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UAL Research Online

Facilitating Creative Thinking in the Classroom: Investigating the Effects of Plants on Visual Creativity

Studente, Sylvie and Seppala, Nina and Sadowska, Noemi (2014) Facilitating Creative Thinking in the Classroom: Investigating the Effects of Plants on Visual Creativity. In: Creativity and Thinking Skills in Learning, Teaching and Management, 19-20 September 2014, Riga, Latvia.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Studente, Sylvie and Seppala, Nina and Sadowska, Noemi

The research area of enhancing creativity in educational settings is an area of growing interest (i.e. Fasko, 2000, Feldhusen & Goh, 1995; Sternberg & Lubart, 1991; Hennessey & Amabile, 1987; Guilford, 1967; Pithers & Soden, 2000). Creativity research has identified a number of environmental, situational and personal factors which affect an individual’s ability to be creative (i.e. Mumford, 2003; Runco, 2004; Simonton, 2003). This paper reports upon a study which examines the effects of plants and the colour green upon visual and verbal creativity. Previous research has identified that creative thinking can be enhanced by situating individuals in natural settings (Atchley et al, 2012; Shibata & Suzuki, 2002) and that exposure to the colour green can also enhance creative performance (Litchenfeld et al, 2012). However, research into these areas has been sparse and to date has not been linked to the possible beneficial effects to be garnered in the classroom.

We report upon a pilot study concerned with the effect of exposure to live plants upon visual creativity. This study was undertaken with 36 business students who were randomly allocated to one of two conditions. The control group completed a visual creativity task in a classroom with no plants present and blinds drawn to block views to natural settings. The experimental group were placed in the same room but were surrounded by live plants. The room had large windows with a view to a green area. The level of creative thinking in the participant’s work was assessed by three independent experts using a modified version of Amabile’s Consensual Assessment Technique (Amabile, 1982). Findings indicate that participants in the experimental group achieved higher creativity scores than those in the control group. This suggests that live plants and views to natural settings have a positive effect on the ability to think creatively. To investigate this further another set of experiments were conducted to ascertain as far as possible the effects of plants and the colour green on both visual and verbal creativity in classroom settings. Results from these three experiments are currently being analysed.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: Nature, plants, colour green, classroom design, creativity, visual thinking, divergent thinking
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: September 2014
Event Location: Riga, Latvia
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2018 08:39
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2018 08:39
Item ID: 12465
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/12465

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