Department or Program
Primary Wellesley Thesis Advisor
This study investigated the possibility that engagement in the creative process can augment the effectiveness of a persuasive message. Non-academic Internet use was used as the attitude change stimulus. The persuasive message was delivered via video, and the creative activity involved making a collage online. The creativity of the collages was later judged by a panel of experts following the Consensual Assessment Technique (CAT). To the researcher’s knowledge, no previous studies have attempted to investigate the creative and attitude change processes in combination. However, these two processes have important similarities in that both attitude change and creative outcomes are very much dependent on motivation, ability and effort, and both processes involve the formation of new connections and mechanisms of evaluation. Study results indicated that engagement in a creative process can, in fact, augment the effectiveness of a persuasive message. The argument is made that the mechanism behind this facilitative process is largely affective. An unexpected consequence of this study was the discovery that the vast majority of participants exhibited unusually problematic levels of Internet use. These findings are also discussed.
Key words: creativity, creative process, persuasion, Elaboration Likelihood Model