An Empirical Study of the Relationship Among Self-Regulation, Creative Self-Efficacy, and Product Creativity in Interior Design Performance

Presented by: Dr. Ji Young Cho, Moon-heum Cho

Enhancing students’ creativity is an important goal in interior design education. Hargrove (2011) proposed a framework for effective pedagogical practices to enhance students’ creativity and used self-regulation as one means to do so. Self-regulation entails students’ systematic efforts to achieve their learning goals by steering their learning process and metacognition; however, little empirical research has been conducted to determine the relationship between self-regulation and creativity in interior design education or whether one exists at all. The purpose of this study was to examine this relationship, in particular, how self-regulation plays a role in designers’ creativity in both creative self-efficacy and self-assessed product creativity as well as how novice and advanced students show similarities or differences in such a relationship. Designers’ self-assessed creativity is important in the design process because high self-assessed creativity is known to improve enthusiasm and devotion to work (Norton, 1994). In design studio, students spend the majority of their time solving design problems alone (Casakin & Kreitler, 2006); thus, one’s own assessment of creativity seems to play a significant role in successful problem solving. A total of 85 interior design students (50 freshmen and 35 juniors) in one Midwestern university participated in the study. They completed a survey questionnaire measuring (a) their self-regulation pattern in the design process, (b) creative self-efficacy, and (c) the creativity of their studio design projects. At the end of semester, their studio grade and GPA were compared with the scores in the survey questionnaire. Self-regulation was measured with the Metacognitive Awareness Inventory (MAI) (Schraw & Dennison, 1994), consisting of eight constructs: declarative knowledge, procedural knowledge, conditional knowledge, planning, information management, monitoring, debugging, and evaluation. Creative self-efficacy was measured using five questions by Houghton and DiLiellom (2010). Product creativity was measured with originality and appropriateness: the two representative constructs of product creativity (Runco, 1988). The results showed that novice students’ self-regulation significantly predicted (a) product creativity with debugging strategy significantly contributing to the prediction and (b) creative self-efficacy with declarative knowledge significantly contributing to the prediction. In contrast, advanced students’ self-regulation significantly predicted product creativity with monitoring and procedural knowledge significantly contributing to the prediction, but it didn’t predict creative self-efficacy. When comparing self-regulation, creative self-efficacy, and product creativity with students’ final studio grades and GPA, novice students’ product creativity correlated with the final grade; furthermore, product creativity, self-efficacy, and two constructs in self-regulation (planning and debugging strategy) correlated with GPA. Advanced students, however, showed no such correlation. The results imply that interior design students’ self-assessed creativity in product and self-efficacy can be cultivated with self-regulation, but the tendency is stronger for novice students than advanced ones. This study also shows that the performance of advanced students requires complexity beyond self-regulation and creativity. In the IDEC conference, educational implications are discussed for teaching and learning in design studios.


  • Casakin, H., & Kreitler, S. (2006). Self-assessment of creativity: Implications for design education. In the 8th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Salzburg, Austria, 1-6.
  • Hargrove, R. (2011). Fostering creativity in the design studio: A framework towards effective pedagogical practices. Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education, 10(1), 7-31.
  • Houghton, J. D., & DiLiello, T. C. (2010). Leadership development: the key to unlocking individual creativity in organizations. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 31(3), 230-245.
  • Runco, M. A. (1988). Creativity research: Originality, utility, and integration. Creativity Research Journal, 1(1), 1–7.
  • Schraw, G., & Dennison, R. S. (1994). Assessing metacognitive awareness. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 19(4), 460-475.
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