The Role of Passion and Persistence in Creativity
Magdalena G. Grohman, Paul Silvia, Zorana Ivcevic, and Scott Barry Kaufman
We examined the predictive power of 2 different conceptualizations of passion and persistence in relation to creative behavior. Specifically, we examined predictive power of the self-reported grit subscales (defined as a combination of passion/consistency of interests and perseverance) and teacher-reported passion and persistence (based on lay definitions of these constructs). In 3 studies of college and high school students, self-reported passion/consistency of interests and perseverance (grit subscales) did not predict creative behavior and achievement. Openness to Experience (Studies 1–3) and teacher nominations of passion and persistence predicted creativity (Study 3). Finally, we found support that teacher- nominated passion and persistence remained significant predictors of creativity above the Big Five personality traits.
Surely all that you have found here is a classic method effect. That is, when data on two variables is collected using a common-method (here teacher ratings) you observe a relationship between the two variables. This, however, is a well-known methodological artifact (see Podsakoff et al., 2001) and I would never interpret it in this way. Simply put you have asked teachers to make ratings on three socially desirable characteristics and found a halo effect (a general positive view of students that extends to all variables that they are rating on).