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Notes on Creativity 4


Defining creativity
The need for a practical definition:
There are various definitions of creativity. However, it is important that the term
means more or less the same to different people engaged in studying it. Therefore,
we must set a criterion so that people involved know in concrete terms what is to be
taught and what must be done differently in order to be more creative.
Tests as a definition of creativity
IQ tests test intelligence and many believe that we need to have creativity tests to
test creativity. This sounds very sound as we need some tools to measure creativity.
As early as about 40 years ago, Thorndike (1963:24) emphasized that it is
imperative that we get better understanding of what different (creativity)
tests.....usually measure. The definition of creativity would be confined to what
creativity theorists and test constructors put into the test. Such a limitation raises
problems on its own: for instance, properties that are difficult to express in numbers
could be ignored. Test provide a way of meeting the need for more precision in
defining creativity. Among other things such a definition would lead to more
effective selection of contents of creativity programs.
Tests to assess people
It is more custimary in psychology and education to think of tests as assessment or
diagnostic instruments that determine peoples standing on some measurable
property than as a definition of a concept (such as creativity) or a source of
indicators or markers for designing support programs. The test usually yield
numericl scores on the various dimensions they measure and these permit
diagnosis of test persons strength and weaknesses. Analyses of cores can be done
nomothetically (a particular persons scores are compared with those of other
similar people and rated, let us say, above average, average, and below
average). It can also be done ideographically: individuals are compared with
themselves across domains and are said to have relative strengths or weaknesses
in different areas regardless of how they compare domains when compared with
other people but still be said to be weak in some specific areas, because scores in
these are lower relative to his or her own overall standard. In the case of creativity
tests there is something inherently contradictory in the idea of assessing novelty by
looking in tables, so that there are often no standardized norms for tests or only
rather rough norms. This suggests that ideographic use of creativity tests may be
more appropriate. It is the not the use of creativity tests to assess people but their
usefulness in defining creativity.

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Notes on Creativity 4
Understand what it means by relevance and effectiveness.

Introducing novelty into a context

The properties of the creative product that have already been outlined (novelty,
relevance and effectiveness) are all related to a specific context: novel means
previously unknown in a specified setting, relevant means that the novelty refers
to specific context, and effective means helping to deal with a particular problem,
remembering that problem can be understood in a general, abstract way.
According to Sternberg, a creative product propels its field in seven ways.
Conceptual replication (the product produces novelty by transferring what already
exist more or less unchanged to a new field)
Redefinition (seeing the known in a new way)
Forward incrementation (produces novelty by taking the known further in an
existing direction)
Advance forward incrementation (it not only extends the known in an existing
direction but goes beyond what is currently tolerable)
Redirection (it extends the known in a new direction)
Reconstruction and redirection (it returns to an approach previously abandoned
and breathes new life into that approach.
Re-initiation (it begins at a radical different point from the current one and takes
off in a new direction)

Internal and external effectiveness

Products MUST work. This is effective.
Jackson and Messick (1965) emphasized on internal criteria (harmony and
pleasantness within the product itself regardless of how well it works) thus
introducing what is essentially an aesthetic element.
The role of the observer
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. However, Hennessey (1994) emphasized the
method of consensual assessment. She concluded that a product is creative when
appropriate judges label it on this way.
Tests of the creativity products
Creative Product Inventory by Taylor (1975 which measures generation,
reformulation, originality, relevancy, hedonics, complexity and condensation,
Creative Product Semantic scale by Besemer and OQuinn (1987 looks at novelty,
resolution and elaboration and synthesis.
Creative thinking
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Notes on Creativity 4
The best known procedures for testing creativity focus on thinking itself. Guidford
(1950 distinguished between divergent and convergent thinking.

Scoring tests of creative thinking

The most widely applied approach to scoring the tests focuses on three aspects of
divergent thinking:
1. Fluency (quanity of answers)
2. Flexibility (variability of idea categories in the answers)
3. Originality (uncommonness of answers)
As a response to the test term, write down a many uses as you can think of for a
tin can, the four answers are:

Billy pan
A suit of armour for a mouse to give a fair chance in a fight with a cat.

Each answer will score one point for fluency. However, there are two basic idea
categories: container (saucepan, billy pan and kettle) and protective covering (the
suit). All four answers will get two points for fluency. As for originality, saucepan,
billy pan and kettle are common. Therefore the score nothing, whereas suit of
armour for a mouse is uncommon and would score several points. How many? It
depends on a particular scoring method used.

Torrances test of divergent thinking

The best known is Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT).
The test materials include a verbal section, thinking creatively with words, and a
non-verbal or figural section, thinking creatively with pictures

There are six verbal activities (asking, guessing causes, guessing consequences,
product improvement, unusual uses and just suppose) and three figural activities
(picture construction, picture completion, and lines). The verbal activities yield
scores on the three classical scoring dimensions fluency, flexibility and
Adapting vs Innovating
Kirtins (1989) Adaptation-Innovation Inventory (KAI)

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Notes on Creativity 4
This test distinguishes between people who, when confronted with a problem, seek
to solve it by making use of what they already know and can do and people who try
to recognize and restructure the problem.
Real-life problems
This test presents respondents with real-life problems and requires them to suggest
solutions which are evaluated according to their number and quality.

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