Exploring the critical influential factors of creativity for college students: A multiple criteria decision-making approach

Wu, H. Y., Wu, H. S., Chen, I. S. and Chen, H. C. (2014) Exploring the critical influential factors of creativity for college students: A multiple criteria decision-making approach. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 11. pp. 1-21. ISSN 18711871 (ISSN)


This study aims to explore the key factors affecting the creativity development of college students. The multiple criteria decision-making (MCDM) approach was adopted to construct an objective and effective analytical model of critical factors influencing college students' creativity. The fuzzy Delphi method (FDM) was first employed to screen the critical influential factors (criteria/sub-criteria) categorized by four dimensions: Individual qualities, Family background, School element, and Community, which are synthesized from the literature review and in consultation with experts from relevant fields in Taiwan. Then, the fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (FAHP) method was applied to calculate the relative weights of the selected critical criteria/sub-criteria that impact creativity for college students. Through expert consensus, the analysis results indicate the Community dimension, including two criteria, Social education environment and Social cultural environment, has the most impact on creativity development for college students. And the top three critical influential sub-criteria are Oppressive of environmental behavior, Respect for intellectual property, and Integration of creative education. Therefore, based on the findings, it implies that an enhanced social environment, which can create an adequate stimulus from the external environment, construct a protective domain of knowledge and creativity suitable for knowledge-based economic era, and instill diverse creativity education into daily life, is considered as the most important factor affecting college students' creativity development by the experts. The prioritized weights analyzed by the proposed model can not only serve as a useful self-assessment tool for college students to better understand key influential factors on their own creative abilities for developing their potential creativity, but also can provide an important reference for educational units and/or interested parties in policy making and strategies to help effectively promote college students' creativity development. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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