How Is Creativity Measured?


Quick Answer

One of the most common means of measuringcreativity is the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT). This was originally devisedby the psychologist E. Paul Torrance on the basis of his work with children who were branded "troubled" by their teachers and families.

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How Is Creativity Measured?
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Full Answer

Creativity is often discussed in its relation to intelligence, generally being conceived of as a kind of counterbalance to it. As such, the TTCT seeks to quantify creativity in the same way that IQ tests quantify intelligence.

The TTCT incorporates both visual and verbal elements to assess creativity against national averages. Key factors in both visual and verbal creativity are fluency and originality.The visual or "figural" TTCT also assesses elaboration, abstractness of titles and resistance to premature closure. This latter factor isthe extent to which an individual seeks to complete a given task in the most creative, rather than the most efficient, way possible Ñ regardless of how long it takes.

An example of a task from the figural TTCT is to create a unique and unexpected image around a simple black oval shape. Another visual task is to caption an abstract image of black lines splayed out from a circular center. While some might see this straightforwardly as a spider or star, others mightprovide more creative and unexpected answers, such as "a set of mini blinds caught in a tornado."

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