Volume 7

Perceptions of Creative Ability: Is It Talent or Fashion?

Ellen Lennhoff Sears and Julia Belyayev

Significant amounts of research have examined the relation of clothing style to judgments of personality traits. Moreover, people have been judged to possess varying traits when they dress in particular styles. However, limited research has examined the relation of clothing style to levels of creativity. The goal of this study was to compare first impressions of people who interact frequently with creative individuals to perceptions of people who have infrequent contact with creativity. A total of 120 participants (educators, 50% at an arts school) completed questionnaires. Additionally, they viewed pictures of conventional or unconventional clothing described as belonging to a typical young female. Participants rated the creativity of the female in the scenario and themselves. It was predicted that analyses would show that individuals connected with the arts would be less likely to judge the scenario female as creative based on her clothing than would participants with minimal arts interactions.

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