Nomination of Domestic and Overseas Creative Celebrities: The German Style and the Factors Behind It

  • Min TangEmail author
  • Markus Moser
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Creativity and Culture book series (PASCC)


Studies have shown an aesthetic salience among Western people’s perceptions of creative persons – the tendency to nominate celebrities from the artistic (including literary and philosophical) field as main representatives of creativity. This study was designed to replicate and extend the previous studies with the aim to test this phenomenon with a German sample and examine the factors behind the nominations. A total of 192 students (62.5% females, Mage = 26.1, SD = 4.4) from all over Germany were asked to nominate the most creative Germans and the most creative persons in the world. The aesthetic salience in their nominations was confirmed for both conditions, and it was more pronounced for domestic nominations. The nominated celebrities were predominantly male creators. This aesthetic salience could be partly explained by a four-factor model composed of creativity, likability, social contributions, and influence of others. Analysis of the media coverage revealed a large contribution of Google hits to the creative fame of the nominated persons. Social psychological theories were applied to interpret the results.


Creativity evaluation Aesthetic salience Meritorious salience Creativity nomination model Fame 


  1. Akinola, M., & Mendes, W. B. (2008). The dark side of creativity: Biological vulnerability and negative emotions lead to greater artistic creativity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 1677–1686.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amabile, T. M. (1996). Creativity in context: Update to “The social psychology of creativity”. Boulder, CO: Westview.Google Scholar
  3. Baer, J., & Kauffman, J. (2008). Gender differences in creativity. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 42, 75–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carlisle, R. P. (2009). Encyclopedia of play in today’s society. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications/Cornell University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chan, D. W., & Chan, L. (1999). Implicit theories of creativity: Teachers’ perception of student characteristics in Hong Kong. Creativity Research Journal, 12, 185–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cheung, C., & Yue, X. D. (2007). Which Chinese creators are famous and why: Views from Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese students. Journal of Creative Behavior, 41, 177–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1994). The domain of creativity. In D. H. Feldman, M. Csikszentmihalyi, & H. Gardner (Eds.), Changing the world (pp. 135–158). Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
  8. Eagly, A. H., & Karau, S. J. (2002). Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders. Psychological Review, 109, 573–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Florida, R. (2007). The flight of the creative class: The new global competition for talent. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  10. Furnham, A., Hughes, D. J., & Marshall, E. (2013). Creativity, OCD, narcissism and the big five. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 10, 91–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gino, F., & Ariely, D. (2012). The dark side of creativity: Original thinkers can be more dishonest. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(3), 445–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Glăveanu, V. P. (2011). Is the light bulb still on? Social representations of creativity in a Western context. International Journal of Creativity & Problem Solving, 21(1), 53–72.Google Scholar
  13. Helson, R. (1990). Creativity in women: Outer and inner views over time. In M. A. Runco & R. S. Albert (Eds.), Theories of creativity (pp. 46–58). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  14. Hohendahl, P. E. (1989). Building a national literature: The case of Germany, 1830–1870. Ithaca: I. (n.d.). Best Global Brands 2017. Retrieved January 14, 2018, from
  15. Karwowski, M. (2009). I’m creative, but am I Creative? Similarities and differences between self-evaluated Small and Big-C creativity in Poland. The International Journal of Creativity & Problem Solving, 19(2), 7–26.Google Scholar
  16. Kerr, B. A. (1997). Smart girls: A new psychology of girls, women, and giftedness. Scottsdale, AZ: Gifted Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  17. Kogan, N. (1974). Creativity and sex differences. Journal of Creative Behavior, 8, 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Koppitz, R., Hess, T., & Meyer, A. (2017). Smartphone and IoT Consumer Trends 2017: Excecutive summary. Munich, Germany: B2X Care Solutions GmbH.Google Scholar
  19. Lan, L., & Kaufman, J. C. (2012). American and Chinese similarities and differences in defining and valuing creative products. Journal of Creative Behavior, 46(4), 285–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lim, W., & Plucker, J. A. (2001). Creativity through a lens of social responsibility: Implicit theories of Creativity with Korean samples. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 35, 115–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Luksyte, A., Unsworth, K. L., & Avery, D. (2018). Innovative work behavior and sex-based stereotypes: Examining sex differences in perceptions and evaluations of innovative work behavior. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 39, 292–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ma, H. (2009). The effect size of variables associated with creativity: A Meta-Analysis. Creativity Research Journal, 21, 30–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Maier, C. S. (1988). The unmasterable past: History, Holocaust, and German national identity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Niu, W., & Sternberg, R. J. (2001). Cultural influences on artistic creativity and its evaluation. International Journal of Psychology, 36, 225–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Paletz, S. B., & Peng, K. (2008). Implicit theories of creativity across cultures: Novelty and appropriateness in two product domains. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 39, 286–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Piirto, J. (1991). Why are there so few? (Creative women: Visual artists, mathematicians, musicians). Roeper Review, 13, 142–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Piirto, J. (2004). Understanding creativity. Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press.Google Scholar
  28. Proudfoot, D., Kay, A. C., & Koval, C. Z. (2015). A gender bias in the attribution of creativity: Archival and experimental evidence for the perceived association between masculinity and creative thinking. Psychological Science, 26, 1751–1761.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rump, E. E. (1982). Relationships between creativity, arts orientation, and esthetic-preference variables. The Journal of Psychology, 110, 11–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Runco, M., & Bahleda, D. (1987). Implicit theories of artistic, scientific and everyday creativity. Journal of Creative Behavior, 20, 93–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Runco, M., & Johnson, D. (2002). Parents’ and teachers’ implicit theories of children’s creativity: A cross-cultural perspective. Creativity Research Journal, 14(3&4), 427–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Runco, M. A. (1989). Parents’ and teachers’ ratings of the creativity of children. Journal of Social Behavior & Personality, 4, 73–83.Google Scholar
  33. Runco, M. A. (1999). Implicit theories. In M. A. Runco & S. R. Pritzker (Eds.), Encyclopedia of creativity (Vol. 2, pp. 27–30). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  34. Runco, M. A., Johnson, D. J., & Bear, P. K. (1993). Parents’ and teachers’ implicit theories of children’s creativity. Child Study Journal, 23, 91–113.Google Scholar
  35. Schwartz, B. (1998). Postmodernity and historical reputation: Abraham Lincoln in late twentieth-century America memory. Social Forces, 77, 63–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Seng, Q. K., Keung, H. K., & Cheng, S. K. (2008). Implicit theories of creativity: A comparison of student-teachers in Hong Kong and Singapore. Compare: A Journal of Comparative Education, 38, 71–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sewell, D. K. (2018). Heterogeneous susceptibilities in social influence models. Social Networks, 52, 135–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sherman, S. J., & Corty, E. (1984). Cognitive heuristics. In R. S. Wyer & T. K. Srull (Eds.), Handbook of social cognition (Vol. 1, pp. 189–286). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  39. Simonton, D. K. (1988). Creativity, leadership, and chance. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), The nature of creativity (pp. 386–426). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Simonton, D. K. (1994). Greatness: Who makes history and why. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  41. Slovic, P., Finucane, M. L., Peters, E., & MacGregor, D. G. (2007). The affect heuristic. European Journal of Operational Research, 177, 1333–1352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Smith, C. D., & Wright, L. (2000). Perceptions of genius: Einstein, lesser mortals and shooting stars. Journal of Creative Behavior, 34(3), 151–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Spiel, C., & von Korff, C. (1988). Implicit theories of creativity: The conceptions of politicians, scientists, artists and school teachers. High Ability Studies, 9(1), 43–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sternberg, J., & Lubart, T. (1999). The concept of creativity: prospects and paradigms. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Handbook of creativity. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Sternberg, R. J. (1985). Implicit theories of intelligence, creativity, and wisdom. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49, 607–627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Stevens, J. P. (1992). Applied multivariate analysis of variance tests. Psychological Bulletin, 88, 728–737.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Tang, M. (2010). China’s young inventors: A systematic view of the individual and environmental factors (Doctoral dissertation). PSYNDEX (Accession Order No. 0236803).
  48. Tang, M. (2017). Creativity and innovation: Basic concepts and approaches. In M. Tang & C. H. Werner (Eds.), Handbook of the management of creativity and innovation: Theory and practice (Chap. 1, pp. 3–32). Singapore: World Scientific Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Taylor, A. J. P. (2001). The course of German history: A survey of the development of German history since 1815. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Thompson, T. L. (2017). The mothers and fathers of invention: A meta-analysis of gender differences in creativity. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, 77(10-A) (E).Google Scholar
  51. Tokarz, A., Beauvale, A., Zyla, K., & Rudowicz, E. U. (2004, June). Personality characteristics important for a Pole as perceived by Polish students: Is there a place for creativity? In The 13th National Conference of Developmental Psychology, Augustow, Poland.Google Scholar
  52. Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1973). Availability: A heuristic for judging frequency and probability. Cognitive Psychology, 5, 207–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Yan, J. (2011). Social media in branding: Fulfilling a need. Journal of Brand Management, 18(9), 688–696.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Yue, X. D. (2003). Meritorious attribution bias: How Chinese undergraduates perceive Chinese and foreign creators. Journal of Creative Behavior, 37, 151–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Yue, X. D. (2004). However is influential is creative: How Chinese undergraduates choose creative people in Chinese societies. Psychological Report, 94, 1235–1249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Yue, X. D., Bender, M., & Cheung, C. K. (2011). Who are the best known national and foreign creators – A comparative study among undergraduates in China and Germany. Journal of Creative Behavior, 45, 23–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Yue, X. D., & Rudowicz, E. (2002). Perception of the most creative Chinese by undergraduates in Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Taipei. Journal of Creative Behavior, 36, 88–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Creativity & InnovationUniversity of Applied ManagementMunichGermany

Personalised recommendations