The most-used creativity test in the world

Dr. Ellis Paul Torrance developed the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) in 1966 and the test has been updated five times, in 1974, 1984, 1990, 1998, and 2008. The TTCT appears in almost 40 different languages. Educators and corporate entities use and reference the TTCT more than any other creativity test in the world.

Creative is not synonymous with artistic, and the TTCT measures creativity on many other levels than artistic ability. Western people tend to think of creativity as artistic ability, whereas Eastern people tend to think of creativity as scientific ability. Eastern people think of artistic ability as a separate construct from creativity. Since the TTCT is not just a measure of artistic ability, it leads to the question of what does the TTCT measure? The TTCT measures the creative mind more broadly; it measures creative potential in many diverse areas such as art, literature, science, mathematics, architecture, engineering, business, leadership, and interpersonal relationships.

As noted above, the TTCT does not produce a single measure of creativity. Instead the TTCT measures the following subscales of creative potential: Fluency, Originality, 13 Checklists of Creative Strengths, Elaboration, Abstractness of Titles, and Resistance to Premature Closure. The above subscales can be grouped together into three main concepts of creative potential:

1) Lateral/Innovative Thinking factor (Fluency & Originality): Fluency measures an ability to produce a number of relevant ideas. Originality measures an ability to produce a number of statistically infrequent ideas and shows how unique and unusual the ideas are.

2) Vertical/Adaptive Thinking factor (Elaboration & Abstractness of Titles): Elaboration measures an ability to develop and elaborate upon ideas and detailed and reflective thinking, but it also indicates motivation to be creative. Abstractness of Titles measures an ability to produce the thinking processes of synthesis and organization, and further, it measures an ability to capture the essence of the information involved and to know what is important. This is based on the idea that creativity requires an abstraction of thought. Abstractness of Titles is also related to verbal intelligence.

3) Creative Personality factor (Resistance to Premature Closure & 13 Checklists of Creative Strengths): Resistance to Premature Closure measures intellectual curiosity as well as open-mindedness. Open-mindedness predicts both IQ and creativity, and it is also found to be the most influential factor on intelligence. Finally, for the Creativity Personality factor, 13 Creative Strengths include creative personality traits, such as being emotionally expressive (Emotional Expressiveness), energetic (Movement or Action), talkative or verbally expressive (Storytelling Articulateness, or Expressiveness of Titles), humorous (Humor), imaginative (Fantasy), unconventional (Extending or Breaking Boundaries), lively or passionate (Richness of Imagery), perceptive (Colorfulness of Imagery), connecting seemingly irrelevant things together (Synthesis of Incomplete Figures), synthesizing (Synthesis of Lines or Circles), and seeing things from a different angle (Unusual Visualization or Internal Visualization).


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