Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
There appears to be two types of creative processes reported by writers – one that is effortless and one that is effortful. Evidence suggests that an unconscious mechanism may underlie the passivity of inspired writing. We tested the hypothesis that activation of implicit motives is linked to inspired writing. A sample of college students (n = 206) attended lab sessions in which they wrote a “blog entry” on the meaning of life, and reported the extent to which they felt inspired or exerted effort. Participants’ implicit motives were measured using the Picture Story Exercise. Multiple regression analysis shows that inspiration predicts writing about topics consistent with implicit motives, and effort predicts writing about topics inconsistent with implicit motives. Implications of implicit motives on inspired and effortful writings are discussed.
Wan, Xiaoqing, "A Flash of Creative Genius: The Effect of Implicit Motives on Inspiration" (2018). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 1217.
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