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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Can spirituality help individuals discover ideas that creatively resolve their personal problems?
by Martin, Daniel R., Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2007, 204; 3256211
Abstract (Summary)

This research studies the effects of spirituality on creative problem solving. The research question of the study is: Can spirituality help individuals discover ideas that creatively resolve their personal problems? Personal problems are defined as a condition of frustration or "stuckness" in attempts to reach a desired goal. The possibility that spirituality might be helpful in resolving these problems is suggested by a number of subjective anecdotal studies as well as the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous. A theoretical review of the literature indicates that spirituality might influence creativity in terms of motivation, social support; and intention/receptivity. The research question was studied by means of a seminar designed to help people solve their personal problems through the use of spiritual resources. All subjects were volunteers. Data were collected on personal problem solving by the subjects before and after the seminar. Qualitative methods were used to explore this question. These methods involved collecting "think aloud" protocols in attempts to solve personal problems and face-to-face interviews, Triangulation was attempted by administering the Torrance Test for Creative Thinking and a series of nine real world problems. Spirituality was observed through interviews; written definitions of spirituality; and responses on the Spirituality Transcendence Index. The results of this study were inconclusive. The "think aloud" protocols and interviews contained some positive responses. However, these results were not triangulated by independent observations. The lack of support on the independent measures may reflect issues with motivation. Results on the Spirituality Transcendence Index may reflect a ceiling effect. The high ranking on spirituality and the volunteer nature of the subjects limits the extent to which any conclusions could be generalized. A conservative conclusion is that the research question was not disconfirmed. Further study; perhaps by methods discussed in the conclusion, is required to answer the question.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Suslak, Kenneth
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 68/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Art education, Religion, Psychotherapy
Keywords: Creative problem-solving, Personal problems, Spirituality
Publication Number: 3256211
ISBN: 978-1-109-94314-6
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