Dissertation Update- March

My data collection is now finished, giving me a total of 30 participants to analyse. So I  have just over a month to get everything analysed and write it up, which seems fairly easily doable.

The deadline was supposed to be in three weeks time insted, but due to almost the entire year having issues collecting enough participants from the Participant Pool (the online database where first and second years sign up for experiments posted by third years, then use the pool to host their own studies in their third years), our deadline got a two week extension. Cue sighs of relief 😛

Based on the preliminary analysis I’ve done so far, my findings appear pretty confusing, as none of my results are significant the way I’d hoped. For example, I was hoping to find that peoples’ verbal ability linked with the amount of creative things they had done, as that’s what past studied have found. However, there wasn’t the connection between them that I expected.

Peoples’ verbal ability was instead linked to  how many creative answers they included, which makes sense as people who are better with words would be more likely to be good at tests involving writing down their answers. But I also found the people with the most answers weren’t the best with words or the most creative, meaning they aren’t as directly connected as I hoped.

I also did some extra tests to see how my two groups of participants were different. I had one group of people from UWE who signed up via the Participant Pool, and one group for people I already knew (both in and out of university). My major finding was that everything could be connected to the total amount of answers people put on the divergent thinking test… Not even to the amount of creative answers, which would have at least made more sense.

Looking back on it, some of the other past studies had the same problem, they made it less of an issue by converting total answers and original answers into a ratio. This one annoys me mainly because I also used the ratio method to prevent the effect of total answers, but my changes didn’t help.  

On the other hand, I also found a link between mental health and creativity; this is really interesting to me because that’s what I originally wanted to do for my dissertation. I changed my mind on doing that topic in uni because I couldn’t plan out a method for studying that question which didn’t run the risk of no-one wanting  to take part. After all, that is potentially a very sensitive subject, and its understandable that people wouldn’t necessarily want to talk abut things of that nature in uni.

In my study I included a question at the end (where I also asked about gender, age etc) asking whether they had any condition that they felt could have affected their results ,using the examples of dyslexia and ADHD. 5  of my participants said “Yes” to that question.

Overall, people’s ratio scores on the divergent thinking test averaged 0.53, meaning about half of their answers were uncommon or creative answers. For my 5 participants who answered Yes, their average was 0.71. This means almost three-quarters of their answers were original, a major difference.

However, as the question was quite broad, and it didn’t have to be answered, obviously people could have left it blank even when they did have a condition, or they may have had a mental health condition and assumed the question didn’t apply to mental health.

Obviously, because I only had five participants in that group, this wasn’t enough to say anything too meaningful… its definitely interesting though!

Now to revisit good old SPSS, and try to remember how to perform a linear regression… Wish me luck 🙂


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