Background: Creativity is associated with many pet beliefs, unfounded or based on limited personal experiences and observations.
Aims: The intention of the present study is to take the research one step backward to look at possible antecedents of beliefs regarding creativity, as such knowledge has implications for education where creativity is concerned. The present study attempts at uncovering the beliefs regarding various aspects of creativity among tertiary students in Hong Kong.
Sample: Students (N=139) from a teacher education institute (67.6%) and a university (32.4%) in Hong Kong were asked to complete a questionnaire about beliefs in creativity. Participation was voluntary and the respondents were assured of anonymity. As the respondents formed a convenient sample (as is true of many studies of similar nature), no representation is claimed.
Method: A questionnaire of 30 items that included 15 aspects of beliefs in creativity was presented to the respondents in the form of a series of six-point Likert scales. To avoid possible carrying-over effect, the two items for the same aspect were separated systematically, with items for the other aspects intervening. Surveys were conducted and the general written responses received from the respondents were tabulated.
Results: The respondents agreed more strongly that creativity (a) is dependent of culture, (b) is the result of consistent effort, (c) can be found in everyone, and (d) is general across many fields. On the other hand, they disagreed that creativity has to do with gender and birth order. Five aspects were dropped due to inappropriate reliability.
Conclusion: In view of the complexity of the findings, efforts in developing creativity in tertiary students need to take into account their demographic backgrounds so that correct beliefs can be further strengthened and incorrect ones can be rectified early in the creativity training programmes.