Benzer, Justin Kane (2009-05). You must be creative! The effect of performance feedback on intrinsic motivation and creativity. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon


  • Feedback sign (positive, negative, or no feedback sign) and feedback style (autonomous, controlling, or no feedback style) were manipulated in a 3x3 repeated measures design. Two hundred thirty-three undergraduate students from introductory psychology classes completed measures of perceived competence, perceived choice, and interest over four time periods. Interest was regressed on perceived competence, perceived choice, and a moderation analysis revealed that perceived choice moderated the effect of perceived competence on interest. Creative answers to open-ended problems were assessed after time 2 (before feedback), and after time 3 (after feedback). Feedback style (autonomous, controlled, and neutral) and Feedback sign (positive, negative, and neutral) manipulations were analyzed using a 3x3 ANOVA, revealing no effect of feedback. Post-hoc analyses using perceived difficulty of the first creative problem as a covariate revealed an interaction of feedback style and difficulty, limiting between subjects analyses. Creativity was also regressed on interest. Pre-feedback interest predicted creativity according to expectations, but post-feedback interest did not predict creativity. Creativity did predict post-performance interest, possibly implying that interest is not a valid proxy for intrinsic motivation in within-subjects designs. Future studies should test the proposition that feedback affects intrinsic motivation, which in turn affects creative performance, and creative performance affects interest.

publication date

  • May 2009