A Recipe for Success? Sustaining Creativity Among First-Time Creative Producers -- Dataset Used for Study 3
Sustaining creativity is difficult. We identify the conditions that determine repeat production of novelty among first-time producers, and the psychological mechanism transmitting their effects. Our theoretical model highlights that the novelty of a first production can lower the probability of creating a second production, particularly when the first production is bestowed with an award or recognition. This effect occurs primarily because individuals who win an award for a prior novel production experience a greater threat to their creative identity when anticipating having to produce follow-up novel work. We test our theoretical model in three studies: an archival study of first-time cookbook authors in the United Kingdom and two experiments. Our results provide some support for our theoretical model—award-winning producers of novel cookbooks (or ideas for them) are less likely to follow-up their initial production with a second one, largely because of the potential erosion to a person’s creative identity that doing so may cause. Our findings highlight the intricacies of sustaining creativity over time and offer insights into why some producers abandon their creative efforts.