Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.
Creativity isn’t the easiest thing to test…… as in, it’s pretty darn hard to make it fit onto a scantron sheet. However, there are accurate tests out there, that can assess creativity, and are fun take…. well at least I think so.
Don’t be discouraged if you struggle with these , remember just like anything else, you get better at the things you practice.
Test numero uno: Alternative Uses
Created by J. P. Guilford
What it does: the goal is to stretch those creative muscles by giving you 2 minutes to come up with alternative uses for everyday objects.
For example“paper clip” uses:
Note: when this test was given to kindergarten students, 98% scored in the genius level. When given to adults, the number fell off a cliff down to 2%.
Okay, back to different things that you can do with a paperclip:
Hold papers together
Thing you use to push that emergency restart button on your router
Keeping headphones from getting tangled up
maybe it’s giant and becomes a sculpture
way to hang ornaments
stress relief (play with it in your pocket)
use as wings for a bird or an airplane
chain link fence
and so on…….
The test measures divergent thinking (being able to come up with several ideas/solutions for one given problem) across four sub-categories:
Fluency – how many uses you can come up with
Originality – how uncommon those uses are (e.g. “router restarter” is more uncommon than “holding papers together”)
Flexibility – how many areas your answers cover (earrings, necklace and hairpin are all accessories, so they fit into one area, but chain link fence is a different area)
Elaboration – level of detail in responses; meaning, chain link fence is a much cooler idea than using it as a bookmark.
It’s your turn. Choose an object from the list below… set your timer for two minutes, and try this test.
PS: if you have kids, have them give this a try too. I’m willing to bet that the younger your kid is, the better they will do.
- safety pin
Test numero dos : Incomplete Figure
You can thank the lovely psychologist Ellis Paul Torrance for this one.
This test is exactly what it sounds like. You start with the images below, and it’s your job to turn them into something.
Try it yourself:
You might be getting anxious already, because you know that I’m going to tell you to draw. You would like to tell me that you don’t know how to draw.
Well we’re not going to get into that argument today, but you can do this test, because you do know how to draw lines and shapes, and that’s all it is.
So, print out the images, grab your favorite pen, pencil, or marker, give yourself 5 minutes, and start making marks.
Looking to score the most points possible? Then your drawing needs to have uncommon subject matter, implied stories, humor, and original perspective.
Test Numero Tres: Riddles
Riddles ask a question that doesn’t seem to have an answer. Until suddenly, the answer arrives in a flash of insight. (that’s called illumination in the creative process)
Or…no strike of insight arrives, and you start posting the riddle on Facebook, hoping that someone will enlighten you.
Psychologists use riddles to measure creative problem solving potential, or convergent thinking (thinking that brings together information focused on solving a problem, especially problems that have a single correct solution).
Try it yourself:
You can find riddles, and answers here.
Test Numero Quatro: Remote Associates
The Remote Associates Test takes three unrelated words, such as “Falling – Actor – Dust,” and asks you to come up with a fourth word that connects all three words. In this case, the answer is “star,” as in “falling star,” “movie star” and “stardust.”
Try it yourself (answer at bottom of the page):
paint…. doll…. hat :
stool – powder – ball :
call – pay – line :
Not feeling so hot about your creative thinking skills? Join the FREE 30 Day Creative Process challenge I’m hosting on my blog. You’ll get one quick prompt delivered to your inbox each day.
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.
1. house 2. foot 3. phone
My creative practice is far from the traditional weaver. When warping the loom I never count the ends, I just go until I feel that it's time to stop. I don't follow patterns, I allow and sometimes encourage the yarn to move as it wraps around the front beam. If a string breaks, I work it into the piece. I create from my soul. I speak to the yarn as we weave together, striving to create the perfect connection, and when we become in sync a fabulous scarf, full of honesty, joy, and personality emerges.