How Does One Measure Creativity
Many researchers of psychology tried to develop methods to measure the creativity of an individual. Most of the methods developed by them include creativity tests for self assessment or self reporting. The individuals are made to answer to a set of questions and from their answers one can find out how creative they feel. If the individual has any creative traits or attributes the same will reflect in his answers. The self-assessment test known as KTCPI comprises of two parts – Something About Myself (SAM) and What Kind of Person are You? (WKOPAY). The purpose of the first pat is to measure intelligence, initiative, artistic skills and individuality. The second part is for measuring self-confidence, imagination, appeal to authority and inquisitiveness.
NEO test for self-assessment
The creativity of grown up males and females can be measured using the self-assessment test called NEO. This test is based on the art of life and consists of about 240 questions about the five different traits – extroversion/introversion, neurotic nature, learning from experience, willingness to agree and conscientiousness. Psychologists use this test to measure creativity mainly by way of asking the questions about learning from experience. Hence this test is based on both art and psychology.
Assessment of artistic products
Creativity is measured by assessing an artistic product of the individual like a musical composition, drawing, short story, sculpture or a dance. Those who are experts in these forms of arts will judge the product and rate the same. However, this type of test is meant for assessment of creativity in a specific discipline only. The CAT (Consensual Assessment Technique) is used for assessing domain-specific creativity. The assessment is based on the actual performance and the panel of judges will rate the product according to its actual creativity. Since this type of assessment is free of psychological procedures it is considered very reliable. The members of the panel are individuals who are critics, musicians, journalists, professors, publishers, gallery owners or those who are experts in other fields in real world.
The various assessment tests designed by psychology researchers are however based on art and psychology. Assessment of creativity is indeed a very complicated task and irrespective of the various assessment methods that are being followed, continued study and research in this area is essential. The creativity of an individual shows his ability to perform the art of living and also it depends on various psychological aspects including personality, social, biological, clinical, cognitive, educational and developmental.
Novelty and Originality
Many people feel that measuring creativity is a meaningless exercise. According to them while watching a movie or dance or reading a story book we enjoy the aesthetic quality of the particular artwork and never bother to make calculations to find out the creativity of the individual who produced the artwork. However, when we see a film or a sculpture or a book or a drawing is so outstanding we wonder how the producer or writer or painter could create the pieces of artwork that are overwhelmingly novel as well as original. Without creativity one cannot produce anything which is original and novel. The foundation for any type of creation is made by novelty and originality.
Is there any method to assess exactly the originality and novelty of a work of art. Assessment of the creativity of an individual is carried out by a particular group of psychologists for whom studying the creativity of other people is a passion. These researchers consider creativity assessment as a science and not as a hyperbole.
In the 20th century most of the psychologists believed that the creativity and IQ of a person are closely related and hence those who have high IQ will have high creativity. However, this theory was challenged by the eminent psychologist J P Guilford. According to him there are two distinct forms of thinking – convergent thinking and divergent thinking. Those who have divergent thinking will be highly creative and only those with convergent thinking do well in the IQ tests since they have only one correct answer for each question.