1 Does the Preferences for Creativity Scale (PCS) Predict an Engineering Students? Ability to Generate and Select Creative Design Alternatives?

[+] Author and Article Information
Christine Toh

ASME Member, The University of Nebraska at Omaha, 284-A Peter Kiewit Institute, Omaha, Nebraska, 68182

Scarlett Miller

ASME Member, The Pennsylvania State University, 213-P Hammond Building, University Park, PA 16802-1401

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042154 History: Received March 22, 2018; Revised November 27, 2018


Creativity is universally acknowledged as an important attribute of successful engineering design, but imperfect human decision-making can influence whether creative ideas come to fruition during the design process. However, few studies have explored the factors that can predict creative concept generation and selection. Thus, the current study was developed to provide an empirical understanding of how student designers' preferences for creativity predicts their ability to generate or select creative design alternatives during the concept screening process above and beyond the effects of personality through an empirical study with 178 engineering students. The factors explored included the Big 5 factors of personality, the Preferences for Creativity Scale (PCS), and the novelty and quality of ideas generated and screened. The results show that the Openness personality trait can predict the Novelty of Generated Ideas as well as the Novelty and Quality of Selected Ideas during the concept screening process and that the Creative Confidence and Preference Factor of the PCS can predict the Novelty of Generated Ideas and the Novelty and Quality of Selected ideas during the concept screening process better than the Big 5 Factors of Personality. A similar finding was obtained for the Risk Tolerance Factor of the PCS. These findings demonstrate the importance of an individual's attitude towards risk and their creative confidence in the generation and selection of ideas in engineering education and provide a foundation for future research geared at building student innovation capacities.

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