Einstein said once something like creativity is more important than intelligence. Intelligence as it is measured is really one's speed and efficiency at processing information. How one processes the information is the 'province' of creativity.

Are there any effective, psychologically-approved tests that measure creativity and ones capacity for interesting or clever creative associations between sets of ideas?

  • $\begingroup$ random association test $\endgroup$ – mac389 Jun 25 '15 at 15:05
  • $\begingroup$ Marilynn vos Savant ( forgive spelling) had an interesting idea that could be used for a creativity test. Given a question probably with a specified answer try to find as many other answers to the same question as you can. Hopefully answers that have reasonable or practical possibilities. $\endgroup$ – 201044 Jun 28 '15 at 3:12
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    $\begingroup$ That is not a new idea, unless she is much older than I think--most tests of creativity since the 1960s have had a similar task. $\endgroup$ – Krysta Jun 29 '15 at 20:19

The Torrance Test of Creative Thinking is a good place to start. It scores for fluency (number of responses) as well as originality (statistical rarity of responses) and elaboration (level of detail) on a variety of different tasks. The validity of the TTCT has been examined with several long-term studies, so there is a fair amount of data on its measurements as well as the form of the test itself.

Torrance, E. P. (1981b). Empirical validation of criterion-referenced indicators of creative ability through a longitudinal study. Creative Child and Adult Quarterly, 6, 136-140.


The concept of creativity per se makes it hard to measure it in a standardized way, since creativity by definition opposes standardization. Even tests such as the one suggested by Krysta run into the problem that in order to rate answers with regard to their rarity will have to rely on some kind of standardization according to which one can rate the answers given. Certainly, there are tests aiming at measuring creativity. I doubt, however, that these tests truly capture the construct at which they aim.

This standpoint obviously prohibits any scientific investigation of creativity, at least using quantitative measures widely used in psychology.

  • $\begingroup$ What about Edward deBono's methods. He has developed a lot of ways to improve thinking ,as a skill; and his methods about improving one's potential for creativity. Maybe he has some ideas on how to study creativity.... $\endgroup$ – 201044 Jul 13 '15 at 14:54
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, I do not know deBono. So in case you know his work better, you might suggest some articles/books. If he has truly developed methods in order to improve thinking (of which I would be glad to read a sound theoretical definition, allowing its measurement) and creativity, he should have some ways of assessing these constructs. Although from I current standpoint I remain skeptical. $\endgroup$ – bunsenbaer Jul 14 '15 at 7:52
  • $\begingroup$ deBONO wrote 'Practical Thinking' from Penguin books, The use of Lateral Thinking (1967), The 5-day Course in thinking( 1969) , The Mechanisms of the Mind (1969), Teaching Thinking ((1976) ,Wordpower (1977), many of these published by Penguin books. Dr. deBONO has contributed to several journals , including the Lancet and Clinical Science. You must have heard of the concept of 'lateral thinking' ; I don't know why his methods aren't used more. $\endgroup$ – 201044 Jul 14 '15 at 19:33
  • $\begingroup$ @ bunsenbaer; Edward deBono is a very reputable expert in psychology and thinking skills. I'm sure a lot of his works could help you. $\endgroup$ – 201044 Jul 16 '15 at 13:44
  • $\begingroup$ Well as I said I do not know any of his work and maybe I should. However, the term 'thinking skills' made me think (pun intended) as it seems a rather broad term, which in my opinion is hard to define. Current cognitive science works utilize much more fine grained definitions, such as maybe logical reasoning (which might be something like 'thinking'), or try to understand neurobiol. underpinnings of constructs such as working memory (which isn't really that fine grained either, considering several subprocesses). No offense, but I do believe CgS have developed during the last 4.5 decades. $\endgroup$ – bunsenbaer Jul 16 '15 at 14:16

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