Date of Award

Fall 2018

Document Type

Thesis Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chairperson

V. Krishna Kumar, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Vipanchi Mishra, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jasmin Tahmaseb McConatha, Ph.D.


This study was a mixed-method study to determine whether immigrants considered creativity to be a fixed or malleable trait, to find out how they personally defined creativity, and to understand how they perceived the role creativity played in their lives in both their original and adopted homelands.

The study employed two instruments: a self-assessment Nature of Creativity Scale and a semi-structured interview. Results of the Nature of Creativity survey indicate that immigrants appear to subscribe to the belief creativity is a malleable trait. The average malleability score of 4.0 on a scale of 1-5 significantly exceeded the mid average score of 3; a single sample t test calculated value, t (49) = 15.39, p = .000 Cohen’s d = 2.12 (large effect size), suggests that participants on average considered creativity as malleable trait. To the extent possible, results based on an analysis of the interviews are reported in the immigrants’ own words. Qualitative analysis of participants’ responses to the open-ended questions concerning the nature of creativity and its impact on their lives indicated that those interviewed believe that creativity is an impetus for bringing about change, bringing something new and positive to their lives and to the world. Maslow’s needs hierarchy was used to understand how the respondents described how they were able to satisfy their needs for food, shelter, safety, finding acceptance within a new community, and a sense of self-worth while also looking for ways to improve their lives by learning new skills and helping others.