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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2015 Aug;109(2):232-43. doi: 10.1037/pspa0000030.

People underestimate the value of persistence for creative performance.

Author information

1
Department of Management and Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.

Abstract

Across 7 studies, we investigated the prediction that people underestimate the value of persistence for creative performance. Across a range of creative tasks, people consistently underestimated how productive they would be while persisting (Studies 1-3). Study 3 found that the subjectively experienced difficulty, or disfluency, of creative thought accounted for persistence undervaluation. Alternative explanations based on idea quality (Studies 1-2B) and goal setting (Study 4) were considered and ruled out and domain knowledge was explored as a boundary condition (Study 5). In Study 6, the disfluency of creative thought reduced people's willingness to invest in an opportunity to persist, resulting in lower financial performance. This research demonstrates that persistence is a critical determinant of creative performance and that people may undervalue and underutilize persistence in everyday creative problem solving.

PMID:
26191961
DOI:
10.1037/pspa0000030
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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