Do Big Five personality factors affect individual creativity? The moderating role of extrinsic motivation

Sun Young Sung1, Jin Nam Choi1
1Seoul National University, Republic of Korea
Cite this article:  Sung, S. Y., & Choi, J. N. (2009). Do Big Five personality factors affect individual creativity? The moderating role of extrinsic motivation. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 37(7), 941-956.

Volume 37 Issue 7 | e1909 | Published: August 2009 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2009.37.7.941

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Creativity has been acknowledged as one of the most predominant factors contributing to individual performance in various domains of work, and both researchers and practitioners have been devoting increasing attention to creative performance. In this study, we examined the potential trait-trait interaction between the Big Five personality factors (Costa & McCrae, 1992) and the motivational orientations of individuals in shaping their creative performance. Our hypotheses were empirically tested using longitudinal data collected from 304 undergraduate students at a North American business school. Results showed that extraversion and openness to experience had significant positive effects on creative performance. Analysis also revealed that the positive relationship between openness to experience and creativity was stronger when the person possessed strong extrinsic motivation. Agreeableness was a positive predictor of creative performance only when the person’s extrinsic motivation was low. Patterns found relating to personality-motivation interaction as an explanatory factor of individuals’ creative performance are described.

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