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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003 Apr;84(4):871-89.

Inspiration as a psychological construct.

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Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology, University of Rochester, New York 14627, USA.


Inspiration has received little theoretical or empirical attention within psychology. Inspiration is conceptualized herein as a general construct characterized by evocation, motivation, and transcendence. In Studies 1a and 1b, a trait measure of inspiration was developed and was found to have strong psychometric properties. Studies 2a-2c documented a nomological network consistent with the present conceptualization. Study 3 related inspiration to the holding of U.S. patents. Study 4 linked trait inspiration to daily experiences of inspiration, extended the nomological network to the state level, documented antecedents and consequences, and established incremental validity. This research provides a foundation for further study of inspiration, both as a general construct and in specific content domains (e.g., religion, creativity, interpersonal relations).

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