Predicting problem-solving behavior among preschoolers in India: a cross-cultural comparison

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1987

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Abstract

There is evidence that the conceptualization of creativity as a process of original problem-solving is applicable to Indian preschoolers (N=66, mean age 54.8). The cross-cultural validity of the measuring instruments has been demonstrated. The lack of age and sex differences was consistent with results found in the U.S. (Moran, Milgram, Sawyers, & Fu, 1983) and in Israel (Milgram, Moran, Sawyers, & Fu, 1987).

Quantity and quality of ideational fluency responses were found to be strongly related; a marked order effect with popular responses occurring earlier and original responses later in the response sequence was found to exist more in high original subjects than in low. These findings duplicate those found with preschool children in the United States and in Israel.

The relationships between the variables proved to be more complex than hypothesized. In the present study with Indian preschoolers, fantasy did not act as a bridge between convergent and divergent thinking as hypothesized on the basis of results obtained in the U.S. The multidimensional model with ideational fluency, fantasy, metaphoric comprehension, intelligence and the home as predictors accounted for 48.9% of the variance in problem-solving.

The home environment was found to be a crucial factor in the prediction of original thinking and its role in conjunction with the cognitive variables needs further examination. Considering this, it is recommended that a measure of the home environment and its profound influence on the divergent and convergent thinking of the preschool child be studied. The investigations have also revealed that the measures for stringent problem-solving are not completely satisfactory and a more appropriate criterion measure of creativity needs to be established.

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