How Creative Are You?
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Imagine That1 of 11
By Shannan Rouss
Creativity is a tricky thing to measure. After all, the very idea of creative, original thinking is all about defying strict rules and easy categorizations. Still, over the years researchers have attempted to devise objective tests. We've borrowed questions and tasks from the most popular of these and had our own staffers take part. Click through to see how they did and how your own creative abilities compare.
Object Lesson2 of 11
Created by psychologist J.P. Guilford in 1967, the Alternate Uses Task is designed to measure divergent thinking, your ability to come up with multiple solutions to a single problem.
Test Yourself: Take two minutes to come up with a list of uncommon uses for one of the following objects: pencil, newspaper, paperclip.
The Results3 of 11
How does your own list compare to this one by a Glo editor? Evaluate your list for originality, fluency (the number of ideas), flexibility (variety) and elaboration (the amount of detail).
Seeing Things4 of 11
This Rorschach-block-like test also measures divergent thinking.
Test Yourself: Take a minute to list what you see in this drawing.
The Results5 of 11
Glo's clever copy editor generated this list, scoring big points for originality. While plenty of people might list a smooshed spider, a drunk one is far more unexpected.
Word Games6 of 11
How well can you recognize relationships between things that are remotely related? That's what the Remote Associates Test (RAT) is designed to measure.
Test Yourself: For each of the three word combos below, come up with a fourth word that connects them. Example: blue cake cottage; Answer: cheese
1. paint doll cat
2. water youth soda
3. base snow dance
The Results7 of 11
Don't feel too badly if you bombed the RAT—critics say the test is better at gauging linguistic sensitivity rather than creative potential.
1. paint doll cat = house
2. water youth soda = fountain
3. base snow dance = ball
It's a Draw8 of 11
Known as the incomplete figure task, this prompt is part of the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking, developed by psychologist Ellis Paul Torrance in the 1960s.
Test Yourself: Take three minutes to add lines to the incomplete figures below to make pictures out of them. Try to tell complete stories with your pictures. Give your pictures titles.
The Results9 of 11
Confession: We had one of our website designers try her hand at this. If your own drawing doesn't compare, don't panic. You can be creative without being a great artist. Evaluate your own work for originality and elaboration (how much detail did you include?), as well as the abstractness of your titles (did you go beyond generic labels?).
Outside the Box10 of 11
Also part of the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking, this is a portion of the circles and squares task.
Test Yourself: Add details to the shapes below to make pictures out of them. Make the diamond a part of any picture you make. Try to think of pictures no one else will think of. Add details to tell complete stories with your pictures and your pictures titles. You have three minutes.
The Results11 of 11
Our site designer created this masterpiece as well. While she didn't exactly follow the rules, creative types are known for their "divergent thinking." Were you as original?
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