Open Access
Wang, Sy-Chyi
Graduate Program:
Instructional Systems
Doctor of Education
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
August 29, 2005
Committee Members:
  • Kyle Leonard Peck, Committee Chair
  • Keith E Nelson, Committee Member
  • Catherine Augustine, Committee Member
  • Wendy Snetsinger, Committee Member
  • Creativity
  • Time Factors
  • Scheduling
  • Individual Differences
  • Biological Rhythm
  • Education
The main purpose of this study is to obtain a better understanding of individual difference in the relationship between creativity and its timing. We argue here that timing is an important factor to consider when developing a supportive educational environment for creativity and its performance, particularly among people from different fields. Two hundred and ninety-seven college students, 154 from the art program and 143 from the management field, participated in this study. A self-reported questionnaire and two idea generation tasks adapted from the TTCT verbal tests were used to collect data on how they think themselves in terms of the most and the least creative moments during a day, and their creativity performance across school time intervals. The results show significant differences among art and management college students, perceptions of the most creative time intervals during the day, but no differences in terms of the least creative time intervals during the day. The results also show that the distributions of creativity performance across school time intervals, as measured by the two TTCT activities, present statistically significant differences between groups for fluency and originality; nevertheless, no difference is found on the flexibility and elaboration measures. Further, for the arts program, statistically significant differences were found in the fluency, originality, and elaboration measures (except for flexibility) with regard to the effects of school time intervals on creativity performance; for the management program, no difference was found for any of the creativity measures. That is, time of day is a concern for creativity performance but not a significant factor for management students when conducting creativity activities. Based upon the findings that timing is an important factor in creativity, and people in different disciplines may demonstrate different timing patterns in terms of creativity and its performance, this study suggests a free learning environment for creativity, in which individual differences are noticed and respected. It is expected that educational administrators and instructors will give closer attention to the fact that time of day does have influence on creativity, and its performance in terms of fluency and originality, particularly for arts people.