Slumps and Jumps: Another Look at Developmental Changes in Creative Abilities

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Abstract

The aim of this study is the analysis of creativity changes across life, particularly the widely discussed crisis periods in the development of creative abilities. A large and diversified sample of Poles (N = 4898 aged from 4 to 21 years), at each educational stage of the Polish education system, from pre-schoolers, through primary school students, middle-school students, secondary-school students and finally university students completed the Test for Creative Thinking – Drawing Production. The observed changes showed a nonlinear pattern in the development of creativity with diverse declines and increases in creative abilities. These trends are different for each of the assessment criteria of the TCT-DP and at least three different trajectories were identified. The adolescent slump was confirmed for three of the 14 assessment criteria as well as the total TCT-DP score. What was not noted however was: a slump caused by entry into formal schooling, (age 6 vs 7), 4th grade slump, (age 9 vs 10) and 6th grade slump (age 11 vs 12). We discuss possible reasons for and consequences of the findings.

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