Undergraduate Honours Theses
Play provides children an opportunity to practice cognitive and affective processes which are important in creativity. Studies have found that during play, children who display positive emotions, are physically active and play by themselves tend to demonstrate higher creativity. In the present study, the researcher observed fifteen preschool children to record their independence, affect and physical movement during free play. In addition, one adult from each classroom rated of each child’s general affect. Next, participants completed two versions of an Alternate Uses Task assessing divergent thinking skills: one standard version in which participants verbally indicated multiple uses for an object presented by the researcher, and one embodied version in which they could physically manipulate the object while they generated their responses. Results indicated preschoolers provided a significantly greater number of responses on the embodied Alternate Uses Task (M = 3.64, SD = 2.34) than on the standard Alternate Uses Task (M = 2.45, SD = 1.81), t(10) = -.67, p = .05, d = -.69. Furthermore, children’s general positive affect as rated by their ECE was a significant predictor of children’ fluency scores on the Alternate Uses Task, ß = .60, t(10) = 2.26, p = .05, and accounted for 36% (R2 = .36) of the variance in fluency scores. These results indicate that physical movement during a creative thinking task and general positive happiness facilitates a greater number of responses. Results are discussed in the context of the classroom.
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