Scientists Invented a Simple New Test For Creativity, And You Can Try It Out

What makes someone more creative than the other? Although creativity is difficult to define and even harder to measure, scientists believe they have a simple way to assess at least one aspect.This test is quick and easy to take. It works best if you don't have any knowledge about the analysis. Go to the project page and give it a try. Then, come back to learn all about it.The Divergent Association Task (DAT) is a new method that asks people to name 10 nouns with meanings that are as different as possible. For example, "Cat" and book would be more different than "cat" or "dog".The computer algorithm measures the semantic distance between the words and the nouns. DAT, based on the analysis of 8,914 responses, is at least as accurate as current methods to predict creativity in a person.The researchers wrote in a published paper that "multiple theories suggest that creative people can generate more divergent thoughts." If this is true, then simply naming unrelated words could be used to measure divergent thinking.The Alternative Uses Task (where you think of as many uses as possible for an object) and the Bridge-the-Associative Gap Task (where you try and link two words with a third word) are the two existing measures of creativity that DAT went up against.DAT's creativity scores were as good as the scores for each other, suggesting that it is just as effective at assessing creativity than more complex tools. Its effectiveness is also apparent across diverse demographics, making it suitable to be used in large-scale surveys.The DAT test is simple, quick, and does not require human evaluation, which could introduce bias. Researchers are quick to point out, however, that it does not measure all aspects of creativity.Jay Olson, a psychologist at Harvard University, says that "our task only measures a small amount of one type" of creativity.These findings allow creativity assessments across larger, more diverse samples with less bias. This will eventually help us to better understand this fundamental human ability."CNN's Olson pointed out that the DAT test examines divergent thinking and verbal creative. It won't reveal how creative you are when cooking, which requires a different set skills, but it can help predict your aptitude for certain problem-solving tasks.Psychologists believe that creative people are more able to connect distant elements in their minds, and this is what's being tested. An even more comprehensive measurement would also include achievements in creative fields like music composition and inventions.Although it's complex, the DAT approach may make future research into creativity a lot easier.Olson says that creativity is essential to human existence. "The more we know its complexity, the more we can foster creativity of all forms."The research was published in PNAS.