Self-Perceptions of Creativity & Arts Participation, United States, 2018 (ICPSR 37853)

Version Date: Oct 21, 2020 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Jennifer Novak-Leonard, Northwestern University; Gwendolyn Rugg, National Opinion Research Center; Megan Robinson, Vanderbilt University; Norman Bradburn, National Opinion Research Center

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This study investigates connections between arts-based creativity and other forms of creativity such as problem-solving, entrepreneurship, and social networking. Specifically, it explores individuals' creative inclinations and behaviors through two means. The first, a national survey of adults, provides insights on how adults of varied socioeconomic and demographic backgrounds across the United States perceive their own creativity. The second, a mixed-methods study with professional artists, provides a closer look at how artists perceive of themselves across multiple domains of creativity, and at how creativity fuels entrepreneurial approaches to shaping their careers. This collection is concerned with the former - the national survey. The primary objective of the national survey is to measure the ways that American adults experience and exercise creativity in their daily lives. The result of a rigorous survey design phase that included an extensive review of creativity literature and existing survey instruments across several academic disciplines, the survey features a wide range of questions on creative attitudes and behaviors. To be as inclusive as possible of the many different forms and expressions of creativity, the survey was specifically designed to probe respondents' self-perceptions of creativity across six creative "domains": artistic creativity, creativity in math/science, creativity in business/entrepreneurship, creativity in social settings, creativity in civic settings, and creativity in "everyday" activities. The survey also captures information on respondents' arts participation, in order to enable an examination of the relationships between arts participation and other types of creativity, as well as information on respondents' occupations and occupational values. While the survey primarily focuses on inward characteristics and behaviors, it also includes some questions designed to explore external environmental conditions that may impact one's ability to express creativity. Demographic information includes gender, race, education, marital status, income, location, and household size.

Novak-Leonard, Jennifer, Rugg, Gwendolyn, Robinson, Megan, and Bradburn, Norman. Self-Perceptions of Creativity & Arts Participation, United States, 2018. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2020-10-21.

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National Endowment for the Arts (DCA 2017-05)


Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

2018-06-25 -- 2018-07-19
2018-06-25 -- 2018-07-19

Individuals' ability to develop and exercise creativity is becoming an increasingly valued attribute across many social realms, from education and workforce development to urban and community development. As notions of the value and applications of creativity expand, it is becoming clear that creativity is not reserved for the archetypical "creative genius," but is rather a trait that all individuals experience and express in some way. To better understand the many ways that creativity can be defined, and how it can be measured, this NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) Research Lab takes up three central goals:

  • To examine the relationship between artistic creativity and other domains of creativity, including creativity in entrepreneurship, problem finding and solving, and social networking
  • To further examine the relationship between domains of creativity across a variety of demographic factors
  • To investigate the extent to which individuals' self-perceptions of creativity align with creative engagement and behaviors

This survey was administered to respondents via web (computer, tablet, or smartphone) or telephone modes. Under certain conditions, AmeriSpeak gives respondents a choice regarding their preferred mode for participation in AmeriSpeak surveys. Telephone mode respondents represent a population currently under-represented in web panels that exclude non-internet households or "net averse" individuals. In these cases, AmeriSpeak's telephone interviewers administered the survey using a data collection system which supports both the web and telephone modes, providing an integrated sample management and data collection platform. For those respondents who used smartphones for the webmode survey, the survey system rendered a smartphone-optimized presentation of the survey questions.

The main survey was offered in English and Spanish and administered by phone and on the web. The field period was June 25-July 19, 2018. NORC sent four email reminders to sampled web-mode panelists on June 30, July 5, July 10, and July 15. To administer the phone survey, NORC dialed the sampled phone-mode panelists and throughout the field period.

The sample of survey respondents was drawn from NORC's AmeriSpeak panel, a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. household population. The survey was fielded with 3,447 adult respondents, meeting the study's objective of representing the adult population of the United States while ensuring a sufficient sample size to enable analyses of interest.

For further information, see Appendix B of the Report (pp. 25-27)

survey data

51.3 percent



2020-10-21 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Statistical weights for the study eligible respondents were calculated using panel base sampling weights to start. Panel base sampling weights for all sampled housing units were computed as the inverse probability of selection from the NORC National Frame (the sampling frame that is used to sample housing units for AmeriSpeak) or address-based sample. The sample design and recruitment protocol for the AmeriSpeak panel involves subsampling of initial non-respondent housing units. These subsampled non-respondent housing units are selected for an in-person follow-up. The subsample of housing units that were selected for the nonresponse follow-up (NRFU) had their panel base sampling weights inflated by the inverse of the subsampling rate. The base sampling weights were further adjusted to account for unknown eligibility and nonresponse among eligible housing units. The household-level nonresponse adjusted weights were then post-stratified to external counts for number of households obtained from the Current Population Survey. Then, these household-level post-stratified weights were assigned to each eligible adult in every recruited household. Furthermore, a person-level nonresponse adjustment accounted for non-responding adults within a recruited household.

Finally, panel weights were raked to external population totals associated with age, sex, education, race/Hispanic ethnicity, housing tenure, telephone status, and Census Division. The external population totals were obtained from the Current Population Survey. The weights adjusted to the external population totals are the final panel weights.

For further information, see Appendix B of the Report (pp. 27-28)



  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

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