The relationship of creativity, locus of control, and openness to experience among Chinese college students




Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Texas Tech University


This study detected control structure and creative abilities of Chinese college students. No between-gender, between-grade, and between college difference in locus of control was found among Chinese undergraduates. However, significant between-grade and between-college differences were found in creative abilities. No between-gender difference was found among Chinese college students.

Compared with American norms, Chinese undergraduates was slightly but significantly lower in internality and slightly and significantly higher in chance perception. American college students were higher in powerful others perception. As to creative abilities, Chinese students got higher scores in fluency, originality, and abstractness of thinking while Americans acquired higher scores in elaboration. No significant difference was found in resistance to premature closure between Chinese and American undergraduates.

Locus of control and openness to experience, especially locus of control, were good predictors of creative abilities of Chinese freshmen. More internal and opener freshmen tended to be more creative than those who were more external and closed-minded. The linear combination of locus of control and openness to experience was moderately strong predictor of creative abilities among Chinese freshmen.

Neither locus of control nor openness to experience, nor the linear combination of them was good predictor of creative abilities of Chinese sophomores and juniors. Locus of control, openness to experience, and the linear combination of locus of control and openness to experience were significant predictors of two of five creative abilities—fluency and originality—of Chinese seniors. Paradoxically, it seniors who were more external and closed got higher scores in fluency and originality.