Measuring Creativity

How do you measure creativity?! Is there something like IQ for creativity?! Perhaps a set of measurements, and not just one.

Here’s an except from an article on the New York Times that talks about some of Rex E. Jung‘s research….

[N]o single measure for creativity exists. While I.Q. tests, though controversial, are still considered a reliable test of at least a certain kind of intelligence, there is no equivalent when it comes to creativity — no Creativity Quotient, or C.Q.

Dr. Jung’s lab uses a combination of measures as proxies for creativity. One is the Creativity Achievement Questionnaire, which asks people to report their own aptitude in 10 fields, including the visual arts, music, creative writing, architecture, humor and scientific discovery.

Another is a test for “divergent thinking,” a classic measure developed by the pioneering psychologist J. P. Guilford. Here a person is asked to come up with “new and useful” functions for a familiar object, like a brick, a pencil or a sheet of paper.

Dr. Jung’s team also presents subjects with weird situations. Imagine people could instantly change their sex, or imagine clouds had strings; what would be the implications?

In another assessment, a subject is asked to draw the taste of chocolate or write a caption for a humorous cartoon, as is done in The New Yorker magazine’s weekly contest. “Humor is an important part of creativity,” Dr. Jung said.

The responses are used to generate what Dr. Jung calls a “Composite Creativity Index.”

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