Inspiration as a psychological construct

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003 Apr;84(4):871-89. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.84.4.871.


Inspiration has received little theoretical or empirical attention within psychology. Inspiration is conceptualized herein as a general construct characterized by evocation, motivation, and transcendence. In Studies 1a and 1b, a trait measure of inspiration was developed and was found to have strong psychometric properties. Studies 2a-2c documented a nomological network consistent with the present conceptualization. Study 3 related inspiration to the holding of U.S. patents. Study 4 linked trait inspiration to daily experiences of inspiration, extended the nomological network to the state level, documented antecedents and consequences, and established incremental validity. This research provides a foundation for further study of inspiration, both as a general construct and in specific content domains (e.g., religion, creativity, interpersonal relations).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Motivation*
  • Patents as Topic
  • Pilot Projects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires