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Abstract

Do experts and novices evaluate creativity the same way? This question is particularly relevant to the study of critical and public response to movies. How do public opinions differ from movie critic opinions? This study assessed college student (i.e., novice) ratings on movies released from 2001 to 2005 and compared them to expert opinions and those of self-declared novices on major movie rating Web sites. Results suggest that the student ratings overlapped considerably—but not overwhelmingly—with the self-described novices, student ratings correlated at a lower magnitude with critic ratings, and the ratings of students who saw the most movies correlated more highly with both critics and self-described novices than those of students who saw the least movies. The results suggest a continuum of creative evaluation in which the distinctions between categories such as “novice,” “amateur,” and “expert” are blurry and often overlap—yet the categories of expertise are not without importance. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.