First Advisor

Gerald D. Guthrie

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology






Creative ability, Intellect



Physical Description

1 online resource (234 pages)


In a commonly held view, creativity and intelligence interact in a mutually enhancing way. Their interaction, however is assumed to be slight and relatively unimportant, and to find its ceiling at a certain IQ level. Beyond this IQ ceiling, no interaction is believed to occur, and the two variables are assumed to be independent. It is suggested that this view and those theorists who hold it do little to explain the reason for the ceiling effect.

An attempt is made to devise a theoretical system which accounts for a explains the ceiling effect, as well as providing new ground for the synthesis of existing experimental data from a wide range of related fields. The theoretical system is based upon the hypothesis that an environmental variable acts to suppress increased potential for creativity accompanying increases in intelligence level, and that this variable is able in effect to cancel the higher potential for creativity which may exist among those above the ceiling level of intelligence.

The research is reviewed in search of any support for or critical refutation of the hypothesis and its corollaries, and suggestions are made as to the possible mediators of the suppressor-variable effect. It is concluded that the suppressor-variable hypotheses, provides a useful means of bringing together widely diversified bodies of research data, and accounts for the ceiling effect without violating logical and initiative conceptions of intelligence and creativity.


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