as distinct from test-like), the modes of stimulus presentation (reel objects or verbal stimuli) and response (written or spoken) are shown to affect performance; it is concluded, however, that situationally-produced individual differences in motivation are overridden by those existing in capacity. The research described in Part 3 extends the study of the "playfulness" of test situations by relating divergent teat scores to measures of free play. The theoretical justification for this relationship ie elaborated in Chapter 6, and it is tested empirically in Chapters 7 end 8 by studying children's adaptations to the same (initially novel) toys on four separate occasions and by observing the effects of different play instructions. It is concluded that there are qualitative and quantitative difference in the ways in which children "learn through play", and that these are determined by individual difference in abilities such as divergent thinking. The issue which are raised by mixing the psychometric construct system with one which does not emphasise abilities are discussed in Chapter 9. The implications of this work for the "mental testing movement" are outlined, and some suggestions for further research are made.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1973
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Nov 2013 15:39

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