Furious activity vs. Understanding: How much expertise is needed to evaluate creative work?

James C. Kaufman, John Baer, David H. Cropley, Roni Reiter-Palmon, Sarah Sinnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


What is the role of expertise in evaluating creative products? Novices and experts do not assess creativity similarly, indicating domain-specific knowledge's role in judging creativity. We describe two studies that examined how "quasi-experts" (people who have more experience in a domain than novices but also lack recognized standing as experts) compared with novices and experts in rating creative work. In Study 1, we compared different types of quasi-experts with novices and experts in rating short stories. In Study 2, we compared experts, quasi-experts, and novices in evaluating an engineering product (a mousetrap design). Quasi-experts (regardless of type) seemed to be appropriate raters for short stories, yet results were mixed for the engineer quasi-experts. Some domains may require more expertise than others to properly evaluate creative work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-340
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Assessment
  • Creative domains
  • Creativity
  • Expertise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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