Creativity of university students : What is the impact of field and year of study?

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-63
Journal / PublicationJournal of Creative Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


There is a long-lasting dispute about development of students' creativity in the course of their university education. Both the duration and major field of study may represent the educational effects. To address the issue, the present study collected data (N = 859) from a series of surveys of students in Hong Kong to clarify educational effects by controlling a number of background characteristics and prior scores on creativity. Apart from measuring self-reported creative traits and creative products, it measured divergent thinking with five tasks to elicit students' creative ideas, which led to scores of fluency, flexibility, novelty, innovativeness, and originality. Results indicate the trend of monotonic decline in creativity with years of study at university and the general superiority of verbal creativity among students of humanities and social sciences, whereas business students had the highest scores on self-assessed creative traits and products.