Creativity and Domain Specificity: The Effect of Task Type on Multiple Indexes of Creative Problem-Solving

Roni Reiter-Palmon, Marcy Young Illies, Lisa Kobe Cross, Cara Beth Buboltz, Tom Nimps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


This study addresses the issue of domain specificity within creativity by understanding the characteristics of creative tasks and how participants react to the task. Participants (N = 187) were given 1 of 3 realistic everyday problems to solve. The problems differed in terms of complexity, involvement, and problem-based efficacy. Problem solutions were evaluated on several measures of creativity. Results indicate that creativity was influenced by the type of problem solved and the measure of creativity used to evaluate the solution. Furthermore, these results were obtained after controlling for the effect of ability. Results imply that not all real-world problems are equivalent and that researchers need to investigate how reactions to different problems and the creativity index used may influence conclusions regarding creative problem solving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalPsychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2009


  • creative problem solving
  • divergent thinking
  • domain specificity
  • task effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Applied Psychology

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