Psychology Undergraduate Research Symposium 2021

A Qualitative Study of Grit and Creativity in Michelin Star Chefs

Creativity is the production of new and useful ideas. It is an important predictor of achievement in a variety of domains. However, while researchers have made progress in understanding the factors that influence creativity in general, much less is known about the factors that contribute to world-class creativity, honed over decades of dedication to one’s craft. In this qualitative study, I explore how world-class creative achievement develops in a highly creative industry, haute cuisine, where early career success is achieved by the precise execution of routine tasks, with little opportunity for creativity. I interviewed N = 20 chefs who are working or have worked in Michelin Star restaurants to explore how they developed their creativity. My findings suggest that grit, passion and perseverance for long term goals, contributes to world-class creativity when the domain is personally meaningful to the individual. Furthermore, in restaurants, creativity can be fostered through opportunities to practice creativity such as competitions. This study contributes to the theory of how to foster creativity in the workplace, the development of world-class achievement, and of the outcomes associated with grit.

Keywords: Creativity, Grit, World-Class Achievement, Chef, Restaurants, Haute Cuisine

 

 

PRESENTED BY
Wharton 2022
Advised By
Angela Duckworth
Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professor
PRESENTED BY
Wharton 2022
Advised By
Angela Duckworth
Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professor

Comments

May 01 | 9:50 AM : by ebrannon@upenn.edu

What a unique study!  How in the world did you get access to these chefs?  So 53% of restaurants? Does this means there are only about 40 restaurants with 3* chefs?  Culinary cuisine requires creativity in designing the dishes and then extreme precision in executing them day after day and supervising assistants.  Is the grit more important leading up to success in this profession, or in sustaining it?  It seems like a field more so than others arts that you can fall of the successful path more easily due to poor leadership skills or things beyond the creation of brilliant dishes.  If you could design an experimental task with a sample of successful chefs what hypothesis would you want to test?  Do you think their grit and creativity is domain specific or would be visible in other assessments?  Nice work and I look forward to your talk Monday! Liz Brannon

May 04 | 1:09 PM : by mplatt@upenn.edu

This is an interesting qualitative study, Maggie. Thanks for acknowledging some of the challenges. I wonder what the next steps would be to turn this into a quantitative model. More data? Would you use clustering statistics or multiple regression? Do you think you would be able to predict a good chef out of sample?

Dr. Platt