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Measuring Creativity

Measuring Creativity

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Published by amitkumarpandole

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: amitkumarpandole on Oct 12, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Running head: CREATIVITYMeasuring Creativity in Research and PracticeBarbara Kerr and Camea GagliardiArizona State University
Creativity is that characteristic of human behavior that seems the mostmysterious, and yet most critical to human advancement. The capacity to solve problemsin new ways and to produce works that are novel, appropriate, and socially valued is anability that has fascinated people for centuries. Most creativity research concerns thenature of creative thinking, the distinctive characteristics of the creative person, thedevelopment of creativity across the individual life span, and the social environmentsmost strongly associated with creative activity (Simonton, 2000). This research can helpcounselors who are committed to a positive psychology to assess creative thinking and toidentify creative traits in their clients. Counselors can use this knowledge to help clientsovercome both internal and environmental barriers to the development of creative lives.Many of the studies of creativity have been driven by the desire to identify thosechildren who are most likely to profit from programs for developing giftedness or thedesire to identify adults who are likely to be innovative in science, business, and industry.Counselors who want to respond to clients’ strengths and who want to seek positivedirections for counseling often focus on creativity. Assessment plays a part in all of theseactivities.In this chapter we will address numerous challenges that counselors measuringcreativity must consider, including the multiplicity of definitions and measures of creativity, the psychological and contextual variables that enhance or block it, and theneed to use measurement appropriately in the broader context of assessing creativity.Then, we will identify measures of the creative process and the creative person, applycreativity measurement and assessment to counseling, and discuss future directions for the field.
Measurement Issues to Consider Many Definitions, Many MeasuresThe definition of creativity is elusive. Although most researchers agree upon suchaspects of creativity as originality, appropriateness, and the production of works of valueto society, they have had difficulty agreeing upon appropriate instruments and methods inoperationalizing these concepts. The insufficiency of most creativity measures to capturethe complex concept of creativity has been well established. Three decades ago,Treffinger, Renzulli, and Feldhusen (1971) argued that as a result of the lack of a unified,widely-accepted theory of creativity, researchers and educators “have beenconfronted with several difficulties: establishing a useful operational definition,understanding the implications of differences among tests and test administration procedures, and understanding the relationship of creativity to other human abilities” (p.107). Sternberg (2001) argues that creativity should not be considered in isolation fromother constructs of human abilities; rather, it is best understood in a societal context. Hesuggests that the “common thread” in the prolific research literature is the interrelationsor “dialectic” among intelligence, wisdom, and creativity, where intelligence advancesexisting societal agendas, creativity questions them and proposes new ones, and wisdom balances the old with the new. Yet, the many challenges in operationalizing and assessingcreativity are still being confronted today. And, the proliferation of hundreds of creativitytests, some of which hold up better under psychometric scrutiny than others, exacerbatethe criterion problem for creative research. These concerns leave us asking an importantquestion. What is it exactly that creativity researchers are studying?Some researchers in the field choose to consider the multiplicity of measures as

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