Do we really want ‘creative’ respondents?

Knowl­edge­able, fully-contributing respon­dents are what all researchers want to see in any given research sit­u­a­tion.  And for those stud­ies con­sid­ered that lit­tle bit more cre­ative, received wis­dom tells us to recruit ‘cre­ative’ respon­dents.  Not artists or musi­cians, but respon­dents with a pre-disposition to cre­ativ­ity. Presumably.

But is ‘cre­ativ­ity’ what we really want?  Do we not need to recruit physi­cians on the basis that they are will­ing to par­tic­i­pate in role-play exer­cises; that they have an affin­ity to patients or have a degree of emo­tional intel­li­gence; that they are pre­pared to help us cri­tique, assess and develop com­mu­ni­ca­tions concepts?

For research that neces­si­tates the devel­op­ment and or assess­ment of Patient Pro­files for exam­ple, we would pro­pose an alter­na­tive recruit­ment cri­te­rion.  In this instance, recruit­ing physi­cians with emo­tional intel­li­gence, or an innate empa­thy with patients is more apt than recruit­ing physi­cians who are maybe more cre­ative (even if the research uses ‘cre­ative’ approaches).  But how do we design such a series of ques­tions?  Well, that prob­a­bly requires some degree of cre­ative thinking…