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Do creativity training programs enhance creative thinking?


Wednesday 6 March 2024

1pm - 2pm




CE0.17, Creative Edge



The outside of the Geosciences building with two students walking

Come along to this guest lecture delivered by Dr Ut Na Sio from the Sheffield University Management School, taking place on Wednesday 6 March at 1pm in the Geosciences building, the lecture intends to explore if creativity training programs are actually enhancing creative thinking. Everyone is welcome.


Creativity is often considered an important skill for success in today’s world, and numerous creativity training programs have been developed. Several meta-analyses have attempted to summarize the effectiveness of these programs and identify the features influencing their impact. Some of these meta-analyses have been highly influential. For example, at the time of writing, Scott et al. (2004)’s meta-analysis – one of the most comprehensive in the field – has been cited more than 1400 times. However, no exhaustive meta-analysis of the field has been conducted since Scott et al. (2004)’s meta-analysis. Also, most of these meta- analyses did not consider the potentially large publication bias in the field or account for the precision and dependency of effect sizes, which may have biased their conclusions. We undertook a meta-analysis of 169 creativity training studies across five decades (844 effect sizes), including a substantial number of unpublished studies (48 studies; 262 effect sizes).

We employed various statistical methods to detect and adjust for publication bias and evaluated the robustness of the evidence in the field. We found a moderate and significant training effect, consistent with previous meta-analyses (Ma, 2006: 0.77 SDs; Scott et al., 2004: 0.64 SDs). However, we observed converging evidence consistent with publication bias. All adjustment methods considerably lowered our original estimate. We also observed a high prevalence of methodological shortcomings in creativity training studies, with little improvement over time. When only considering the highest quality evidence in our sample (19 studies), we found that the average effect size, although still statistically significant, was further reduced. The results of the meta- analysis and their implications will be discussed during the presentation.

Guest Speaker

An image of Dr Ut Na Sio

Dr Ut Na Sio is a Lecturer in Work Psychology. at the Sheffield University Management School in 2019.

Their program of research focuses on identifying the cognitive factors that influence individual and group problem solving, particularly for problems requiring creativity and innovation.

Dr Ut Na Sio also examines how solutions to these problems can be facilitated through the use of different approaches, e.g., incubation, sleep, and task-switching.

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Who is this event for?

Current staff Current students Everyone