The creativity test first came to existence during World War II, when the US air force commissioned a psychologist named J.P.Guilford at the University of Southern California, to study the subject.
The air force wanted their selection tests to pick out pilots who could respond with appropriate, original behavior in an emergency such as an instrument or gear failing on them; this in turn would hopefully save both themselves and the plane.
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Prior to Guilford’s tests they used IQ tests but these were designed to test for intelligence alone and not originality. The tests Guilford developed later became known as the tests for divergent thinking.
One of the most popular creativity tests that test for general creativity is the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking. This is a traditional paper and pencil test which looks for divergent thinking abilities. The test is scored base on fluency, flexibility and original thinking.
Weiping Hu from the Shanxi Teachers’ University, China in collaboration with Philip Adey from Kings College London, UK put together a scientific creativity test by referring to ideas put forward in the Torrance test.
Students were given approximately one hour to complete the following seven different tasks:
Tasks 1 to 4 provide examples to aid the student in understanding exactly what is required.
Task one encourages the student to think of unusual uses for an item, task two requires them to use their imagination and the third task measure for the student’s ability to improve something that already exists. Task four also encourages imagination but requires more of a scientific slant task five measures creative problem solving and task six tests for creative experimental ability. Seven focuses on product design ability.
The test is scored using a combination of number of responses given, number of approaches or areas used in the answer and originality of the answer based on all responses received.