Searching for Tomorrow’s Innovators: Profiling Creative Adolescents
Barbara Kerr and Robyn McKay
Profiling may be a viable means of identifying those creative adolescents who can benefit from specialized guidance and exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, arts, and human services. The experimenters developed 1 general and 5 specific profiles including interest, personality, and achievement variables based on the profiles of eminent people in five domains of creative endeavor. Educators of gifted students at schools throughout a Midwestern state identified 485 students to attend a research through service counseling laboratory. One cohort received the Vocational Preference Inventory, the Personality Research Form, and the Tellegen Absorption Scale, and a second cohort received the VPI, the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO- PI-R), and Tellegen Absorption Scale. For each cohort, descriptive data were gathered and principal components analyses were performed on scales of interest and personality inventories. In addition, a cluster analysis was performed for the second cohort. The finding supported the hypothesis that profiling could be used to identify creative adolescents for career development programs. Both principal com- ponents analyses and cluster analyses revealed profiles of fine and performing arts stu- dents: one or two profiles of interpersonally talented groupings: and an engineering= technical profile. Creative students were more agreeable than those in previous studies, and there was strong evidence for crossover arts=science profiles.