Differences in Creativity Across Art and STEM Students: We Are More Alike than Unalike

Kim van Broekhoven*, David Cropley, Philipp Seegers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The aim of the present research is to investigate creativity differences, and the magnitude and nature of those differences, among university students. More specifically, we examined differences in creativity within and between: (a) General Thematic Areas (Art and Science); (b) Specific Science domains (STEM), and; (c) Engineering micro-domains, for a total of 2,277 undergraduate students in German tertiary institutions. The results showed many statistically significant, but uniformly small, differences at all levels, across a range of Person, Process and Product variables. The pattern of results suggests that Openness, Creative Self-Efficacy and Divergent Thinking may be general pre-requisites for creativity. In contrast, the way that characteristics of creative products (e.g. originality) are perceived appears more complex. This research sheds additional light on long-standing debates regarding domain-generality/specificity and creativity.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages41
JournalThinking Skills and Creativity
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Aug 2020


  • creativity
  • art
  • science
  • engineering
  • amusement park theory

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