Does the preferences for creativity scale predict engineering students' ability to generate and select creative design alternatives?

Christine Toh, Scarlett Rae Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Creativity is universally acknowledged as an important attribute of successful engineering design, but individual attributes and preferences can influence whether creative ideas come to fruition during the design process. However, few studies have explored the factors that can predict creative concept generation and selection in engineering design education. Thus, the current study was developed to provide an empirical understanding of how student designers' preferences for creativity predicts their ability to generate or select creative design alternatives during the concept screening process above and beyond the effects of personality through an empirical study with 178 engineering students. The factors explored included the Big 5 factors of personality, the preferences for creativity scale (PCS), and the novelty and quality of ideas generated and screened. The results show that the openness personality trait can predict the novelty of generated ideas as well as the novelty and quality of selected ideas during the concept screening process and that the creative confidence and preference factor of the PCS can predict the novelty of generated ideas and the novelty and quality of selected ideas during the concept screening process beyond the Big 5 factors of personality. A similar finding was obtained for the risk tolerance factor of the PCS. These findings demonstrate the importance of an individual's attitude toward risk and their creative confidence in the generation and selection of ideas in engineering education and provide a foundation for future research geared at building student innovation capacities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number062001
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design, Transactions Of the ASME
Volume141
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

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Students
Screening
Engineering education
Innovation
Education

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

Cite this

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abstract = "Creativity is universally acknowledged as an important attribute of successful engineering design, but individual attributes and preferences can influence whether creative ideas come to fruition during the design process. However, few studies have explored the factors that can predict creative concept generation and selection in engineering design education. Thus, the current study was developed to provide an empirical understanding of how student designers' preferences for creativity predicts their ability to generate or select creative design alternatives during the concept screening process above and beyond the effects of personality through an empirical study with 178 engineering students. The factors explored included the Big 5 factors of personality, the preferences for creativity scale (PCS), and the novelty and quality of ideas generated and screened. The results show that the openness personality trait can predict the novelty of generated ideas as well as the novelty and quality of selected ideas during the concept screening process and that the creative confidence and preference factor of the PCS can predict the novelty of generated ideas and the novelty and quality of selected ideas during the concept screening process beyond the Big 5 factors of personality. A similar finding was obtained for the risk tolerance factor of the PCS. These findings demonstrate the importance of an individual's attitude toward risk and their creative confidence in the generation and selection of ideas in engineering education and provide a foundation for future research geared at building student innovation capacities.",
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