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I am trying to research attitude towards task completion and tendency between "follow" and "self-expression". But, as you can see, I am not hitting to correct keywords to get the results I want.

The scenario is this:

Given that a person is assigned a task to be completed and an example of the completed task outcome is available for reference but not the method or procedure. To complete the task, the person may choose to reproduce the outcome to the best of his/her ability, or to self-express and come up with their own variation. What are the factors that determine the tendency to follow or self-express?


Task: Draw a house
Reference: A photograph of a house.

Task: Design a credit card application form.
Reference: An existing credit card application form from another bank. 

Task: Add slides to a Presentation.
Reference: The Presentation document with existing slides.

Task: Build and paint a row of fence
Reference: The other rows of fence that are already completed.

Not sure how well I have described... Are there any existing terminology or research I can look into regarding this? I have tried words like conformity, deviation, imitation, influence (that's all I know) but the search results are not quite right.

share|improve this question
By self-expression, do you mean creativity? Or just nonconformity? All your other words seem fine, but be sure to include the word "research"! –  Nick Stauner Mar 26 '14 at 17:53

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