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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Prof Jens Beckmann

Birney, D.P., Beckmann, J.F. & Seah, Y.Z. (2016). More than the eye of the beholder: The interplay of person, task, and situation factors in evaluative judgements of creativity. Learning and Individual Differences 51: 400-408.

Author(s) from Durham


Judging creativity accurately is difficult. Individuals who are involved in product creation tend to overestimate the creativity of their work; individuals not involved lack understanding of the creative process that led to the product under scrutiny. We studied creativity judgements in a tripartite person–task–situation framework. Under high, medium, or no structure conditions and different orders of evaluation, participants (N = 90) rated the creativity and purchase appeal of products created by themselves and others. Accuracy was defined as differences from consensus evaluations of participants not involved in production (N = 30). Moderator analyses suggest that externally set structure of the evaluation process (e.g., using a set of criteria) facilitates the quality of creativity judgement. In unstructured conditions, evaluating one's own product before evaluating a peer's leads to low accuracy, but higher levels of conscientiousness seem to mitigate potentially deleterious effects of lack of structure. Higher levels of openness facilitated accurate creativity judgements of peer-produced products, but not self-produced products. A person–task–situation approach is needed to fully unpack the complexity of processes underlying accurate evaluation of creativity.