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Chapter 3 - Research Methodology

Acknowledgements and Tables of Contents
Chapter 1 - Introduction
Chapter 2 - Literature Review
Chapter 3 - Research Methodology
Chapter 4 - Results
Chapter 5 - Discussion and Conclusion
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Chapter 3




3.1       Introduction

In this chapter, we will explore the definition of the variables used in the study. This chapter will also highlight the research questions, purpose of study as well as the hypotheses. It will then explained the instrumentation used as well as research procedure. The types of statistical analysis of the variables will also be explained in this chapter.


3.2       Definition of Terms and Variables


Creativity has been perceived differently by many theorists. The word creativity suggests many powerful associations – few of us can imagine treading the footsteps of Einstein or Curie, Picasso or O Keefe, Mozart or Charlie Parker. Their achievements are stunning in originality and power, not just contributing to their disciplines but also transforming them.

The history of creativity is as long as the history of human race, but the history of scientific research of creativity is hardly half a century, slightly more than 40 years. In 1957, USSR sent the first artificial satellite, the Sputnik, into space and shocked the Americans who had hitherto been in the belief of being superior in science and technology. The relevant legislation took place and a large amount of money was invested in research, hence the flourish of creativity research.

In 1966, the first issue of the Journal of Creative Behaviour was published, an indication that creativity as a field of research has gained sufficient significance. Over the four decades however, the focus of creativity research has shifted to different aspects of creativity. The shift has much to do with how creativity is perceived and defined. In essence, the four concerns of research can be summarized as the 4Ps of creativity: process, product, person, and (environment) press (Soh, 1997).

Perkins (1988) defined creativity as follows: (a) A creative result is a result of both original and appropriate. (b) A creative person – a person with creativity – is a person who fairly routinely produces creative results (p.311).

According to Young (1985), ‘creativity is those attitudes by which we fulfill ourselves…Creativity is the actualizing of our potential…It is the integration of our logical side with our intuitive side…Creativity is more than spontaneity, it is deliberation as well. It is divergent thinking for it converges on some solution: It  not only generates possibilities, but also chooses among them. It is more than originality which may only express the bizarre …Creativity is an advance and change as well as an expression of continuity with the past (p.78).

Novelty or originality may be the characteristics most immediately associated with creativity. Works of literature that imitate those before them or scientific discoveries that are merely a rehash of earlier work are seldom considered creative. Alane (2001) opined that to be creative, an idea or product must be new.

The second aspect of creativity is appropriateness. One important factor in determining appropriateness is the cultural context in which the creativity is based. So the focus for creativity varies from culture to culture and across time. For example, Van Gogh’s works were not accepted by the public of his time and considered not appropriate. Van Gogh was originally considered dysfunctional. Our revised standards considered him creative (Alane, 2001).

Cropley (1967) argued that one of the most important things about creativity is that it should lead to worthwhile results. Creative products or inventions must fulfill two criteria, novelty and usefulness. However, must all creative products be useful to the world and society? What about if they don’t? Should the product then be labeled as non-creative products?  Arguing whether the product is creative or not may not really lead to purposeful discussions. As such it is better to view creativity as a process.

Later, researchers shifted their focus and attention to personality traits of creative persons. They approached the problem by first identifying a group of creative professionals (e.g. architects), gave them a series of personality tests, and compared them with less creative peers.

Guilford (1950) defined creativity as the abilities that are most characteristic of creative people… A trait is any relatively enduring way in which persons differ from one another… Creative personality is then a matter of those patterns of traits that is characteristic of creative person.

Kamsiah (2002) categorises creative thinking under higher order thinking. According to her, creative thinking is an effort to churn out new and novel ideas.

In this study, we will refer creativity as defined by Ford and Harris (1992). According to him, creativity is a modifiable, deliberate process that exists to some degree in each of us. It proceeds through an identifiable process and is verified through the uniqueness and utility of the product created.


Creative Styles

Creative styles referred to cognitive styles. Cognitive styles are described as the manner in which individuals prefer to perform mental actions; styles may be distinguished from abilities because the former refer to level of performance and the latter to how the action is performed (McKenna, 1984). Cognitive styles measures usually classify individuals into categories rather than ordering them by level.

            Theories of stylistic individual differences are offered by Myers (1962), referring to differences in the way individuals prefer to use perception and judgment; by Kolb (Kolb et all. 1979), who describes different learning styles; by Snyder (1979) who argues that individuals may be differentiated by their preference for self-monitoring and by Kirton (1976; 1984), who argues that individuals differ systematically in their preferences for styles of creativity, decision making and problem solving.




A trait is an internal characteristic that corresponds to an extreme position on a behavioral dimension.  Traits are consistent patterns of thoughts, feelings, or actions that distinguish people from one another. Traits are basic tendencies that remain stable across the life span, but characteristics behaviors can change considerably through adaptive processes.



            The term personality has many definitions, but no single meaning is accepted universally. In popular usage, personality is often equated with social skill and effectiveness.  Personality may also be taken to be an individual’s most striking or dominant characteristic. In this sense, a person may be said to have a “shy personality” or a “neurotic personality”, meaning that his or her dominant attribute appears to be shyness or neuroticism (Mischel, Shoda and Smith, 2003).

 According to Pervin (1996), personality is the complex organization of cognition, affects, and behaviours that give direction and pattern (coherence) to the person’s life. Like the body, personality consists of both structures and processes and reflects both nature (genes) and nurture (experience). In addition, personality includes the effects of the past, including memories of the past, as well as constructions of the present and future.



Personality Traits

Traits are dichotomous variables – two ends of a continuum along which personality are measured by degree rather than by category or type. Traits make people behave in certain ways, and a person’s behaviour itself can influence the traits. Personality traits are characteristics used to describe differences in behaviour exhibited by individuals in different situations. They are assumed to describe consistencies in behaviour exhibited by an individual in different situations (Valentina, Hlebec).


3.3       Research Questions

            This study intends to focus on the following research questions:

1.      What is the dimension of personality traits of Malay language teachers?

2.      What are the creative styles of Malay language teachers?

3.      What is the relationship between styles (adaptation-innovation) and personality traits (the three personality traits that will be investigated are Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness) of Malay Language teachers?


3.4       Purpose of Study

Hence, the purpose of this study is to investigate and understand the connection between personality dimensions and creative styles. The focus of this study is to examine the relationship of the three personality traits – extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness, and creativity styles of Malay language teachers. This study attempts to clarify the three combinations of personality traits which form the base of adaptive and innovative style of creative problem-solving. The other two personality traits – Openness to Experience and Neuroticism of the Big Five models of personality dimension, will not be investigated. In our pilot study, preliminary findings showed that the items on both of the personality traits i.e. openness to experience and neuroticism were not reliable. However, this does not preclude that items on openness to experience and neuroticism are unreliable. Due to time constraint, this study would focus only on three personality traits as mentioned earlier. More samples are needed to confirm the findings and further investigation are needed to verify them.

            The relationship between KAI and personality is steadily being explored and some readily expected results are being published. However, to get some results, or to explain others, requires greater cerebration. For example, the intuitively expected link between KAI and Witkin’s Embedded Figures Test (Witkin et al. 1962); Witkin and Goodenough, 1977) barely reached significance level, and at that for males only (Kirton, 1978b). Some years later McKenna (1983) argued that, in contrast to his theory, Witkin’s instrument measures level rather than style.

            Another example is that, it seems as if most people expect innovators to be more ready to make changes than are adaptors. Both Ettlie and O’Keefe (1982) and Goldsmith,(1984) found correlations to back up that assumption. Nevertheless, if one takes the current literature position that ‘innovators’ (however described) welcome change -  any change, any time – and the rest of us have greater or lesser degrees of ‘resistance to change’ then these correlations, although significant, seem both too low and erratic (Kirton, 1994).

            As the separation of level from cognitive style is made possible, Goldsmith (1984) is able to draw findings into a pattern that suggests that the Adaption-Innovation manifestation of cognitive style is a concept that underlies personality traits and interrelates numbers of them into meaningful expected patterns. As the personality correlates of Adaption-Innovation seems set and stable, these expected and confirmed relationships reinforce the same earlier-made assumptions underlying this theory.

            According to Goldsmith (1994), Adaption-Innovation is more specific than personality traits, but more general than any individual behavioural act. The KAI measures preferences for problem solutions, which are themselves determined by interactions of many traits. These preferences may be described as ‘styles of problem solving’, which may then lead to distinctive types of solutions and related organizational behaviour.

            This argument has two parts: (a) that the KAI summarizes preferences or emotions about behaviour which are the result of personality traits, and (b) that these preferences are predictive of actual behaviour. Thus we might expect to find significant correlations between scores on the KAI and scores on various personality instruments as underlying and distal personality factors which lead to the characteristic preferences for problem-solving styles measured by the KAI.

            Confirmation of hypothesised relationships between scores on the KAI and scores on personality, simultaneously measures its underlying theory.  A growing body of research on the KAI has confirmed many of these nomological relationships. A profile of innovators and adaptors can be developed from the work of researchers who have investigated the relationships between scores on the KAI and scores on a variety of personality scales (Goldsmith, 1994). Compared with adaptors, innovators are more likely to identify themselves as sensation or change seekers (Goldsmith, 1984; 1986c) and as greater risk takers (Goldsmith, 1984, 1986).

Goldberg (1994) further explained that the tendency towards consistent innovative decisions by the innovators thus might be rooted intimately in individual differences in tolerance for regret, willingness to take risks, and the ability to imagine alternative outcomes for decisions. Adaptors-introverts avoid punishment, innovators-extroverts risk seeking reward. Hence, adaptors and innovators are expected to have different personality traits.

The hypotheses in the study are derived from the relationship of personality traits and creative styles.


3.5       Hypotheses

The relationship between personality traits and creative styles:  Hypotheses


            The hypotheses in this study are based on two considerations. First, because very few studies have related any direct measure of three of the Big Five traits to creative styles, this study describes characteristics of the traits that are conceptually relevant to creative styles. Second, where possible, we describe empirical associations of hallmarks or facets of the traits with creative styles behaviours. This study groups the discussions of these associations by each of the three personality traits of the Big Five model of personality traits dimension.



According to Goldberg (1990) and Watson & Clark (1997), extraverts have strong tendencies to be articulate, expressive, and dramatic. Innovators are characterized by their penchant for working outside established paradigms. The innovators are radical in his approach to problem solving. In the process, the innovators will have to overcome – or sometimes disregard – a lot of resistance in the establishment. Because of their dominant and assertive characteristics, the innovators demonstrated the extraversion aspect of his personality traits. Trapnell and Wiggins (1990) found that dominance was the single best adjective marker of extraversion, whereas other researchers consider sociability to be the principal component of extraversion (Watson & Clark, 1997). Extraverts and innovators seemed to share some similarities in their characteristics and therefore, a positive association between Extraversion and innovation is hypothesised.


Hypothesis 1: Innovators are significantly more Extraverted than adaptors.



It is predicted that there is no association between adaption-innovation and agreeableness. Why? At first glance, this would seem to contradict the literature, which clearly described adaptors as co-operative and conformist team mates who prefer peaceful and not confrontational mean in solving problems, while innovators are the opposite. Nevertheless, it is argued that Agreeableness is a basic dimension of the human personality “ that appears to involve the more humane aspects of humanity – characteristics such as nurturance, caring, altruism and emotional support at one end of the dimension, and hostility, indifference to others, self-centredness, spitefulness, and jealousy at the other” (Digman, 1990, p.422-424).  A person with a high on Agreeableness has a benign view of human nature. According to Wiggins (1996), the primary motivational orientation of agreeable individuals is altruism – the concern with others’ interests and empathy for their condition. He would tend to have a basic trust in the goodness of people.

Although it is true that innovator may be cruder and rough or abrasive in behaviour, nothing in the empirical literature that suggests innovators have a less benign view or perception of human natured compared to adaptors. In the extreme, the innovators may have a pejorative view of the adaptors, but so is the extreme adaptors similarly disparaging of the innovators. Hence, it is predicted that neither adaptors nor innovators will be more or less Agreeable than the other.

Hypothesis 2:  Neither adaptors nor innovators will be significantly more or less Agreeable than other.



We have highlighted in the review of KAI that adaptors prefers to work within existing paradigms, as he “can be relied upon to carry out a thorough, disciplined search for ways to eliminate problems by doing things better” (Kirton, 1987).  The adaptors would improve the situations or help solve problems through greater precision, efficiency and mastery. As such, it is predicted that there would be a positive association between adaption and conscientiousness. Conscientious person would do his work thoroughly, painstakingly going through the details  and are very determined to complete the task to the best of his ability. A person with a conscientious personality has the psychological resources for the administrative and meticulous work that the adaptor excels and are good in.


Hypothesis 3:  Adaptors would be significantly more conscientious than innovators.


Bagozzi and Foxall (1995) highlighted the distinctiveness of the 3 facets of the KAI. In this study, we will also look into the association between KAI factor traits and the three personality traits of the Big Five personality dimension of traits. This way, we will be able to study the association between creative problem-solving style and personality at the micro-level.

            As high energy and self-assertion could be linked with a certain “boldness in ideation” and lead one to proliferate ideas instead of focusing on a narrower stream of ideas, it is hypothesized that there would be a significant negative correlation between Extraversion and Kirton’s Sufficiency of Originality.


Hypothesis 4: Sufficiency of Originality is significantly and negatively associated with Extraversion.


An extraverted person is also considered to be sociable, talkative and fun-loving. Such traits may affect the quality of work done. Efficiency level may be affected due to the nature of an extravert that prefers to talk or fun than accomplishing the undertaken tasks.


Hypothesis 5: Extraversion is significantly and negatively correlated to Efficiency.  


On the other hand, Conscientiousness is expected to be related to Rule/group governance. This is so because the dependability and responsibility implicit in a person with a high Conscientiousness score tends to entail a degree of impulse control and the adoption of concerns which are socially prescribed. One would expect a negative relationship between Openness to Experience and Rule/group described as one who “judges in conventional terms” and “favours conservative values” (McCrae and John, 1992).


Hypothesis 6: There will be a significant and positive association between Rule/group governance and Conscientiousness.


If a person is conscientious, it is generally believed that he is prone for being precise, methodical and exacting. Hence, we expect that there would be a positive relationship between Efficiency and Conscientiousness.


Hypothesis 7: There will be a significant and positive association between Efficiency and Conscientiousness.


A conscientious person is a well organized, reliable, hardworking, self-disciplined, persevering and at the same time ambitious individuals. Such traits will definitely complement a problem-solving method who prefer in focusing on ideas which are sound, useful and relevant. Being ambitious individual who preferred in accomplishing tasks successfully, the logical choice is to focus on the practicability of the ideas.


Hypothesis 8: There will be significant positive association between conscientiousness and Sufficiency of Originality.





3.6       Subjects – First Group of Malay Language Teachers

            An investigation was made of the relationship between personality traits and creative styles preferences in a sample of Singaporean Secondary Malay language teachers. A sample of thirty-one Malay Language teachers from various secondary schools in Singapore took part in this study voluntarily. Out of this sample, 10 of the respondents are male teachers (32.26%) and the rest are female teachers (67.74%) and their age ranged from 25 to above 50 years of age (see Figure 1). The following figures (Figure 2 – 5) provide the information on Malay Language teachers in term of their educational backgrounds, the types of schools they came from, their language streams and the number of years of working experiences as teachers.


Figure 1: First Stage Study - Histogram showing Ages of Respondents



2.00= 25-36 yrs old

3.00= 37-49 yrs old

4.00= 50 yrs old & above










Most of the teachers were between 37 to 49 years old.

Figure 2: First Stage Study - Histogram showing Educational level of respondents





1.0  = (‘A’ level)

2.0  = (Diploma)

3.0  = (Tertiary)









Most of the teachers had tertiary education.

Figure 3: First Stage Study - Histogram showing the types school of respondents



1 = Government Schools

2 = Government-aided Schools

3 = Autonomous Schools

4 = Independent Schools

Most of the teachers came from government schools.


Figure 4: First Stage Study - Histogram showing the stream level of respondents



Language Stream

1.0  = Malay

2.0  = English

More Malay language teachers came from English stream.


Figure 5: First Stage Study - Histogram showing working experience of respondents



Exp (No of years of teaching experience)


2.0 = 1-2 yrs

3.0 = 3-5 yrs

4.0 = 6-9 yrs

5.0 = 10-12 yrs

6.0 = 13-15 yrs

7.0 = 16 above

Many of the teachers have more than six years of teaching experiences.        

3.7       Subjects – Second Group of Malay Language Teachers

Similar questionnaires were administered to a different group of Malay language teachers. A sample of twenty-three out of ninety-eight Malay Language teachers who participated in a workshop on Effective Use of Rich Digital Media Content conducted on 26th July, 27th July, 1st August  and 4th August 2005 took part in this study voluntarily. Out of this sample, four of the respondents are male teachers (17.39%) and the rest are female teachers (82.07%) and their age ranged from 25 to 49 years of age (see Figure 6). The following figures (Figure 7 – 10) provide the information on Malay Language teachers in term of their educational backgrounds, the types of schools they came from, their language streams and the number of years of working experiences as teachers.


Figure 6: Second Stage Study - Histogram showing Ages of Respondents



1.00= 25-36 yrs old

2.00= 37-49 yrs old

3.00= 50 yrs old & above










Most of the teachers were between 25 to 36 years old.

Figure 7: Second Stage Study - Histogram showing Educational level of respondents




2.00= (Diploma)

3.00 = (Tertiary)

Most of the teachers had tertiary education.

Figure 8: Second Stage Study - Histogram showing the types school of respondents





1 = Government Schools

2 = Government-aided Schools

3 = Autonomous Schools


Most of the teachers came from government schools and none from independent schools.

Figure 9: Second Stage Study - Histogram showing the stream level of respondents




Language Stream

1.00 = Malay

2.00 = English

More Malay language teachers came from English stream.


Figure 10: Second Stage Study - Histogram showing working experience of respondents




Exp (No of years of teaching experience)


2.0 = 1-2 yrs

3.0 = 3-5 yrs

4.0 = 6-9 yrs

5.0 = 10-12 yrs

6.0 = 13-15 yrs

7.0 = 16 above

Many of the teachers have more than six years of teaching experiences.        

3.8       Instrumentation

            The two instruments used in this study are:

1.      32-item Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory (Kirton, 1977), and

2.      12-item, adapted from IPIP (International Personality Inventory Pool on the three personality traits: Extraversion, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness) (Goldberg, 1999).


3.9       Goldberg’s International Personality Item Pool (IPIP)

While the technology of personality assessment has remained stagnant over the last decades, the fundamental taxonomic problem in personality assessment may be close to a solution. In spite of strong denials by some vocal critics (e.g., Block, 1995), Goldberg thinks that most investigators would agree that the general framework for a comprehensive structure of phenotypic personality attributes seems finally to be visible (Digman, 1990; Goldberg, 1981, 1993b, 1995; John, 1990; Saucier & Goldberg, 1996b). In a variety of Indo-European and other languages, analyses of large samples of trait-descriptive adjectives have generally led to a structural representation--often referred to as the Big-Five factor structure--which seems to incorporate most phenotypic personality attributes (Goldberg, 1990; Saucier & Goldberg, 1996a).

One way of viewing this model is as a hierarchical structure with the Big-Five factors at or near the top of the hierarchy, below which are located the various lower-level "facets" that are measured by particular narrow-bandwidth personality measures (Goldberg, 1993a). Although there is some agreement in the personality literature about the characteristics of the higher-level factors, there is no such agreement about an optimal set of lower-level facets. For example, there are 45 bipolar dimensions in the AB5C model of the Big Five proposed by Hofstee, de Raad, and Goldberg (1992); there are 30 bipolar dimensions in the Five-Factor model of Costa and McCrae as operationalsed in their revised NEO inventory (NEO-PI-R); there are about 30 to 35 facets implied in the scales in Gough's California Psychological Inventory (CPI); and there are the well-known 16 primary factors in the hierarchical structure incorporated by Cattell in his Sixteen Personality Factors Questionnaire (16PF). Because agreement has not yet been reached on the relative superiority of any one of these competing lower-level structures, it behoves Goldberg (1999), to incorporate them all in his preliminary inventory, so that they can be compared empirically.

Although an inventory that includes a systematic set of lower-level facets can easily generate the higher-level Big-Five factors, the reverse is not true. Inventories that incorporate only five dimensions cannot provide the specific variance associated with each of the lower-level facets. Because most of the variance in Goldberg’s instruments is specific to each particular trait, inventories that measure only the Big Five will necessarily be less useful than more comprehensive ones in most applied contexts. Indeed, the optimum number of variables to include in regression analyses of individual differences is limited only by considerations of statistical power, and thus of sample size.


3.10    The Development of a Common Item Format by Goldberg (1999)

Goldberg (1999) has done extensive research on developing the common item format of personality traits. One major source of the Big-Five factor structure has been findings from analyses based on the "Lexical Hypothesis"--namely that the most important ways those individuals differ from each other will eventually come to be encoded as single attribute-descriptive terms (e.g., trait adjectives and type nouns) in the lexicons of the world's languages. Although the use of such single terms is necessary for the establishment of an indigenous structure in each new language under study, these descriptors are not ideal for use as the items in multi-scale personality inventories. Goldberg (1999) highlighted at least three interrelated problems with their use. First of all, the same property that provides their major strength in fundamental taxonomic studies, namely their relatively finite number within any language, necessarily limits their utility as purveyors of the complex nuances of lower-level personality description; said another way, there are not enough of them--certainly not enough for redundant and thus reliable measurement in all regions of personality space. Secondly, trait adjectives and type nouns encode personality traits at an extremely high level of abstractness. Although research by Hampson, John, and Goldberg (1986) demonstrates substantial differences in breadth within the total set of English trait adjectives (e.g., Extraverted versus Talkative, or Reliable versus Punctual), even the narrowest of such terms (e.g., Talkative and Punctual) are still quite abstract. Most test authors prefer items that are more behaviourally and/or contextually specified. Finally, perhaps as a consequence of the abstractness of trait adjectives and type nouns, it is often not possible to find one-to-one translations for them in different languages, even languages as close linguistically as Dutch, German, and English (Hofstee, Kiers, de Raad, Goldberg, & Ostendorf, 1997). Given the desirability of international collaboration in the development of new assessment methods, this is a highly undesirable feature of their use as test stimuli.

Instead, Goldberg propose that they begin this project using an item format that is more contextualized and thus longer than trait adjectives, yet is more compact and thus shorter than the items in many modern personality inventories. The Groningen personality team of Hofstee, de Raad, and Hendriks have been the major proponents of this item format, and they have used it to develop an initial pool of over a thousand Dutch items which they hoped might cover many of the facets of the Big-Five factor structure; findings from analyses of 914 of these Dutch items can be found in Hendriks (1997). Goldberg worked with the Groningen team to translate most of these items into their English equivalents. From this initial English item pool, Goldberg selected about 750 in their original translations, and then added about 500 new English items that have as yet no Dutch translations. The resulting pool of 1,252 English items--which Goldberg had dubbed the International Personality Item Pool (IPIP)--has now been administered in three parts to participants in an adult community sample. Participants in this sample have also been administered an inventory of 360 trait-descriptive adjectives, which include 100 unipolar markers of the Big-Five factor structure (Goldberg, 1992), as well as an inventory of 525 of the most familiar person-descriptive adjectives in English. In addition, these participants have completed a variety of commercial personality inventories, including the NEO-PI-R, CPI, TCI, and the 16PF (Goldberg, 1999).


3.11    Comparison with the Five Major Inventories by Goldberg

Goldberg (1999) discovered that the difference between the values for the top inventory (16PF) and the bottom one (TCI) average around ten correlation points, which represents a quite substantial level of increased utility of the one over the other. In comparison among the scale sets from the original inventories, the 16PF and the CPI were quite similar, both tending to outperform slightly the other three inventories under comparison. However, when one considers the IPIP versions of all five inventories, the IPIP scales derived to measure the 16PF constructs performed the best over-all, with a cross-validated mean correlation across six criteria of .51. Specifically, the cross-validities of the five-scale composites for each of the six act-frequency criteria were .55, .47, .49, .56, .45, and .52. Given the reliabilities of these criteria and of the inventory scales, this degree of predictability seems remarkable.


3.12    New IPIP Scales Compare to Their Original Counterparts by Goldberg

In the comparative study of personality scales conducted by Goldberg’s (1999), some interesting results were obtained.  Interestingly, the IPIP scale sets fared as well or better in most of the comparisons. According to Goldberg’s(1999), this was true of 77% of the 120 individual comparisons, and all but two (92%) of the 24 mean values for each criterion across the five inventories, and all but one (95%) of the 20 mean values for each inventory across the six criteria used. The sizes of the differences between the IPIP and the original scale sets varied somewhat by inventory, from about .01 for the CPI to about .06 for the NEO, HPI, and TCI; the average difference in favour of the IPIP scales was about .04. When one considers that the IPIP scales are freely available in the public domain and the commercial inventories are not, Consumer Reports might label the IPIP scales a "BEST BUY"(Goldberg, 1999).

In general, comparisons among mean values are most informative if there are relatively small differences in the extent of variation about those means. In Goldberg’s study (1999), because a mean cross-validity correlation combines both bandwidth and fidelity, the preceding comparisons among means may have masked some inter-inventory differences in bandwidth. That is, some inventories might relate rather uniformly to all of the six criteria, whereas others might have a less uniform pattern of criterion associations. To examine this possibility, the range of the cross-validity correlations across the six criteria was calculated for each inventory. When averaged across the original scales and their IPIP counterparts, Goldberg (1999) discovered that these ranges fell in the small band from .13 to .19 for the 16PF, HPI, CPI, and NEO, as compared to .33 for the TCI. In particular, the TCI scale set elicited an unusually low cross-validity correlation for one activity criterion, that of Reading (e.g., Read a book, Bought a book, Went to a public library). When the mean cross-validity correlations were recalculated on the remaining five criteria, differences among the major inventories were minimal.

In summary for Goldberg’s IPIP inventory as compared to the other inventories, with the exception of the AVA, the over-all cross-validities of most of the inventories under comparison fall into the relatively narrow range between .40 and .50, which suggests that some users might find something of interest or value in any one of them.

The most consistent of all the comparisons presented in this Goldberg’s study (1999), is that between the IPIP scales and their original inventory counterparts. Their mean performance always proved to be superior to the original scales, whether computed within each inventory across the criteria or within each criterion across the major inventories under study. These IPIP scales are explicitly labelled as "preliminary" (Goldberg, 1999), and they should be able to be improved as additional investigators join the IPIP project and develop new scales. Specifically, the development of new IPIP scales based on Item Response Theory (IRT), perhaps to measure the constructs in the 16PF, would seem like a natural extension of the initial scale sets (Goldberg, 1999).

In the study, Goldberg clarified that the IPIP items were administered in three batches, all fairly distant in time from that of the activity questionnaire. Indeed, fortunately, it turned out that there was no relation between the performance of the inventories and their location in the sequence of questionnaire administrations. On the other hand, it is important to realize that all of the IPIP scales were developed in the larger sample of research participants from which the present sub-sample was drawn. To determine whether the IPIP scales more reliable in this derivation sample than they would be in others, only a replication of at least a portion of these findings in a different sample can dispel such doubts (Goldberg, 1999).

Table 6: Characteristics of the IPIP Scales Measuring the Big-Five Domains (Shorter version) by Goldberg (1999)

Big-Five Domain

of Items

Mean Item


with Markers*



Shorter Scales



I. Extraversion

5 + 5 = 10



.73 [.84]

II. Agreeableness

6 + 4 = 10



.54 [.66]

III. Conscientiousness

6 + 4 = 10



.71 [.90]

IV. Emotional Stability

2 + 8 = 10



.72 [.84]

V. Intellect

7 + 3 = 10



.67 [.80]

Source Goldberg (1999)

Note.  [Values in brackets are correlations corrected for unreliability; these may be underestimates, given that the reliabilities of the factor markers were assumed to be the same as those of their corresponding IPIP scales.]



The above table (Table 6) illustrates the mean item inter-correlation and coefficient alpha of the shorter version of IPIP scales in Goldberg’s research (1999).


3.13    An Adapted Personality Traits Instrument used for the Study

In view that the IPIP scales postulated by Goldberg’s is in preliminary stage, only three personality traits were chosen and investigated in this study. An adapted version of IPIP scales comprising of 12 items focusing on three personality traits (Extraversion, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness) were used and investigated. Four items were used to measure each of the personality traits. These 12 items were selected because they showed high or stable reliability scales as compared to the other items used in the pilot study. (See Appendix A for details of the survey questionnaires used in the study).


            Table 7 highlights the descriptive information of personality scales used in this study.



Table 7: Descriptive Information for Three Personality Traits in the Study

Scales Name



Sample of Items  from IPIP (shorter version)


Involvement and dominance in a social setting


1, 4, 7* and 10*



Feel comfortable around people


Warmth and nurturance in interpersonal relationship   

2, 5,  8* and 11*



Sympathize with other’s feelings, feel others emotions



Diligence, reliability and dependability in performing an assigned task

3*, 6*, 9 and 12


Get chores done right away.

*scores are reversed on these items.


3.14    Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory (KAI)

            The Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory was developed to measure individual differences in cognitive styles involved in creative processes, problem solving and decision making in a business organization. It produces a score which indicates the position of the individual on the adaption-innovation dimension.

            This inventory has 32 items and has been validated by various studies. KAI has been validated to separate styles from level as correlations with several level scales of intelligence and cognitive complexity have been found to range from –0.14 to 0.17 and are all insignificant (Kirton, 1994). In addition, Bogozzi and Foxall (1995) have found that convergent validity of measures within each factors was generally high (from 0.73 – 0.89), as was discriminant validity among the factors. They also found that the three-factor conceptualization of adaption-innovation is remarkably stable across the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. Not only did the tripartite structure replicate, but factor loadings, error variances, and correlations among facets were identical across the samples. This thus provides strong evidence for the generalizability of the KAI.

            Kirton (1987) cites studies where the internal reliability coefficient had been measured as 0.85 for New Zealand students (17-18 years old, N=412; Kirton, 1987); 0.88 for sample of 256 managers (Keller & Holland, 1978) and 0.86 for a U.S. general population sample (N=214); Goldsmith, 1985). A translated Slovakian version indicated a coefficient of 0.84 from a general population sample of 353. In addition, a test-retest coefficient of 0.82 was gathered from sample of 64 New Zealand students after an interval of 7 months (Kirton, 1976). Clapp (1993) also conducted a study which reported a test-retest coefficient of 0.82 for 69 UK working adults after an interval of 41 months. Goldsmith & Matherly (1986) found that social desirability influence to be negligible amount.  Edwin (1994) conducted a study on American eight grade  and the KAI. The mean for the first administration of the KAI to the students was 100. 66. The retest mean was 101. 58. The student test-retest correlation was 0.79. The internal reliability coefficients for the test and retest conditions, respectively, were 0.74 and 0.78. Findings in this study indicate that KAI is reliable, stable, and valid when administered to American early adolescents and seems to have the potential for middle school application.

            Internal consistency for the subscales – Sufficiency of Origination, Efficiency and Rule/group governance – has also been extensively investigated in Britain, Australian and American sample (Bagozzi and Foxall, 1995) and a Slovakian sample (Kubes 1998) and have shown to exceed 0.7. Overall, it can be concluded that the KAI has good internal consistency for both the full scale and subscales.

            In the KAI questionnaire, respondents were asked to rate the items based on a five-point scale ranging from 1 (Item does not describe me well) to 5 (Item describes me well). In addition, the individual item score was reversed for items 2, 4, 10, 11, 15, 17, 18, 20, 22, 25, 30 such that the higher the overall scale score the more it reflects an adaption-oriented style. As an example, this means that for item 17, if the score is ‘1’ for the statement “can stand out in disagreement against workgroup”, the score will be 5 to reflect that there is a greater tendency towards Sufficiency of Originality.  

All items were then added to form a final score which indicates the position of the individual on the adaption-innovation dimension. In addition, scores for the individual scales were obtained by adding the scores for the items in that scale (see Table 8). The higher the scale score, the stronger are his preferences in that particular dimension.


Table 8:  Descriptive Information for the KAI scales

Scale Name



Sample item from the 32 item KAI

Sufficiency of Originality

… producing fewer original ideas and focusing on ideas which are sound, useful and relevant

2, 4, 10, 11,12*, 15, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23*, 25, 30


(Items are reversed scored for all the items except for items 12* and 23*)


Item 18. Is a steady plodder who works step-by-step.


…..precision, reliability and efficiency

3,13, 16, 14, 21, 24, 28


Item 25. Is methodical and systematic.


Rule/Group Governance

… going along with group and established practices

1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 19, 26, 27, 29, 31, 32


Item 27. With out deviation in a prescribed situation.


3. 15   Qualitative Data - Open Ended Questions on Creativity

            A part from the questionnaire based on Kirton‘s Adaption-Innovation Inventory and the adapted inventory on personality traits, this study will also investigate Malay language teachers’ comments on the issue of creativity. To enable respondents to provide their written feedback, open ended questions were asked. By doing so, respondents could express their views in writing and are free to express their comments. Respondents are requested to write their feedback or comments at Section C of the survey questionnaire. In order to understand what their thoughts on the issues of creativity are, four questions are posed to them. The questions are as follows:

  1. Do you face a lot of problems when you try to be creative in carrying out your professional duties? If yes, what are the problems?


  1. Are the training/courses provided by MOE thus far meeting the needs of teachers to be creative in teaching? Why?


  1. What are the factors that hinder you from being creative in class?


  1. What is your definition of creativity? What is a creative person to you?


This data will complement the statistical data and provide qualitative data for the study.


3.16    Procedure

Subjects, the Malay Language teachers, were contacted through email, telephone and meeting the teachers personally. Subjects were informed and explained of the purposes of the research. They were informed that the study was solely for research purposes. As a gesture of appreciation for their participation, the teachers were promised an access to the general findings of the study via website to be made known to subjects later once the study has been completed.

Once the subjects indicated that they were willing to take part in the study, a formal letter of request and explanatory information with regards to the purposes of the study were given to teachers together with the survey questionnaire. Subjects were given a month to complete the questionnaire at their leisure. After completion of the survey questionnaire, subjects returned the completed survey questionnaire using the self-addressed envelope given to them in the earlier letter. Subjects were assured that there was no right or wrong answers, and that their personal data would be kept confidential. This was done because some subjects were a bit apprehensive in participating due to the worry that the data would be used against them. Subjects were told that the worry is unfounded as the information will be kept confidential and the data collated would be used solely for the purpose of the research study. In all, thirty-one secondary school Malay Language teachers responded and answered the survey questionnaire.


3.17    Pilot Study

A pilot study was conducted before the survey questionnaires were administered to subjects. The instruments were piloted on Malay language teachers teaching secondary schools and primary schools. This was done to ensure that the intended meaning asked in the questionnaires is clearly understood by teachers.

In the piloted study, 32 items on Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory and 50 items on personality traits were used. Reliability test were conducted on these items by pairing the items. The findings in the pilot study on the reliability tests of the survey items showed that only three personality traits, i.e. Extraversion, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness were reliable. In view of these preliminary findings and due to time constraints, it was decided that only three personality traits will be used for the focus of investigation in the study. However, it is important to note that this does not preclude that items on Openness to Experience and Neuroticism is totally unreliable. Finally, four items each were selected to represent each of the personality traits; Extraversion, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness as these items showed high and stable reliability results.

Based on the feedback given by teachers in the pilot study, the instruments were fine-tuned. The final version of the questionnaire was finally completed. More Malay Language teachers are effectively bilingual. To ensure that there is no misinterpretation of intended meaning in the instrument, the English translation was also included in the questionnaire. This is to ensure that, teachers would not have any doubts in understanding the intended meaning of the questionnaire.

A copy of the questionnaire was then mailed to subjects who had indicated their willingness to take part in the study through email, phone and one to one conversation. Subjects returned back the completed instruments via mail using self-addressed envelope. (A copy of the questionnaire can be found in Appendix A).


3.18    Statistical Method of Analysis

Three types of analysis were conducted. They are the reliability analysis of personality traits, independent group t-test and correlation analysis.




Reliability analysis of personality traits on the three personality and KAI

Alpha coefficient was used to determine the internal consistency in the responses of the participants and reliability of the instruments used.


Independent groups t-test

To investigate whether there was a significant difference between adaptors and innovators with regards to personality correlates, independent groups t-tests were used. The significance level was fixed at the p≤0.05 level.


Correlation analysis

Pearson’s correlation coefficients were calculated to assess the relationship among the facet traits of the KAI (i.e., Sufficiency of Originality, Efficiency, and Rule/group governance) as well as the relationship between facet traits of the KAI and the three personality traits of the Big Five personality dimensions of Extraversion, Agreeableness and conscientiousness. The significant level was fixed at the p≤ 0.05 level.


            SPSS software was used for the computation of data for analysis.


3.19    Second Stage Study - Similar Study Conducted on Second group of Malay Language teachers


Due to the small number of samples studies involved in the earlier set of questionnaires, similar questionnaires were administered to a second group of Malay Language teachers in July and August 2005 to reaffirm the earlier findings.